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Lewiston in Niagara County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Gully and Portage Road

The beginning of safe passage around the treacherous waters of Niagara Gorge and the Falls

 
 
The Gully and Portage Road Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 30, 2016
1. The Gully and Portage Road Marker
Inscription.  Located at the base of the Niagara Escarpment, the ravine known as the Gully provided a naturally sheltered docking area where the Niagara River flows out of the steep and unnavigable Niagara Gorge. From this docking area, the Gully provided access to the lower tiers of the Escarpment. The docking area, the steep pathway up the Gully, and the land atop the Gully formed the northern terminus of the Niagara Portage - a nine-mile route along the eastern side connected the Upper and Lower Landings. After scrambling up the embankment from the river, Seneca porters transferred their goods to carts or "cradles" that carried the goods from the gully up the remaining 350 feet to the top of the Escarpment. From there the goods were transported along the Portage Road to the Upper Landing, which was located along the shore of the Niagara River, above the Falls.

Between 1958 and 1961, the construction of the Niagara Power Project dramatically altered the landscape, obscuring the original contours of the land and removing almost all traces of the original gully. Over 9.5 million cubic yards of rock and dirt excavated upriver were deposited over the
The Gully and Portage Road Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 30, 2016
2. The Gully and Portage Road Marker
Walking towards the theater plaza, the marker is just off to the right of the mural, where there is a dirt path. The black back of the marker is behind an adjacent Native American interpretive sign. Zoom to the left of the closer lamppost.
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area that is now Artpark. The upper parking lot, directly behind you, is one of the results of these deposits. The construction of the Niagara Parkway further altered the landscape as the steep Portage Road between Lewiston and the top of the Escarpment was graded into a gentle slope.

View of the Gully from the River. (Photo: Historical Association of Lewiston, Lewiston Museum Archives.)
Construction drastically alters the original terrain of the Landing, October 1958. (Photo: Historical Association of Lewiston, Lewiston Museum Archives.)
Artist's rendition of the terrain of the Lower Landing and Escarpment in 1700s and today. Note the length of the Gully and the altered slope of the Escarpment.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EnvironmentMan-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical month for this entry is October 1958.
 
Location. 43° 9.938′ N, 79° 2.766′ W. Marker is in Lewiston, New York, in Niagara County. Marker can be reached from South 4th Street, Ό mile south of Tuscarora Street. Marker is in Artpark near the end of the path from the main parking lot to the theater plaza. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lewiston NY 14092, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Demler (within shouting distance of this marker); Niagara Gorge R.R. (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Earl W. Brydges Artpark State Park
The Gully image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anton Schwarzmueller, May 30, 2016
3. The Gully
Here is where the deck of a bridge carried trolleys of the Great Gorge Railroad over the gully.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Lower Landing Archeological District (within shouting distance of this marker); Bridge Ruins (within shouting distance of this marker); The Lower Landing (within shouting distance of this marker); The Cradles (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Magazin Royale (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lewiston.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 11, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 30, 2016, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 354 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 30, 2016, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.

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Oct. 5, 2022