Senator Bush and his family lived in the mansion for the next 50 years. The view of Niagara Falls was available from the many windows on the upper floors, the balconies and from a little stone turret built into one wing of the mansion.
Following the death of Senator Bush, his daughter Miss Josephine Bush continued to live in the mansion until 1927. In 1928, Miss Bush sold the Bush Estate to Sir Harry Oakes, and the mansion was later torn down by June 1, 1937.
By the time that Sir Harry Oakes
purchased this land, tourism was beginning to boom in Niagara Falls and Oakes knew to capitalize on that. Oakes was a Parks Commissioner who donated the piece of land in which the Oakes Garden Theatre currently resides to the Niagara Parks Commission
, in exchange for another plot of land located just above the park, which is today the south side of Clifton Hill, with the current large chain of attractions, restaurants and retail outlets still owned and operated by the Oakes family.
Before he made the exchange though, Oakes wanted to create something beautiful. He began to hire individuals such as architect Dunington-Grubb, Stensson, and William Lyon Somerville to create an intricate design of gardens and stone sculptures in 1937. The garden was officially open to the public in 1937 and in memory and in honor of Harry Oakes the garden was named Oakes Garden Theatre to pay tribute to all the hard work and dedication he put into the creation of this new beautiful spot in Niagara to visit. It officially opened on September 18, 1937. Oakes Garden Theatre is fan-shaped, with the stage placed with the Niagara Falls as a natural backdrop.
The Oakes Garden Theatre
is located at the foot of Clifton Hill and the Niagara Parkway. The two open pavilions were deliberately designed so that one was perfectly aligned on the axis of the Horseshoe Falls, and the other with the American Falls.