Sunday, April 5, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Saturday, October 18, 2008
DATE: December 30, 1813 LOCATION: Black Rock and Buffalo, New York VICTORY: British COMMANDERS: Gen. Amos Hall (American)/ Maj. Gen. Phineas Riall (British) CASUALTIES: AMERICAN................ ( 1,200 men) 30 -KILLED/ 40 -WOUNDED/ 69 - CAPTURED BRITISH/INDIANS...... ( 500 regular, 500 Indian) 112 -KILLED, WOUNDED, & MISSING BATTLE DESCRIPTION: As soon as Fort Niagara had been captured, the British under the command of Maj. Gen. Phineas Riall, marched down the American side of the Niagara River. They were till seeking revenge for the burning of Newark. Riall had 500 regulars and 500 Indian warriors with him. They marched through Lewiston, Manchester, and Youngstown burning every farm building for several miles inland from the river. Meanwhile, a company of British troops approached Fort Schlosser, a little ways before the fort. They captured a blockhouse and took 8 Americans prisoner. The Niagara Frontier on the U.S. side of the Niagara River was now in flames. There was almost no resistance, although the Canadian Volunteers destroyed the bridge over the Tonawanda Creek, but Wilcox and his men could at best only delay the inevitable. The Americans were surprised again on December 30 when Riall came back. His objective was to capture any supplies that could be moved and destroy the rest, including any American ships wintering in Buffalo or Black Rock, and any other buildings that might shelter the American army were to be burned. Lt. Gen. Sir Gordon Drummond was a man of action and a strict disciplinarian. He wished to avoid the ransacking of American property that had been the trademark of the American occupation on the Niagara peninsula. His orders for the raid on Buffalo and Black Rock were that any men caught looting would be put to death as punishment. The British forces crossed the captured bridge over the Scajaquada Creek. The cannons were booming at Black Rock. The American Gen. Amos Hall had 1,200 men with him. They put up a fight for awhile, but the militia gave way and retreated through Buffalo. Riall burned both towns of Black Rock and Buffalo and all the buildings that he had missed on his first raid. One serious loss to the Americans was the destruction of 3 of Commodore Oliver H. Perry's small schooners, which were at Black Rock for the winter. The British departed and left a garrison at Fort Niagara. The Buffalo citizens slowly returned to their village. The British had burned the frontier from Buffalo through Black Rock to Eighteen Mile Creek. They destroyed 333 buildings in all, and in Buffalo, only 3 were left standing. Sir George Prevost followed this action with a proclamation that stated his regrets that the British troops had been forced to take measures "so little congenial to the British charactor". He ended the statement with the suggestion that the Americans had better behave themselves in the future. The fires of Buffalo finally died down, but the scorched earth policy was not be the end. Both American and British armies alike had the same thought, "Fire breeds fire and revenge breeds revenge". Before the war would end, more homes and buildings would be burned on both sides of the border, from the smallest cottage to the America's capitol, the White House in Washington, D.C.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Every year hard working volunteers do there part to try and cleanup a century of neglect in and around Scajaquada creek but why is this area adjacent to the mouth of the creek in the Black Rock Canal always ignored? I'm sure plenty of people would volunteer if the powers at be would make this a priority. The location of this mess makes it very difficult, dangerous and imposable for an effective cleanup by hand . A barge and heavy equipment would most likely have to be used. This is the pile of shit that you see when going to and from the north end of Squaw Island via the International RR Bridge.
Nature Watch / By Gerry Rising
Scajaquada Creek may be down, but don’t count it out
Updated: 09/23/07 5:40 AM
- Gerry Rising
Originating from several springs in Lancaster and flowing to its outlet at Black Rock on the Niagara River, Scajaquada Creek is about 13 miles long and its entire watershed is only 29 square miles.
The early explorer Robert LaSalle launched his ship, Griffon, here in 1679 and America’s first naval yard was established near the creek’s mouth in 1812 to help build Oliver Hazard Perry’s Lake Erie fleet.
In the 1880s, Frederick Law Olmsted designed Delaware Park on its banks, damming the creek to form “Gala Water,” now renamed Hoyt Lake after the late State Assemblyman William Hoyt.
But the lake’s condition has been almost all downhill from there.
The 1901 Pan-American Exhibition not only disturbed the area but also encouraged Buffalo’s expansion northward. To support this urban extension in the 1920s, a tunnel was constructed which buried four miles of the stream from Pine Ridge Road to the middle of Forest Lawn Cemetery. Along much of its length — including in this tunnel — storm sewers empty sewage overflow into the creek. As one result, another underground section from the edge of the cemetery around Hoyt Lake is badly silted and almost blocked. Another buried section is under the Walden Galleria Mall in Cheektowaga.
Then came the expressway, which not only took up much of the remaining open land but also divided it and reduced the size of Hoyt Lake. A dam was constructed to separate the cleaner waters of Hoyt Lake from the now seriously polluted creek.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Black Rock section of the Erie Canal has raised the water level above that of the river, severely reducing the outflow from the Scajaquada.
Even some of the steps taken to improve the area backfired. For example, the damming of Hoyt Lake began to turn it into a stagnant deoxygenated pond. A well was added to pump fresh spring water into the lake and the problem was solved. Indeed, but this created another problem. The pump reduced the underground aquifer and began to drain Forest Lawn’s lovely Mirror Lake a quarter mile away. Now cemetery staff must purchase citytreated water (run into its property through an ugly fire hose) to maintain the level of that lake.
Today almost 100,000 people live in the Scajaquada Creek watershed, which also includes Buffalo State, Canisius and Villa Maria Colleges, McKinley and Cheektowaga Union High Schools and the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. Although much of the industry that lined its shores is now gone, those plants left their mark in the stream’s contaminated sediments.
What a mess. A beautiful stream has been turned into a sewer.Yet old Scajaquada ain’t quite dead yet and even shows some signs of recovery. Yes, on our hike, Brooks and I saw many problem areas, but most of our walk was through attractive parklands. We identified wildflowers, birds and insects. Despite the damage wreaked by last year’s October storm, many lovely trees remain. In the water under the shadow of a willow, a snapping turtle showed its head. And Hoyt Lake remains a fitting tribute to a man who was one of the region’s finest politicians.
A single individual is responsible for one major improvement. Jesse Kregal, a tympany player with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, has been pressing officials for more than a decade to construct a biking and walking trail along the creek from Delaware Park to the Niagara Riverwalk. This month that trail has been completed.
Hundreds of volunteers taking part in the annual Great Lakes Beach Sweep recently took tons of refuse and dozens of shopping carts from along the stream.
Of course more needs to be done, but I was encouraged by a woman we met walking her dog. Seeing us taking pictures of trash in the creek, she asked who we were. When Brooks identified himself and Riverkeeper goals, she announced that she would be his ambassador among her many friends. Me, too.