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Battle of Fort George
Fort George, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Gary

by Festival Nomad, Gary McWilliams

Niagara-on-the-Lake...
Judi and I love to visit Niagara-on-the-Lake, and so does our friend, Paul Putman. When I read that Fort George was staging the re-enactment Battle of Fort George, I knew that we had to go! I phoned Paul and asked him if he’d like to go with us and he immediately said yes. With that, we all bundled into our car on a beautiful Saturday morning and made our way to Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Battle of Fort George. Paul is a little unsteady on his feet so we made arrangements for Paul and Judi to enjoy a wonderful lunch in downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake. This way I could take my time and enjoy the Battle!

The Battle of Fort George...
I arrived at Fort George just in time for the start of the Battle. British/Canadian troops and American troops were spread out over a large field. If you have never been to a battle re-enactment, you should go! It’s very exciting! There were about 250 re-enactors participating in the battle. Shortly after the battle began, gun and cannon smoke filled the air. Soldiers charged forward and then fell back. Rifle and cannon shots rang out, and soldiers on the battlefield dropped down "dead". It was all, of course, a wonderful act, but one that demonstrated both the heroics and horror of war. It’s amazing to think that even though both sides fought so furiously that we ultimately became good friends! A friendship that has lasted almost 200 years. After the Battle of Fort George was over, the on looking crown was invited to explore Fort George. Before going into the Fort, I introduced myself to the event organizer, Peter Martin.

Fort George...
Judi and I have been to Niagara-on-the-Lake many times, and have even driven past the Fort, but we have never been inside. So this was going to be my first visit. Unlike Fort Henry in Kingston, which we have visited a few times, Fort George is an older Fort with the fortifications made from wood logs. The ends of the logs are pointed and sharp! The layout inside the Fort is simple and the buildings include two Blockhouses, a Flag Bastion, Gun Shed, Officer’s Quarters, Officer’s Kitchen, Artificer’s Building, Powder Magazine (which was the only fort building to survive the War of 1812 and the neglect of years since). The Fort has a great legend map to follow and gives you a quick glimpse of the many more buildings and artifacts to see and learn about. With my camera full of great photos, it was time to take my leave and find Judi and Paul on the downtown streets close by at Niagara-on-the-Lake. So much more to discover, but a great way to spend a day with your family and friends!

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