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Old September 7th, 2019, 10:59 PM   #1581
Romashka01
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Warm and nice photos! 'Water lilies in the reflecting pool' - my favorite
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Old September 9th, 2019, 11:08 PM   #1582
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Thanks for your kind comments on my RBG set, Eduardo, Leon (very good to have you back), Roberto, and Roman.

Time for a road trip ...

The Road to Fort Erie 1: The Welland Canal at Port Colborne

Road to Fort Erie by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

On this trip we’ll be heading about 120 km southeast from Dundas to Fort Erie.
This will take us across the full length of the Niagara Peninsula.
(“Peninsula” is incorrect: it’s really an isthmus that separates Lakes Ontario from Lake Erie.)
The Niagara River, which flows north from Buffalo to Niagara-on-the-Lake, is on the right of the map.
This river is not navigable because ... Niagara Falls intervenes halfway along!
So since 1829, four canals have been dug between Port Colborne and St. Catherines to accommodate Great Lakes shipping.
Our first stop is Port Colborne at the southern, Lake Erie end of the current, fourth Welland Canal (opened 1932).


FE016 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

The Welland Canal is 43 km long and can handle vessels up to 225.6 m long and 23.8 m wide.
This is the Canal looking north from the lift bridge at Port Colborne.
Between here and Lake Ontario, the Canal descends almost 100 m, which it does in a series of 8 locks.


FE002 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

The Clarence Street lift bridge at Port Colborne raises the road high over the Canal as vessels pass through.
It was built 1927-29 and uses electric motors to lift the bridge to a maximum height of 36.5 m.


FE014 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

This is what the bridge looks like from a pedestrian’s perspective.


FE003 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Now let’s look at some of the vessels in Port Colborne Harbour.


FE004 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Atlantic Huron is a self-discharging bulk carrier of the Canada Steamship Lines, launched in 1984.
She’s 224.5 m long and 23.1 m wide, about the maximum size able to navigate the Welland Canal.


FE011 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

English River is a freighter and bulk carrier launched in 1961.
She chiefly carries concrete between various Great Lakes ports.
Paul H. Townsend is also a bulk carrier, launched in 1945. She’s waiting to be scrapped.


FE005 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

A much smaller vessel, this flag-bedecked sailboat, is moored on this side of the Harbour.


FE007 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

HMCS Oriole is the sail training vessel of the Royal Canadian Navy.
A ketch (i.e., a two-unequally-masted sailboat) launched in 1921, she’s the oldest ship in the Navy!
She was built as a private yacht, then commissioned during World War II.
She can accommodate one officer, five crew, and 18 trainees.


FE018 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

This is the view of the end of the Welland Ship Canal looking south towards Lake Erie.
And now, onward to Fort Erie!
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Old September 10th, 2019, 10:23 AM   #1583
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I'm looking forward to see more from this trip!
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Old September 11th, 2019, 05:33 AM   #1584
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Great new set, Nick!
These Canals and the bridge are a great engineering work; especially for the time they were made.
Thank you very much for the pictures and for the interesting information you provide.
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Old September 11th, 2019, 09:44 AM   #1585
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love those types of bridges, smart construction also very beautiful images of the Welland Canal
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Old September 11th, 2019, 08:58 PM   #1586
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Great, very nice updates; well done
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Old September 17th, 2019, 05:30 PM   #1587
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Thanks for taking the trouble to provide feedback, George, Roberto, Leon, and christos.

And now, onward to our next destination ...

The Road to Fort Erie 2: Old Fort Erie - The Exterior


FE024 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

From Port Colborne we drive east along the Erie Lakeshore for about 30 km.
We are heading to Old Fort Erie, a historic location by the Niagara River.


FE035 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

The Fort occupies a strategic site where the Niagara River flows out of Lake Erie towards the Falls and Lake Ontario.
We’re still in Canada but that’s the Stars and Stripes flying over the old stone fort.
How so?


FE038 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Let’s enter the gate and find out.


FE061 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Old Fort Erie was built by the British to defend the Niagara frontier against the United States.
The first stone fort here was begun in 1803 and constructed of local Onondaga limestone.
The Americans invaded Upper Canada in the War of 1812 and captured Fort Erie twice: in 1813 and again in 1814.
In the latter year, the Americans withstood a bloody siege by British forces.
During this siege, the fort’s powder magazine blew up, causing carnage among the British.
The siege of Old Fort Erie was the bloodiest episode in the entire War of 1812.
The Americans abandoned the fort later in 1814 and demolished it behind them.
The British reoccupied the site but could not afford to rebuild the fort, and by 1823 it was gone.
The current site is a late 1930s reconstruction of how it looked in 1812-14.


FE092 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

The American flag that’s flying over the fort is the 15-star, 15-stripe version in use during the period 1795-1818.
(It was this form of the flag that moved Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 1814.
But the flag that inspired him was flying at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, not here.)


FE036 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Staff dressed in period costume, in this case that of a British musketeer, welcome visitors.


FE039 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

A 36-pounder smoothbore muzzleloading cannon mounted on a wooden carriage points towards the USA.


FE041 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Staff in costume trundle a gun carriage down towards the main gate.


FE056 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

A bastion, i.e., a four-sided projection of the wall of the fort.


FE062 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

The revolving gate through which you enter the bastion via a palisade of wooden stakes.


FE089 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

A 9-metre-tall monument to the dead at Old Fort Erie was erected in 1905.
Around the column is carved in relief the Latin inscription, DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO PATRIA MORI.
This means, IT IS SWEET AND FITTING TO DIE FOR ONE’S COUNTRY.
But there was very little that was sweet and fitting about the deaths on either side at Old Fort Erie.
Check out Pierre Berton’s description of the siege in his history of the War of 1812, Flames Across the Border (1981).

Next: the interior of the fort.
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Old September 17th, 2019, 07:24 PM   #1588
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Great set as always thank you.

If we search American history textbooks, we apparently lost the war of 1812 and Canada doesn't exist ;-)

Thank you Bianca for winning the U.S. Open win. It's a start lol.
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Old September 18th, 2019, 01:41 AM   #1589
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I love visiting your thread, Nick!
What an interesting historical episode. Good thing they decided to rebuild the fort.
I will be aware of the inside photos. Thank you!
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Old September 18th, 2019, 09:52 AM   #1590
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Interesting! Thanks! I have next to no idea about Canadian history, or Britain's role in it. It was never something that was taught in school, unless, I imagine, you specialised in North American history.
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Old September 18th, 2019, 12:23 PM   #1591
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a nice observation, Nicholas, of a beautiful place to learn about the history between the nations that live across the water border
p.s. a cool shot: https://flic.kr/p/2hfPTYR
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Old September 22nd, 2019, 05:40 PM   #1592
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I don't think I've ever visited Fort Erie! Loved the tour. Something similar happened here at Fort York when the American army invaded Toronto during the War of 1812. The magazine was exploded causing untold misery and death, especially amongst the American troops. I wonder if Fort Erie was exploded as a sort of revenge?
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Old September 24th, 2019, 06:37 PM   #1593
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Many thanks for your observations, elliot, Roberto, Jane, Leon, and TB!

The War of 1812 should certainly be more widely taught, Jane.
It was a thoroughly unpleasant, largely unheroic struggle in which both sides lost far more (in human lives) than they gained (in territory).
As such it is an epitome of most wars.
And yes, TB, I think you're probably right about an American motivation of revenge behind blowing up the Fort Erie magazine, given that the British had blown up the Fort York magazine the previous year to inflict maximum damage on the invaders.

And now let's go inside the Fort ...

The Road to Fort Erie 3: Old Fort Erie-The Interior


FE080 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

A staff member in the costume of a gunner in the British Royal Artillery, War of 1812.


FE076 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

The Oath of Fidelity sworn by British troops in the War of 1812 ...


FE077 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

... and the equivalent American Oath of Enlistment.


FE050 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Overcoats and lanterns in the Guard Room.


FE091 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Close-up of canister shot from the War of 1812.
A tin canister (here broken open) was fired from a cannon.
The canister held many musket balls like these, and they were sprayed by the explosion.
The effect was like a giant shotgun blast, lethal up to 250 meters away.


FE057 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Bunks and a dining table upstairs in the Soldiers’ Barracks.


FE066 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Dining table in the Officers’ Quarters.


FE068 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Officers’ Quarters: at rear the canopy bed of Capt. Nicholas Kingsley of the British 8th Regiment of Foot.
In 1813 he died in this bed of mercury poisoning from pills that he was taking for a lung disease.
The bed is rumored to be haunted.


FE070 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Wolfskin hearth rug in the Officers’ Quarters.


FE071 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

An officer’s boots and snowshoes.


FE081 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

The Soldiers’ Kitchen, with a smoky fire burning in the hearth.

Next: The Niagara River.
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Old September 24th, 2019, 09:46 PM   #1594
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Great, very nice updates once again
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Old September 25th, 2019, 07:20 AM   #1595
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As I said before, very, very interesting!
The last picture looks like a painting, I loved it!
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Old October 1st, 2019, 09:09 PM   #1596
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Many thanks, christos and Roberto!
And now to the water's edge for a final set from Fort Erie ...


The Road to Fort Erie 4: The Niagara River

FE088 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

The Niagara River, 58 km long, flows north and empties the waters of Lake Erie into Lake Ontario.
Old Fort Erie is only a couple of hundred meters from its west bank.
And here the Niagara River is about 1,500 metres wide.


FE086 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Looking straight across the River from near the Fort, you can see the skyline of a city.
It’s downtown Buffalo in New York State: city population 260,000, metro. pop. about 1,000,000.
Buffalo stands at the head of the Erie Canal.
This waterway, opened in 1825, connected New York City’s Hudson River with the Great Lakes.
The trading opportunities opened up by the Erie Canal led to the phenomenal growth of NYC in the early 19th century.


FE085 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Buffalo initially shared in NYC’s prosperity, but in later years fell on hard times.
After the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959, Buffalo gradually joined the notorious Rust Belt.
But the city has undergone a revival recently, and has much to offer culturally, especially in art and architecture.


FE084 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Zooming in, we can clearly see Buffalo’s massive 32-storey Art Deco City Hall (1931) at right, facing the River.


FE103 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

The Buffalo shore of the Niagara River still bears many scars of deindustralization.


FE093 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

In the first picture in this set you can just make out the arch of a steel bridge in the distance.
If we walk downstream from the Fort for about 2 km, the Niagara River narrows to only 650 metres.
The Peace Bridge (1927), connecting Ontario, Canada with New York State, USA, bridges that narrows.
More than a million trucks in total cross it in both directions each year.


FE094 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

Two trucks heading in opposite directions meet at mid-Bridge.
The USA is by far Canada’s biggest trading partner.
Canadian exports to the US of oil, natural gas, softwood lumber, and dairy products make all the headlines.
Perhaps Cookies ‘n Creme wafers will be the subject of the next big trade dispute!


FE097 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

This section of the Niagara River has a very strong current as it heads towards the Falls.
The current often runs more than 15 km/h, so boats going upstream had better have powerful engines!


FE100 by Nicholas Ruddick, on Flickr

This female merganser is swimming, or rather being carried, downstream at jogging pace.
Niagara Falls is only 20 km away ... but that’s nothing to worry about when you have wings!
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Old October 2nd, 2019, 02:47 AM   #1597
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Another great update, Nick!
Awesome river and spectacular clouds in the first photo!
Very interesting information about Buffalo City and the old international bridge. Thank you!
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Old October 2nd, 2019, 08:58 AM   #1598
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Loved your pics from the harbour, Niagara River and Old Fort Erie, Nick -
most of all the interior!
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Old October 6th, 2019, 10:53 AM   #1599
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Very interesting commentary Why-Why and pics to match.
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Old October 6th, 2019, 11:39 AM   #1600
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....yes, very interesting commentary. On what foundations has Buffalo re-invented itself, would you say?
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