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The War of 1812 was one of the most important historical events along the Niagara Frontier. For the people living in Upper Canada at the time, the war helped to create a uniquely Canadian identity. For Americans, it helped to prove the country was an international power. The war was fought as far south as New Orleans and as far north as Toronto and Lake Champlain, but nowhere was the fighting more intense than in the Niagara region.
During the almost three years of war, the fighting never left the Niagara Frontier. The Niagara River had formed a natural political border between the United States and British controlled Canada since the end of the Revolutionary War. Land communication was difficult in the 1800s and both sides understood water routes were the superhighways that allowed trade and troops to flow into the continent. Control of the Great Lakes and the rivers along the Canada and U.S. border was crucial for the transport of supplies, men and information.
In addition, both sides knew a determined enemy could cross the Niagara River and invade the vulnerable interior of New York or Upper Canada, the seat of British political power in Ontario. The Niagara River was protected on both sides of the border by a string of forts that saw heavy fighting throughout the war. Fighting in the region began in earnest with the Battle of Queenston Heights in October 1812 and continued until the end of the war.
The War of 1812 was the first time the United States of America had formally declared war on another nation. The war began officially on June 18, 1812 and lasted for over two years, ending with the United States ratifying the Treaty of Ghent in February of 1815. The war is considered to have ended as a stalemate but it did much to solidify both American and Canadian senses of identity.
For more information about the War of 1812, visit: http://www.pbs.org/wned/war-of-1812/home/
Funding for 1812 on the Niagara Frontier was provided by The Wilson Foundation, Warren and Barbara Goldring and Phil Lind.
The French established Fort Niagara in the late seventeenth century at the mouth of the Niagara River. For almost two centuries, it was considered one of the most strategically important military posts in North America.
Today, the fort presents that long history to the public focusing mainly on the period from the American Revolution through the Civil War, when the fort was at its strategic height. Fort Niagara features historical interpreters dressed in period clothing, a working blacksmith shop, cannon and musket demonstrations, a flag raising ceremony and interactive exhibits.
For more information about Fort Niagara, visit: http://oldfortniagara.org/
Fort George sits directly across the Niagara River from Fort Niagara. During the War of 1812, the two forts exchanged fire many times and the British used Fort George as a staging point to launch an attack to capture Fort Niagara.
Fort George provides guests with period reenactments and modern museum exhibits. The fort offers guests the opportunity to see a period meal prepared in their fully functioning kitchen, witness gun crews at work during their cannon firings and hear period military music from their fife and drum corps. In addition, one of the Fort George’s blockhouses has been converted into a modern museum that displays artifacts and information from throughout the fort’s history.
For more information about Fort George, visit: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/on/fortgeorge/index.aspx
The Erie Maritime Museum showcases the history of Lake Erie from the War of 1812 through modern times. The museum focuses on the War of 1812 and displays artifacts from the period. The centerpiece of the museum is the reconstructed Flagship Niagara.
The Niagara was the ship that won the Battle of Lake Erie, one of America’s earliest victories in the War of 1812. Today, the 300 ton reconstructed vessel is docked at the Erie Maritime Museum for visitors to explore. Groups can also reserve the ship to take out to sail on Lake Erie and experience first-hand what life was like for a sailor during the War of 1812.
For more information about the Erie Maritime Museum, visit: http://www.eriemaritimemuseum.org/
The Battle of Queenston Heights was one of the first major battles of the War of 1812. The combined forces of British regulars, Canadian militia and Native warriors threw back the attempted American invasion of Canada.
Visitors to the site can take a self-guided walking tour of the battlefield or a guided tour with an interpreter dressed in period attire. The tour highlights some of the key locations of the battle and allows visitors to experience ebb and flow of the fighting. The site also includes Brock’s Monument, which is dedicated to British General Sir Isaac Brock. Visitors can climb to the top of the monument for a bird’s-eye view of the battlefield.
Not far from the Queenston Heights battlefield is the Laura Secord Homestead. The homestead is the actual house lived in by Laura and her family and presents the civilian side of the War of 1812.
For more information about the Queenston Heights Battlefield, visit: http://www.friendsoffortgeorge.ca/bm.htm
For more information about the Laura Secord Homestead, visit: http://www.niagaraparks.com/heritage-trail/laura-secord-homestead.html
The Battle of Lundy’s Lane was one of the bloodiest battles of the War of 1812. Fought mostly at night, troops on both sides had difficulty telling friendly positions from enemy and in the confusion sometimes fired on their own men. The battle is considered a draw with both the British and the American forces suffering heavy losses.
Today, most of where the battle was fought has been swallowed by downtown Niagara Falls. The newly renovated Niagara Falls History Museum presents the history of Niagara Falls up to present day, but the heart of the collection is the War of 1812 gallery. The gallery features artifacts discovered in Niagara Falls and Lundy’s Lane.
Just a few blocks from the Niagara Falls History Museum is Drummond Hill Cemetery. The cemetery was the location of the British cannons during the Battle of Lundy’s Lane and was the scene of some of the most intense fighting of the battle. There is a monument to the battle itself as well as monuments to the British and American troops who died during the fighting.
For more information about the Niagara Falls History Museum, visit: http://www.niagarafallshistorymuseum.ca/index.php/museums/niagara-falls-history-museum/
For more information about Drummond Hill Cemetery, visit: http://www.niagarafalls.ca/city-hall/municipal-works/cemetery/locations-and-histories/drummond-hill.aspx
Established in 1764 just across Lake Erie from Buffalo, Fort Erie was of great strategic importance during the War of 1812. The fort saw heavy fighting and changed hands many times during the war; the largest and most famous battle was the Siege of Fort Erie.
Fort Erie provides visitors with a glimpse of what a prolonged siege would have been like in the 1800s. The fort’s buildings and curtain walls have been restored and outside the walls guests can walk through the siege lines that would have been used by the British during the Siege of Fort Erie. The fort also has a new visitor’s center and museum that displays artifacts from the fort and tells the personal stories of the soldiers who fought during the siege. The fort also has one of the longest running Native interpretive programs of any War of 1812 historic site in the region.
For more information about Fort Erie, visit: http://www.niagaraparks.com/old-fort-erie/
Fort York was built in 1793 in the village of York, which would eventually grow into the city of Toronto. When the Americans took the Fort in 1813, they burned much of the village of York including the buildings housing the Upper Canadian legislative assembly. These acts of destruction lead to the burning of Buffalo and Washington D.C. by the British the following year.
Fort York was reconstructed in 1814 and many of those building still stand today. The fort sits in downtown Toronto and provides visitors with a link to the city’s earliest beginnings. Interpreters in period dress escort visitors around the fort’s many buildings and displays and provide demonstrations such as musket firings and period military drill.
For more information about Fort York, visit: http://www.toronto.ca/culture/museums/fort-york.htm
The War of 1812 was one of the most important historical events along the Niagara Frontier. It had a profound impact on the development of both the United States and Canada and is still relevant to both countries today.
"1812 on the Niagara Frontier" is a local, contemporary follow up to the WNED-TV production "The War of 1812." "1812 on the Niagara Frontier" explores sites around the Niagara region dedicated to preserving and presenting this history to the public. The program focuses on the sites as destinations and captures the visitor experience at each location. From cannon firings and musket demonstrations, to interactive museums and costumed reenactments, "1812 on the Niagara Frontier" captures the passion each of these unique locations brings to the history of the War of 1812.
Name: Fort NiagaraLocation: Youngstown, N.Y.Contact information: P) 716-745-7611Website
Name: Fort GeorgeLocation: Niagara-on-the-Lake, OntarioContact information: P) 905-468-6614 E)
Name: Erie Maritime MuseumLocation: Erie, Pa.Contact information: P) 814-452-2744 E)
Name: Queenston Heights/Brock’s MonumentLocation: Queenston, OntarioContact information: P) 905-468-6621 E)
Name: Laura Secord HomesteadLocation: Queenston, OntarioContact information: P) 1-877-642-7275 ext. 2Website
Name: Lundy’s Lane Battlefield/Niagara Falls History MuseumLocation: Niagara Falls, OntarioContact information: P) 905-358-5082Website
Name: Drummond Hill CemeteryLocation: Niagara Falls, OntarioContact information: N/AWebsite
Name: Fort ErieLocation: Fort Erie, OntarioContact information: P) 1-877-642-7275 ext. 2 E)
Name: Fort YorkLocation: Toronto, OntarioContact information: P) 416-392-6907 E)
There is a one in four chance that your teenage son or daughter has tried prescription medications that were not prescribed to them by your family physician or dentist. In the last ten years, addiction to painkiller medications and prescriptions has increased 400% and taken hold in our communities. Every 19 minutes in our country, we lose a person to opiate addiction, which is no different than taking heroin.
Tragedy and Hope: Stories of Painkiller AddictionTuesday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. on WNED-TVWNED-TV’s production, “Tragedy & Hope: Stories of Painkiller Addiction,” shares the experiences of young people from Western New York who are struggling with addiction recovery. Most of the young people are making progress towards wellness and they discuss their long term fight for recovery; others have not been as fortunate. By utilizing their personal stories backed by addiction treatment specialists, researchers and parent insights, the hope is to raise awareness and advocacy for this serious epidemic in our community. Prescription painkiller addiction has no gender, race, or social status symbolism; it can affect anyone, at any age. We encourage you to watch this program with your entire family, no matter how old or young they are. Get informed and take action.Tragedy and Hope: A Call to ActionTuesday, Nov. 12 at 9 p.m. on WNED-TV Broadcast live from the WNED studio, “Tragedy and Hope: A Call to Action” features the WNED-TV produced documentary “Tragedy and Hope – Stories of Painkiller Addiction.” The program will air in segments, breaking away to the studio for follow up discussion with parents and local experts, designed to increase awareness of an epidemic plaguing our teens – addiction to prescription painkillers and other medications. Drug counseling volunteers from our community partnerships will be on hand to take phone calls from viewers and offer information packets to those interested in further information on the epidemic of painkiller addiction.
Educator and Community Resources Classroom and community engagement resources & lesson plans are being developed for middle, high school, and collegiate students as well as for parents and community groups. Find more information about these valuable resources here in November 2013.
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