Northwest Theater

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During the early 19th century, the western Great Lakes region, known to many Americans then as the “Old Northwest,” was exceedingly remote. Consequently, both sides had trouble supplying or reinforcing their Northwestern troops and outposts.

Perhaps for the same reason, the fighting here was unusually bloody and brutal with mercy seldom asked and even more rarely granted.

Key Sites

Colonel James Baby Plaque
221 Mill Street
Windsor, Ontario N9C 1A6

In 1807, Colonel Baby, a prominent French-Canadian militia leader, built a home in what is today Windsor, Ontario. A historic plaque is located beside a hedge in the front yard of the house, which now serves as a private residence. The house and plaque are located at 221 Mill Street in Windsor. Follow Ontario Route 3 on Huron Church Road, turn west on Wyandotte Street W, then right on Mill Street to the corner of Russell.

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Francois Baby House
254 Pitt Street West
Windsor, Ontario N9A 5L5
(519) 253-1812

Francois Baby was the brother of prominent French-Canadian militiaman Colonel James Baby. In 1812, Francois Baby’s as-yet-to-be completed house was commandeered by U.S. General William Hull for his headquarters, but then abandoned when the Americans retreated from Canada. Now home to Windsor Community Museum, the house is located on Pitt Street near the of corner of Ferry Street one block south of the St. Clair Centre for the Arts on Riverside Drive W. The museum maintains a separate interpretive center at Colonel James Baby’s former home at 221 Mill Street off Ontario Route 3.

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Backhouse Mill
1267 Backus Mill RoadPort
Rowan, Ontario N0E 1M0
(519) 586-2201

John Backhouse built this mill in 1798, and it is now the oldest continuously running mill in Ontario. The mill survived several American attacks in the area, most notably the McArthur Raid, which took place near the end of the war in 1814. Backhouse served as a major in the 1st Norfolk Militia. The mill is located 3.7 km north of Port Rowan via Road 42 and Backus Mill Road.

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Battle of Brownstown Marker
30786 South Gibraltar Road
Rockwood, Michigan 48173

While 200 U.S. troops attempted to cross Brownstown Creek on their way to meet a supply wagon train at River Raisin, they were attacked by Tecumseh and about 25 warriors. Major Thomas Van Horne misjudged the size of the opposition and ordered a retreat, which led to panic. Eighteen Americans died in the fighting commemorated by a historical marker located on the south side of the pedestrian entrance to the Lake Erie Metropark on South Gibraltar Road about a tenth of a mile east of Jefferson Avenue in Rockwood.

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