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Cascade Street Ore Docks

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As you walk up the Bluff Access Walkway towards the foot of Cascade Street, look back to the waterfront. You are looking at what was once the old Cascade Street Ore Docks.
In 1812, a naval yard was built at the mouth of Lee's Run, a small stream which emptied into the bay at the foot of what is now Sassafras Street. On January 1, 1813, the construction of a 300 ton brig was authorized, and on February 16, this authorization was amended to include a second 300 ton brig – the Brig Niagara and the Brig Lawrence. Because it was felt there was not sufficient water depth at Lee's Run to launch the brigs, a second yard was established at the mouth of Cascade Creek one mile west of the village of Erie. The two yards were connected by a roadway which ran along the beach below the bluff. The Cascade Street naval yard was abandoned after the War of 1812.
Fifty years later, the introduction of the railroads altered the configuration of the waterfront again. The Erie and Pittsburgh Railroad built extensive docks for both iron ore and bituminous coal in 1864 on the site of the original navy yard at the foot of Cascade Street. Four years later this facility was connected with Reed's Wharf at the foot of Sassafras Street by a railroad track along the shoreline and protected on the bayside by a retaining wall of timbers nearly a mile in length.
During construction of the Bayfront Highway, between 1989 and 1993, the Cascade Ore Docks rail connector was removed.
The Bluff Access Walkway ends at the intersection of Cascade and W. 2nd Streets. To get to the Bayfront Promenade, walk east on W. 2nd Street to Plum Street, and then walk north on Plum Street one block to W. Front Street. Walk east on W. Front Street for two blocks. The trailhead for the Bayfront Promenade is located at the foot of Poplar Street.
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