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Letter: One voice can tip the scales to improve historical sites

One voice can tip the scales to improve historical sites

I spent the better part of 2001 to 2003 writing letters to every one of my local, county, state and federal representatives about returning the Buffalo waterfront to its original glory.

The great work of Samuel Wilkeson in bringing the terminus of the Erie Canal to our city had gone long unnoticed, and I believed if we restored the Central Wharf, the commercial slip to honor that history, Buffalo could grow and flourish once again. I was called a dreamer. I am not naïve enough to believe that “my” voice was the one that brought change, but my voice, added to a chorus of others, did.

I am also a believer in the power of one. That one last voice that tips the scales of change.

Last weekend, I attended my granddaughter’s soccer tournament at Fort Niagara State Park. There was some time between games so my daughter and I walked around the grounds. The work that has been done on the fort is absolutely wonderful. However, on our walk, I found two treasures. Two beautiful brick buildings that are sitting empty and deteriorating quickly.

One must have been a barracks at some point, a lovely red brick building that would make a wonderful historic hotel and a large home that would be a perfect bed and breakfast, both perfect extensions of the work being done to revitalize Western New York and make it a destination not to be denied. I did speak to a friend who was a long-time employee of the fort and he told me that there was such a plan but the developer died of a heart attack just before work was to begin.

There is much to enjoy in Niagara County; Niagara Falls, Lewiston, Youngstown, all wonderful destinations that would draw people to both of these venues. Treat yourself to a walk around the grounds at Fort Niagara and add your voice to mine and let’s watch what happens.

Katie Chadwick