Old Stone Chimney Moved and Dedicated Seems a Little Crooked

schlosser

An early 19th Century print of the Old Stone Chimney, executed nearly two centuries before it got crooked up.

There was a crooked mayor,

And he had a crooked town.

It had a crooked chimney and….

 

Oh, sorry. Just thinking to myself.

They moved the Old Stone Chimney from its spot at Porter Park downtown out to LaSalle off the former Robert Moses Parkway, much closer to where it was built in the first place, by the French soldier and Indian agent Daniel de Joncaire way back in 1750.

It was officially dedicated in its new location Monday, by Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster and others. The New York State Power Authority paid around $1.4 million to have the 60 ton, 31-foot tall piece of history moved.

“I am noticing it,” Rob Panepinto, the NYPA Cultural Resources Specialist said.  “Although I’m not sure if it’s crooked or a parallax effect.”

It’s definitely crooked. You just have to look at a picture of it before it was moved. There’s an iron fence around it now, benches, signage, a new road off the former Robert Moses and a parking lot big enough to hold 10 midsized cars.

 

The cannons that used to guard it at Porter Park are nowhere in evidence. When you look at it now, the first thing you notice – aside from the fact that the top is crooked – is that, across the mighty Niagara River behind it, the skyline of the bustling city of Niagara Falls, Ont., serves as the backdrop.

In case anyone was wondering who won the War of 1812.

When the project was begun in December, local history buffs questioned why a number of dumpsters at the Porter Park site appeared to be filled with rocks and cement that were indistinguishable from the chimney’s construction material. Panepinto said it was “fill rock” from the center of the chimney helped used to support it and that it had to be broken up to free the rest of the stones. Historically it was not significant, he said.

This was the third move for what is considered one of the oldest pieces of architecture existing in Western New York. The only structure that predates it is the French Castle at Fort Niagara, which was built in 1726.

The chimney was moved from its original location at the site of Joncaire’s Fort Petite Niagara – near Cayuga Island – in 1902 so that t
he Niagara Falls Power Co., precursor to NYPA, could expand its facilities. At that time, local historian Thomas Vincent Welsh penned a Tin Pan Alley song about it.

Long may the old stone chimney stand,

CHIMNEY

The Old Stone Chimney before it was moved. Nothing crooked about it.

Upon Niagara’s shore; 

The sons of France and Britain’s band, 

They battle there no more; 

The pioneers, and sweethearts dear, 

Are sleepin on the hill, 

Where the stone chimney stands, 

In the evening gray and still,” it went.

Like many novelty songs then and now, “The Old Stone Chimney” became a minor hit and Welsh, who happened to be a close personal friend of President Theodore Roosevelt, pulled strings and led the fight for the structure’s preservation.

It stayed there for 40 years. After Walsh’s death, Carborundum decided it needed to expand, and the chimney was moved to Porter Park, only to be undermined by the construction of the Robert Moses Parkway in 1962.

The historical treasure languished and deteriorated, falling into further disrepair with each passing year given that no governmental entity was prepared to take responsibility for maintaining it.

Interestingly, like Fort Niagara itself, the flags of France, Great Britain and the United States all once flew over the old chimney and the various forts and residences that employed it.

Fort Petite Niagara was burned by the French when they left the Niagara Frontier after losing the French and Indian war to the British, but the chimney survived the fire. The British, never ones to look a gift horse in the mouth, built Fort Schlosser around the chimney at the same location in 1760.

During the War of 1812, the Americans occupied the fort, but it was captured and again burned by the British and their Indian allies the following year.

After the war, the Porter family built a private residence at the location, again using the chimney. That structure was torn down when the chimney was first moved in 1902.

The secret to the Old Stone Chimney’s longevity seems to be its usefulness. One could build a house around it today and want only for firewood to make it through next winter.

Old-Stone-Chimney

NYPA spent $1.4 million to move the Old Stone Chimney to its new location at the “spoils pile” in Niagara Falls off the Niagara Scenic Parkway. It’s kind of crooked but, hey, this is Niagara Falls!

Mayor Dyster has recently built a $44 million train station that will undoubtedly be an unpleasant memory a century from now, while the Old Stone Chimney will remain standing proud, if a bit crooked.

“There are a whole lot of interesting things that have happened here in Niagara Falls and here in Western New York,” Dyster said. “The problem is we’ve had so much history that the latest wave of history tends to sweep aside all traces of the previous wave of history.”

State Assemblyman John Ceretto, who had as little to do with the chimney relocation project as Dyster, groped similarly for something to say.

“We need little pockets of areas where people can pull off, view our waterfront, the beautiful Niagara River and the rapids downriver, and we need it  in an area where you can talk about our history and people can pull off and see it,” he asserted. “This represents one of those things that makes a parkway scenic.”

Local historian Paul Gromosiak, who has long advocated for the preservation of the chimney, was wheeled out to deliver his remarks.

“We have so many things that have happened here that have not happened any place else on Earth,” he said. “We stand out, not just with the water going over the falls but with our history, the people that came here and what they did.”

The Old Stone Chimney stands today as a reminder of what was, a glorious past carved out by bold men from an unforgiving frontier.

The fact that it is now kind of crooked serves to remind us of our most recent history.

 

22 Comments

  1. Incredible! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Excellent choice of colors!

  2. Hey there I wanted to say hi. The words in your post seem to be running off the screen in Internet explorer. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I thought I’d say something to let you know. The design and style look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon. Cheers!!

  3. You are definitely right, I’d really like to know new info on this topic! I’m as well curious about facetime since I feel it truly is quite trendy at the moment. Keep doing this!

  4. It was actually amazing to read this info and I think you’re totally right. Inform me if perhaps you are considering email account recovery, this is my major expertise. Hope to check back with you soon enough, take care!

  5. How can i extend the range of a Wireless N router? I have an Xtreme N handheld router (Dlink). I have to extend the reach in the wireless signal. I know how to do it for the G signal. I want to know how to do the idea for an N sign. Is it possible make use of regular N routers as repeaters. If so, how to configure them. Thanks for that information.

  6. I adore your blog post.. pleasant colours & style. Did an individual design this web site your self or maybe did you actually hire someone to make it work available for you? Plz respond as I!|m planning to pattern my own website along with would wish to learn in which oughout became that out of. thanks a lot

  7. sometimes skinny jeans are not comfortable to wear, i would always prefer to use loos jeans’

  8. site promotion will always be a tedious job but you can outsource site promotion on some indian or pakistani guy-

  9. It is really a great and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Hi there, simply became alert to your weblog via Google, and located that it’s truly informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate when you continue this in future. Many folks shall be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

  11. You are totally right and I totally trust you. When you wish, we might also speak regarding kik android, something that intrigues me. Your website is definitely awesome, cheers!

  12. I am really curious to learn what blog system you have been utilizing? I am experiencing several small protection challenges with my most recent website related to mobile number locator so I would love to find a thing a lot more secure. Have you got any strategies?

  13. Can I just say what a relief to find somebody who basically knows what theyre talking about on the web. You absolutely know the way to bring an issue to light and make it vital. Much more people today really need to read this and realize this side of the story. I cant think youre not additional well-known because you certainly have the gift.

  14. MY COMPLIMENTS Toward YOUR CHEF!NOT Simply just IS HE HANDSOME HE IS A Perfect Prepare dinner!Visual appearance Ahead Towards Watching HIM Moreover Try to eat THAT Outstanding Meals HE Chefs!I AM Designing In the direction of Incorporate A Wedding day Social gathering THERE Within just THE Up coming Number of Weeks ARE As a result I WILL BE Get in touch with JAMICAN HUT In the direction of Routine THE House. Seem FOWARD Toward TIPPING YOUR CHEF Truly Wonderful!

  15. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  16. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my weblog so i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  17. I really like the things you people are up to. This type of smart effort and exposure! Keep up the good work guys, I have you on my personal garageband windows download site.

  18. There are certainly amazing changes on the style of this site, I certainly enjoy it. My site is dealing with teer common no today and certainly, there are a lot of stuff to do, I’m yet still a starter in website design. Be careful!

  19. It was amazing reading this info and I believe you’re absolutely correct. Inform me in case you are curious about homework organizer, this is my primary competence. I am hoping to see you in the near future, bye for now!

  20. You are absolutely correct and I trust you. When you want, we might as well talk around aadhar card application, one thing that intrigues me. The site is really amazing, all the best!

  21. There are actually amazing upgrades on the layout of this website, I truly love that. My site is dealing with best desktop deals and presently there are plenty of things to be done, I’m still a novice in website creation. Thanks!

  22. Many thanks for creating the effort to talk about this, I feel strongly about this and enjoy learning a great deal more on this subject. If feasible, as you gain knowledge, would you mind updating your webpage with a great deal more info? It’s very useful for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/NiagaraReporter/
 
Scroll Up.wpzoom (color:black;}