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Tour takes trip back in time to 1813 burning of ‘Young’s Town’

YOUNGSTOWN – View history through the eyes of four women who survived the burning of “Young’s Town” during the War of 1812, when local historian Karen Noonan leads a walk at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The tour begins in the Art of Peace Garden in Falkner Park on Main Street.

A member of the Youngstown Heritage Tours and Tourism Committee, Noonan will recount the events of Dec. 19, 1813, when the hamlet known as Young’s Town, for land owner John Young, was burned in retaliation for the torching of Niagara, Upper Canada, Dec. 10, 1813.

Noonan will highlight the stories of Catherine Young of Niagara, Upper Canada; and Rebecca Swain, Agnes Greensitt and Betsy Doyle, all of Young’s Town.

Young, born in New Jersey, had immigrated to Niagara, Upper Canada, after the American Revolutionary War with her American-born husband, John, a local merchant. They were among the first to experience the horror of the War of 1812 when Niagara was burned by retreating American forces. Several days later Swain, Greensitt and Doyle, the latter two with children, were forced to leave their homes as British forces and their Native allies torched the Niagara Frontier from Lake Ontario’s shore, along the Niagara River, to what is now Buffalo and Williamsville.

The tour begins in the park and proceeds to the former site of Greensitt’s Tavern and the War of 1812 Salt Battery. The tour is appropriate for children 10 and older and lasts an hour and a half. It’s free, but donations may be made to the Youngstown Heritage Travel and Tourism Committee. To register a tour at a different time, call the Town of Porter Historical Society at 745-1271 or email