Niagara Theater Continued (Part Two)
Drummond Hill Cemetery and Laura Secord Burial Site
6136 Lundy’s Lane
Niagara Falls, Ontario L2G 1T1(905) 356-7521 (Niagara Falls City Hall)
One of the most important and fiercely contested battles of the war was fought in darkness on the evening of July 25-36, 1814 along Lundy’s Lane on the west bank of the Niagara River. Today the battlefield is, appropriately enough, a cemetery. It is named for General Gordon Drummond who led British troops in the battle which ended in what was essentially a draw. Located on the south side of Lundy's Lane between Main Street and Drummond Road, the cemetery includes a monument featuring General Drummond mounted on his charger. A series of nearby plaques describe the bloody tug-of-war over a key British battery. Elsewhere in the cemetery are other markers and monuments related to the battle. The cemetery also features a monument dedicated to the War of 1812 Canadian heroine Laura Secord, who is buried here.
Old Fort Erie
350 Lakeshore Road
Fort Erie, Ontario L2A 6S6(905) 871-7211
Established by the British in 1764, Fort Erie guarded the Niagara River entrance and the southern end of the Niagara Portage. Positioned just across Lake Erie from Buffalo, New York, this earth-and-stone fortification changed hands several times during the war. During the summer of 1814, it was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the war in which General Gordon Drummond’s army attempted to take the fort by storm from American troops who had captured it several weeks earlier. Meticulously restored during the 1930s, Fort Erie still stands on the shores of Lake Erie near the south end of Ontario’s Niagara Parkway. The restoration emphasizes many of the features typical of fortifications built during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The three-foot-thick stone curtain wall is surrounded by a deep moat-like ditch and reinforced by a broad earthen bank, or ravelin, designed to absorb cannon shot. Interpreters in period uniforms recount the history of the fort while restored barracks hint at what life was like for soldiers stationed at the fort. Outside the star-shaped bastion walls, a columnar stone monument marks the mass grave of more than 150 men killed during the 1814 siege.
51 Queens Parade
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0(905) 468-4257
Consisting of extensive earthworks, palisades, and an assortment of barracks and other buildings, Fort George was one of the most important British military posts in Canada. Intended to prevent an invasion of Canada by way of the Niagara Peninsula, Fort George stood directly across the Niagara River from America’s Fort Niagara. The two forts regularly exchanged cannon fire early in the war, and during the summer of 1813 Fort George fell to a U.S. amphibious assault. British and Canadian forces had retaken the fort by the end of the year and held it for the remainder of the war. Now a National Historic Site of Canada, Fort George is open to the public from April through October. Visitors will get a sense of what life was like for soldiers serving on the Niagara frontier. Follow Niagara Parkway to Niagara-on-the-Lake, where the road becomes Queens Parade.
Front and Simcoe StreetsNiagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0 (905) 468-4257 (Park’s Canada)
During the Battle of Fort George, the lighthouse on this site was damaged and later destroyed. Fort Mississauga was built in 1814 to replace Fort George, but was not involved directly in the War of 1812. Located on the Niagara Golf Course, the fort can be approached on foot from Front and Simcoe Street. Visitors should take care to not to interfere with safe play on the golf course.