Lewiston in Niagara County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Lewiston: First European Settlement in Western New York in 1720.
Long before there was a United States, the French called their North American territory New France. Many French explorers visited this area, but the first was Etienne Brule who is believed to have come here in 1615 when he was only 23 years old. He was a scout for French explorer Samuel de Champlain who sent him into the wilderness to learn about the Native Americans.
The first permanent settlement in the Western New York region was Frenchman Chabert de Joncaire's Trading Post, which was built in 1720 and located at present day Artpark. It was called Magazin Royale, or "The King's Store." Joncaire was earlier taken captive by the Senecas, and was going to be executed. But they admired his bravery so much, they adopted him into the tribe. He also was involved in building the "House of Peace," today known as the French Castle at Old Fort Niagara, in 1726 at the mouth of the Niagara River.
Etienne Brule. First European
Chabert de Joncaire(1670-1739) obtained permission from the local Seneca tribe to build a trading post in Lewiston in 1720. It burned down in 1740.
Hennepin Arrives Here in 1678. Hennepin kept a journal of his adventures, and arrived in Lewiston on December 6, 1678, and visited the Falls the next day. This mural was created by renowned artist, Thomas Hart Benton. The original is located in the Visitor's Center at the Robert Moses Power Vista in Lewiston.
First Image of Niagara Falls. This is the first image of Niagara Falls that Europeans saw in 1697. It was based on Hennepin's written description.
"A Vast and Prodigious Cadence of Water."
When Fr. Hennepin arrived back in France, he established an account of his travels in 1683, which became very popular and included this first description of Niagara Falls:
"Between the Lake Ontario and Erie is a vast and prodigious Cadence of Water which falls down after a surprising and astonishing manner, insomuch that the Universe does not afford its Parallel. The Niagara River is so rapid above this Descent, that it violently hurries down the wild Beasts who endeavor to pass it to feed on the other side, they not being able to withstand the force of its Current, which inevitably casts them down headlong above Six hundred foot." (Fr. Hennepin had a tendancy to exaggerate because
In 1679, he and LaSalle set sail from the Upper Niagara River (just east of Niagara Falls) on board the ship, Le Griffon, constructed from materials that were transported through Lewiston as part of the portage which was used to haul supplies around the Falls. They set out to explore the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley. Hennepin traveled to such places as Minnesota and Missouri.
He died in Rome, Italy, in 1705, at the age of 79.
Erected by Historical Association of Lewison, Inc., Lewiston Museum.
Location. 43° 10.369′ N, 79° 2.665′ W. Marker is in Lewiston, New York, in Niagara County. Marker is at the intersection of Center Street (New York State Route 18F) and South 4th Street, on the left when traveling west on Center Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lewiston NY 14092, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Barton House (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Cibola Anchor (about 600 feet away); Little Yellow House - 1816 (about 600 feet away); Kiwanians Promoting Peace (about 600 feet away); The Long and The Short House 500 Center Street Archaeological Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); Underground Railroad Station #6 (approx. 0.2 miles away); The First Religious Society of Lewiston (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lewiston.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. In the order shown on the marker, these are markers for Fort Joncaire, the French Castle (Fort Niagara), Hennepin View of Niagara Falls, Le Griffon, Portage Road and Hennepin reaches Minnesota
Also see . . .
1. Louis Hennepin - Wikipedia. (Submitted on April 4, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
2. Niagara Power Vista Visitors Center - New York Power Authority. Location of the the Thomas Hart painting on the marker. (Submitted on April 4, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
Categories. • Exploration • Native Americans • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 4, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 271 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on April 4, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.