October 30, 2013

The War of 1812

[This post is part II to our Niagara adventure this past summer with our friends from Alaska.  You can find part I, all about our wine town in Niagara Wine Country, here.]

After a dreaded and sad goodbye to our Alaskan friends visiting for our wedding this past summer, Steve and I weren't yet ready to leave Niagara-on-the-Lake.  Is it crazy that we fell in love with this area so much that we even talked about living there one day?  But, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Situated along the Niagara River where it empties into Lake Ontario, Fort George once stood as the headquarters for part of the British Army during the War of 1812.

Fort George, The War of 1812

To protect their interests in Upper Canada, the British constructed a fort along the Niagara River, as control of the river supply route was essential to the survival of the British forts west of the Niagara region. By 1802, Fort George had been completed and became headquarters for the British army, local militia and the Indian Department. However, in May 1813, Fort George was captured and destroyed by American artillery fire when the U.S. forces tried to use the fort as a base to invade the rest of Upper Canada. After a seven month occupation, the fort was retaken and remained in British hands for the remainder of the war. Although little changed geographically at the end of the war, the hardships of soldiers and civilians alike during the war very much forged the two separate identities of the United States and Canada.

Fort George, The War of 1812

After the war the fort was partially rebuilt, and during the 1930's the Fort was reconstructed as a National Historic Site. Today, the friendly and well informed staff dressed in period costumes offered a variety of programs, including musket and military music demonstrations, and insights into life of a garrison (a body of troops stationed in a particular location), bringing the fort to life. Despite the mid-summer heat, we thoroughly enjoyed exploring the restored buildings including the soldier barracks, officer's quarters and guard house/military prison and learning more about the early beginnings of the place we call home.

Fort George is probably not going to be the first on your "Niagara Falls area to-do list", but it is definitely of interest to any one that enjoys history.

Who knew this much history was in our own backyard?

Fort George, The War of 1812
Fort George, The War of 1812
Fort George, The War of 1812

Do you enjoy learning about your local history? 


In sad news, we lost our faithful ultimate road trip companion, Mo, this week. Some people may turn up their nose or judge us for having a small rodent as a pet, but his almost cat-like attitude changed a lot of peoples' perceptions of mice. He was one of a kind and as a friend recently told me, "The littlest creatures can capture our hearts in the biggest way." So much love came in that little package. We'll miss you little buddy!



  1. I love Fort George! I worked at Parks Canada for 4 years in highschool/university so have traveled to a fair number of the historic sites across Ontario.

  2. While trying to dodge the last ten minutes of work, I just stumbled across your blog.

    I'm so sorry for your loss of Mo. I've had two hamster in my day and losing them wasn't easy.

    I'll be thinking of you!
    Also -- I love your blog. I'll be coming back for more!


  3. I love visiting historical sites and that's probably my number one complaint about living in Alaska is the lack of them.

    So sorry about your sweet little guy :(


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