In 1720 – 300 years ago – French diplomat, trader and military officer Louis Thomas Chabert de Joncaire established Le Magazin Royal, a trading post at the Lower Landing of the Niagara, where Artpark State Park stands today.
The Historical Association of Lewiston, the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area, Artpark and Old Fort Niagara teamed up to commemorate the event with a reenactment of Joncaire’s landing.
Three hundred years ago, Louis-Thomas Chabert de Joncaire established Niagara's first trading post where the “Painted Parking Lot” now sits at Artpark’s VIP drive-in area. Saturday was the 300th anniversary celebration commemorating the opening of this trading post.
Traders brought trade goods up from the river through original gully to trade with Native Americans. There were demonstrations of period cooking – with cornbread made the way Native Americans first made it – wampum displays, and artifacts from the early traders in the area, plus native dancing.
The day ended with the British showing up and demanding the trading post be torn down, which didn't go well for them. The trading post stood until 1726 when Fort Niagara was constructed.
Traders carry goods up the gully to trade with the Native Americans. (Photo by Wayne Peters)
The French and British argue about Joncaire's trading post. (Photo by Wayne Peters)