Fort Erie is a small town on the north shore of Lake Erie and the Niagara River, on the Canadian side of the border. In the late 18th century the British built a small fort there to protect the south end of the Portage Road that ran from Lake Ontario down the Canadian side of the Niagara River. During the War of 1812 this small fort changed hands between the British and Canadians a number of times, the final time being in 1814 when it was captured by the Americans. From August to September of 1814 the British attempted to recapture this post but failed to do so. With winter setting in the British retreated to their defence line on the Chippewa River. After some inconclusive skirmishing by the Americans against these lines, the Americans blew up the fort and retreated to Buffalo New York.