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 →

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 →

When the Americans retreated across the river in December of 1813 they left nothing but a charred ruin of the town of Newark (Today’s Niagara-On-The-Lake) and Fort George. Left with no fortifications in the area, General Drummond immediately ordered the capture of Fort Niagara (which was a huge success) and the construction of new fortifications to defend the Canadian Side of the mouth of the Niagara River. Drummond, quick to realize that Fort George was too distant to command the river mouth ordered the new fort be constructed closer to Lake Ontario. Construction of the new Fort Mississauga commenced in spring of 1814. It consistedRead 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 →

Fort Erie, if you’ve wondered where the Ontario border town got its name, you just have to take a wander just south of old Highway Three along Lakeshore Road. Standing near the edge of the Niagara River, in the shadow of Buffalo, New York stands a small stone fort. Fort Erie was the only pre-Jay Treaty Fort that the British operated out of during the Anglo-American War of 1812, but it was also the fort that changed hands the most and only saw completion while under American occupation at the end of the war. Today it stands as one of the bloodiest battlefields on CanadianRead More →

Often I will use this blog as a forum for my own photography, but today, today is special as I will feature the photos of others. Today is June 6th, and what sets today out from the other days in this case. Because on June 6th, 1944 saw the start of the end, today is D-Day. Europe was a fortress at this point, the Nazi regieme had rolled over the entire place annexing and occupying territories, and terrorizing the world. But 6:30am, June 6th, 1944 saw the start of the end, Operation Overlord was the hammer that would smash open Fortress Europe. So today, IRead More →

Queenston Heights, one of the famous locations connected to the Anglo-American War of 1812, the southern terminus of the Niagara Escarpment and surprisingly overlooked for its importance in all the stages of the war except for the famous battle that took place at the site in 1812. Queenston Heights takes it name from the village of Queenston located east of the heights. The village had its beginnings in 1780 founded by Robert Hamilton and marked one of the terminuses of the Niagara Portage that allowed traders to bypass Niagara Falls. A memorial carin in the village erroniously marks the spot of Brock’s death. In realtyRead More →