City of Niagara Falls
Map Site 14: Site of Fort Schlosser

Built in c. 1760, this fort was occupied by the Americans at the beginning of the War but was captured and burned by the British in December 1813. Originally located at the end of Portage Road on the River.

Fort Schlosser was the British successor to the French Fort Du Portage. Built in 1760, it was at the southern end of the Niagara portage. It was supposedly named for a German mercenary who fought for the British during the French and Indian War and who was responsible for the construction of the fort. John Stedman, the British “Portage Master” built himself a house at Fort Schlosser and remained there until 1796 when Fort Niagara was finally turned over to the Americans. By 1812, Fort Schlosser was on land then owned by the Porter family who had a thriving forwarding business at the southern end of the portage. Porter turned Stedman’s house into a tavern. In 1813 the Fort was briefly rearmed and manned by a small garrison of soldiers. The Fort and tavern were later burned by the British in December 1813. Historic Marker on the Canadian side of the River reads: “At daybreak on July 5, 1813, a British and Canadian force, consisting of some 35 Militia and a small detachment of the 49th Regiment, embarked in this vicinity to attack Fort Schlosser. The American depot (now within Niagara Falls, NY), was situated at the southern end of the Lewiston Portage, and was an important military trans-shipment point. The attacking force, commanded by Lt-Col Thomas Clark of the 2nd Regiment, Lincoln Militia, surprised the U.S. garrison and encountered little resistance. They captured a gunboat, two bateaux, a brass cannon and a substantial quantity of small arms and supplies. While re-embarking, they were attacked by local American Militia but suffered no casualties.”


 

 

© 2013 NCHS & J.Christian Krull