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Fort George, Ontario

Fort George, Ontario

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Fort George National Historic Site is a historic military structure at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Niagara-on-the-Lake is a Canadian town located in Southern Ontario where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario in the Niagara Region of the southern part of the province of Ontario. It is located across the Niagara river from Youngstown, New York, USA...

, that was the scene of several battles during the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

. The fort consists of earthworks
Earthworks (engineering)
Earthworks are engineering works created through the moving or processing of quantities of soil or unformed rock.- Civil engineering use :Typical earthworks include roads, railway beds, causeways, dams, levees, canals, and berms...

 and palisade
Palisade
A palisade is a steel or wooden fence or wall of variable height, usually used as a defensive structure.- Typical construction :Typical construction consisted of small or mid sized tree trunks aligned vertically, with no spacing in between. The trunks were sharpened or pointed at the top, and were...

s, along with internal structures, including an officer's quarters, blockhouse
Blockhouse
In military science, a blockhouse is a small, isolated fort in the form of a single building. It serves as a defensive strong point against any enemy that does not possess siege equipment or, in modern times, artillery...

s to accommodate other ranks and their families, and a stone powder magazine
Magazine (artillery)
Magazine is the name for an item or place within which ammunition is stored. It is taken from the Arabic word "makahazin" meaning "warehouse".-Ammunition storage areas:...

, which is the only original building on the site. Opposite the fort, across the Niagara River
Niagara River
The Niagara River flows north from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. It forms part of the border between the Province of Ontario in Canada and New York State in the United States. There are differing theories as to the origin of the name of the river...

, stands Fort Niagara
Fort Niagara
Fort Niagara is a fortification originally built to protect the interests of New France in North America. It is located near Youngstown, New York, on the eastern bank of the Niagara River at its mouth, on Lake Ontario.-Origin:...

 in New York, which can be seen from Fort George's rampart
Defensive wall
A defensive wall is a fortification used to protect a city or settlement from potential aggressors. In ancient to modern times, they were used to enclose settlements...

s.

Fort George was built by the British Army after Jay's Treaty (1796) required Britain to withdraw from Fort Niagara. The new fort was completed in 1802 and became the headquarters for the British Army and the local militia.

Fort George was captured by U.S. forces in May 1813 at the Battle of Fort George
Battle of Fort George
The Battle of Fort George was a battle fought during the War of 1812, in which the Americans defeated a British force and captured the Fort George in Upper Canada...

. The American Army used the fort as a base to invade Upper Canada
Upper Canada
The Province of Upper Canada was a political division in British Canada established in 1791 by the British Empire to govern the central third of the lands in British North America and to accommodate Loyalist refugees from the United States of America after the American Revolution...

, but were repelled at the Battles of Stoney Creek
Battle of Stoney Creek
The Battle of Stoney Creek was fought on 6 June 1813 during the War of 1812 near present day Stoney Creek, Ontario. British units made a night attack on an American encampment...

 and Beaver Dams
Battle of Beaver Dams
The Battle of Beaver Dams took place on 24 June 1813, during the War of 1812. An American column marched from Fort George and attempted to surprise a British outpost at Beaver Dams, billeting themselves overnight in the village of Queenston, Ontario...

. The fort was retaken by the British Army in December of that year after U.S. forces abandoned the British side of the river.

The fortification
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

 was used by the Canadian Army as a military training base during the First World War and through the Second World War under the name Camp Niagara. The grounds were eventually abandoned by the military in 1965.

The site is now a National Historic Site of Canada, maintained by Parks Canada
Parks Canada
Parks Canada , also known as the Parks Canada Agency , is an agency of the Government of Canada mandated to protect and present nationally significant natural and cultural heritage, and foster public understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative...

. The fort is open to visitors from April to October. The staff maintains the image of the fort as it was during the early 19th century, with period costumes, exhibits, and displays of that time. They train summer students in the infantry tactics and firing drills of the 41st regiment from the War of 1812. They also have the 41st Fife and Drum Corps which provides an example of how the fife and drums were used.

Every year, scouts from both the United States and Canada meet on and near the grounds of the fort and reenact the battle that took place nearly two hundred years ago. This has taken place since 1984 and has grown from a small group of 300 "troops" to over 1800.

The grounds surrounding the fort and the commons adjacent to the fort provided the site for the 8th World Scout Jamboree
8th World Scout Jamboree
The 8th World Scout Jamboree was held in 1955 and was hosted by Canada at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The Jamboree saw the introduction of the World Membership Badge which is still worn on the uniforms of Scouts the world over....

 held in August 1955.

Fort George National Historic Site is one of a handful of sites managed under the administrative name "Niagara National Historic Sites" by Parks Canada, within the National Park System.

The television show The Girly Ghosthunters
The Girly Ghosthunters
The Girly Ghosthunters was a 30-minute Canadian paranormal TV series. It was first broadcast on Friday, January 14, 2005, on the Canadian SPACE speciality channel. The thirteenth and last episode was broadcast April 15, 2005. The show featured four young women visiting alleged and/or documented...

paid a visit to the fort to investigate any paranormal activity that was allegedly documented there. The episode was shown as the second, of thirteen, episodes of the show in 2005.

Interpretation and reenactment


The interpreters and infantry members are dressed in period dress and uniforms. Infantry soldiers, officers and fifes and drums are dressed representing the 41st Regiment of Foot.

Affiliations


The museum is affiliated with: Canadian Museums Association
Canadian Museums Association
The Canadian Museums Association is a national organization for the promotion of museums in Canada.The Canadian Museums Association is the national organization for the advancement of the Canadian museum sector, representing Canadian museum professionals both within Canada and internationally. The...

, Canadian Heritage Information Network
Canadian Heritage Information Network
The Canadian Heritage Information Network is a Canadian government-supported organization that provides a networked interface to Canada's heritage, largely through the World Wide Web. It aims to give access to Canada's heritage for both Canadians and a worldwide audience, by supporting the...

, and Virtual Museum of Canada
Virtual Museum of Canada
The Virtual Museum of Canada is Canada's national virtual museum. With a directory of over 3,000 Canadian heritage institutions and a database of over 600 virtual exhibits, the VMC brings together Canada's museums regardless of size or geographical location.The VMC includes virtual exhibits,...

 and also the Upper Canada heritage centre. It has been a historical site since the mid' 1900.

See also


  • Chronology of the War of 1812
    Chronology of the War of 1812
    -Origins:-1812:-1813:-1814:-1815:-External links:********...

  • War of 1812 Campaigns
    War of 1812 Campaigns
    The following is a synopsis of the Land Campaigns of the War of 1812. The source is the United States Army Center of Military History-Canada, 18 June 1812 — 17 February 1815:...

  • List of forts
  • War of 1812
    War of 1812
    The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

  • Upper Canada
    Upper Canada
    The Province of Upper Canada was a political division in British Canada established in 1791 by the British Empire to govern the central third of the lands in British North America and to accommodate Loyalist refugees from the United States of America after the American Revolution...

  • Fort Mississauga National Historic Site
    Fort Mississauga
    Fort Mississauga National Historic Site is a fort along the shore of Lake Ontario, not far from the Niagara River in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The fort today consists of a box–shaped brick tower and historic star–shaped earthworks—the only one in the country...

  • Fort Niagara
    Fort Niagara
    Fort Niagara is a fortification originally built to protect the interests of New France in North America. It is located near Youngstown, New York, on the eastern bank of the Niagara River at its mouth, on Lake Ontario.-Origin:...

  • Fort Schlosser
    Fort Schlosser
    Fort Schlosser was a fortification built in Western New York in the USA around 1760 by British Colonial forces, in order to guard the upper entrance to the portage around Niagara Falls, near the Porter-Barton Dock. It was named for its first commander, Captain Schlosser, a practice that was common...


External links