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Niagara Falls
Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Exploring History: Brock’s cenotaph

On Clarence Street, in the village of Queenston, stands this monument, placed by His Royal Highness, Edward Albert, Prince of Wales, on Sept. 18, 1860. The inscription on the north face reads “near this spot, Major-General Sir Isaac Brock KCB Provisional Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada fell on 18 October 1812 while advancing to repel the invading enemy.” The new Brock Monument is clearly visible in the background (the original monument was bombed in 1840). It was completed in 1856 and was dedicated Oct. 13, 1859, the year before the monument in the foreground. An excursion car of the Niagara Falls Park & River Railway (the Great Gorge Route) is downbound toward Queenston Dock to pick up tourists arriving there from Toronto by boat. The track it is on is now Queenston Street. Another set of stairs leads to York Road, which also supported the rail line that carried the “Circle Route” Great Gorge cars across the Niagara River suspension bridge joining Queenston to Lewiston, N.Y. Note the white poles that carry the catanery, or the overhead electric cable, that the trolley cars used for power along the Queenston Street right-of-way, and also halfway up the bluff, just below Brock’s Monument, where the rail line crept precariously up the escarpment. The car appears to be one of the 500 series J.G. Brill-built cars constructed in 1900 in Philadelphia and rebuilt locally by the International Traction Company in 1912. This picture was taken shortly after that rebuilding, well before abandonment of the line in 1932.

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