Fort Niagara is a fortification originally built by New France to protect its interests in North America, specifically control of access between the Niagara River and Lake Ontario, the easternmost of the Great Lakes. The fort is located on the eastern bank of the river at its mouth on Lake Ontario. Youngstown, New York, later developed near here.
The fort was taken over by the British in 1759 during the French and Indian War. Although the United States was ostensibly ceded the fort after it gained independence in the American Revolutionary War, the British stayed until 1796, after signing of the Jay Treaty that settled the northern border. Although the fort was officially deactivated by the US Army in 1963, the Coast Guard continues to have a presence here. A non-profit group operates the fort and grounds as a state park and preserves it in part as a museum and site for historical re-enactments. It is also a venue for special events related to the history of the region.