Going north from the City of Buffalo we should find a narrow strip of land running north with a body of water on its left and right. Indeed, that is what we find, although the water on the right is smaller today. This strip of land was fought over by the English, French and Indians throughout the 1700’s just like during Book of Mormon times and was called the “Niagara Strip” or Mile Strip:
New York Reservation is the Narrow Neck/Passage (Map of the Genesee Lands – 1798, Holland Land Company Map Collection)
Because Niagara Falls created an insurmountable obstacle for shipping good and materials by water, a transportation route or detour around the Falls had to be created. The land route around the Falls was called the portage, and Lewiston was the major drop off point for shipped goods and materials that were transported on the portage. (Barbara I. Hill, Janet M. Domzella, Kenneth Tracey, Lewiston: A Self-Guided Tour, Friends of the Lewiston Library, Inc., 1986. url: www.historiclewiston.org/history.html)
The word “Niagara” actually means “neck”:
Niagara Falls. This name is Mohawk. It means, according to Mrs. Kerr, the neck; the term being first applied to the portage or neck of land, between lakes Erie and Ontario. (Henry Schoolcraft, Notes on the Iroquois, 1847, pp. 453)
The portage took place on the east side of the falls not the west, a detail Book of Mormon geography enthusiast Duane R. Aston tried to obscure as he sought to use the reference in support of his model to identify the entire Niagara Peninsula as the Narrow Neck:
As it turns out, the narrow neck of land at Niagara has been historically referred to as “the neck” of land, since the days of the early European colonists. Mention of the “neck at Niagara” can be found in pre-Book of Mormon references. (Aston, Return to Cumorah, p. 21)
Aston then quotes the Schoolcraft reference, however, the Schoolcraft reference refutes his claim altogether; portage was on the east not west.
From eye level, i.e. Mormon’s view, the 50 mile wide Niagara Peninsula would not have seemed “small.” Nor is there any mention of the need to cross a giant, insurmountable gorge – the Niagara Gorge – to reach the Narrow Neck; plus IT’S IN CANADA!
Niagara Peninsula – Wikipedia
Duane R. Aston, Return to Cumorah, 1998, inside cover.
Another error perpetuated by Mesotheorists is that Cumorah was by the Narrow Neck: