Located on the Upper Niagara River in LaSalle, Griffon Park commemorates the general location where French explorer Rene-Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle, launched the first sailing ship, the Griffon, to ply the upper Great Lakes. La Salle, seeking the Northwest Passage to China and Japan, sailed the Griffon across Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. The Griffon sailed through waters to the interior of North American where previously only canoes had ventured. Filled with furs, La Salle disembarked and sent the ship back to Niagara. The Griffon disappeared along the way; never returning to Niagara and never being found. At Griffon Park, a commemorative rock details the history.
On October 13, 1812, the United States invaded Canada. Lewiston was the staging area for the Battle of Queenston Heights, the first major battle of the War of 1812. Cannons installed on the lawn of Barton Hill were aimed at the village of Queenston, across the Niagara River in Canada. Troops were quartered on Major Barton's property as well.
NYS Parks / Trails