In the grander scheme, the Battle of Ridgeway gets all the glory when it comes to the limited history of the Fenian Raids of 1866. And yet a second skirmish took place almost instantly after the one at Ridgeway. The sad fact is that both battles could have been avoided and maybe the whole matter could have been better remembered. But to understand where the Battle of Fort Erie came from, we must first go back to Port Colborne, where we split off last week on the 1st of June 1866. Lieutenant-Colonel John Stoughton Dennis felt left out, a blow to his fragile ego. DespiteRead More →

The year was 1865, the American Civil War had ended, and four British Provinces in British North America decided to unite under what is called Canadian Confederation. And a large group of Irish Americans were wondering what their next step would be, and John O’Mahoney found himself at a crossroads. The Fenian Brotherhood hit its stride during the Civil War and now had money and manpower to spare. Plus all their members who served in both armies during the war had either kept or purchased their own equipment, the Fenians had an army that could easily stand up to the American Army of the day.Read More →

If you’ve ever crossed from Canada into the United States through one of the four land crossings in the Niagara Region, or have been shopping in Buffalo, there is an excellent chance that one of those crossings took place at Fort Erie on the Peace Bridge. If you’ve ever wondered how the small town got that name, take a drive just past the Mather Arch along Lakeshore Road, and you’ll find a small squat stone fort standing on a hill above Lake Erie. This is Olde Fort Erie and the source of the town’s eventual name of Fort Erie. The Old Fort is also oneRead More →