Negotiations to bring a higher-education campus to the small town of Germantown began in 1885, initially to be a satellite campus of the Cincinnati Wesleyan College, however that did not end up being the case, and the town council found themselves in the office of Orvon Graff Brown, who at the time was the president of the Ohio Conservatory of Music and the School of Oratory. Brown agreed to build a branch of his own College in Germantown. But by 1886 Brown was set on establishing a whole new college in the town and by 1888 the Twin Valley College was established by charter, andRead More →

The British Capture of Fort Niagara is one of many controversial engagements of the Anglo-American War of 1812 and certainly marked a shift in the tactics of both the British and Americans in the final year of the war. General Gordon Drummond’s orders came on the heels of the destruction of the town of Niagara, today Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, by the Americans and a group of traitorous Canadians. While the exact details of the destruction were blown out of proportion to justify the brutality of the capture better, it none the less is a dark stain on the British record of the war. Fort Niagara asRead More →

One of the best-kept secrets of Niagara-On-The-Lake is the fact that the town itself has risen from the literal ashes to the quiet tourist town that it is today. If you take a close look at many of the historic buildings most don’t date any further back than 1813, and there’s a reason for that, considering how old the community is. Founded originally in 1781 as Butlersburg, as many of the original settlers were members of the Loyalist Irregular unit known as Butler’s Rangers, would take on the name West Niagara. When Upper Canada was officially established, John Graves Simcoe renamed the town again toRead More →

Thinking inside the box is one thing that George Eastman did not do, that became very clear after a visit to the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY. But in the case of this entry, the box is what I was thinking in. Using box cameras is not something new to me, having used my mom’s Agfa Box 50 in the past and loved the format. This is a basic of a camera as you can get without going to a pinhole. The camera is mostly cardboard, metal on the insides, a single lens, rolling shutting, fixed aperature. Meet the Kodak Brownie Model 2, theRead More →

She is the stuff of legends, a hero in her own right, a hull of iron, and undefeated in battle. A mighty sailing ship that spans the course of three centuries, and still able to move under her own power, she’s called Old Ironsides, but her real name is the US Frigate Constitution (38). And while the history of the Constution extends both before and long after the Anglo-American War of 1812. And while the ship is not a fort, person, battle, or location, it played a major role in the war and adds to the overall mythos that has surrounded the war in theseRead More →

By the end of summer 1814, the jig was up for the American invasion. While they had managed to strike at the British and nearly pushed them off the Niagara peninsula again, the new commander-in-chief of the British forces in Upper Canada was going to have none of that. Following the quick movements, it all turned around at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane and General Drummond managed to push the Americans back to their beachhead at the now heavily fortified Fort Erie where the Americans had started not a month earlier. And Drummond would begin his siege that would lead up to one of theRead More →

Following a series of defeats that saw the surrender of three American Armies and the British in control of the entire Michigan Territory from Ohio to Mackinac Island, General Henry Dearborn needed a new plan, one that would not only boost the morale of his troops, but give Washington DC a swift victory that they had been expecting. It was again decided that a three-pronged assault would be enough to force the British retreat and surrender from Upper Canada. But it didn’t go exactly to plan. Dearborn believed the false report that 8,000 British Regulars garrisoned Kingston, home to the Royal Navy Squadron on LakeRead More →

The Battle of Stoney Creek is recognized by many as one of the engagements that saved Upper Canada. And they would be right, by the end of May 1813 the British Army having been defeated at the Battle of Fort George retreated from the Niagara frontier and established a new defensive post at Burlington Heights, fortifying a small farm that commanded a view of Burlington Bay. A network of Blockhouses and earthworks to hopefully hold any further American aggression before they could reach further into Upper Canada. In the later part of the 19th-Century, Dundurn Castle would be built over the ruins of the BritishRead 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 →

What do chocolate and the war of 1812 have in common; just one thing, a name, Laura Secord. Many people today hear the name Laura Secord and think of the Canadian confectionary company, but there was a hero behind that name. But unlike other heroes from the war whose names were praised right after their great victories, Laura lived in relative obscurity for decades after the war had ended. Born Laura Ingersoll on the 13th of September 1775 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, she was the eldest of four born to Thomas Ingersoll and Elizabeth Dewey. When she was eight her mother passed away, her fatherRead More →