YOUNGSTOWN – Old Fort Niagara will present its final re-enactment of the season, the War of 1812 Encampment, next weekend.
More than 150 re-enactors will join the fort’s staff and volunteers beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday and next Sunday to present history demonstrations. Saturday evening’s special program includes a battle demonstration, history tour and bagpipe concert.
“Our 2016 re-enactment season wraps up with an exciting array of living history demonstrations from the War of 1812,” said Robert Emerson, the fort’s executive director.
The fort expects re-enactors from New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ontario, Canada, to take part. This special event is included in the regular fort admission.
“We’re talking about that period in history when the United States of America was very young and lost its hold, though temporary, on the Niagara Frontier to the British,” Emerson explained. “During the War of 1812 Encampment, visitors will learn about events that happened at Fort Niagara, watch an intense battle with the British, and leave with a better understanding of the historical importance of our region.”
Fort Niagara was occupied by the United States from 1796 through the morning of Dec. 19, 1813, when British forces captured the fort in an unexpected predawn attack. The fort’s surrender opened the door for the British devastation of the eastern shore of the Niagara River from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie.
The War of 1812 Encampment features daily battle re-enactments at 2 p.m.; kids’ games and recruiting programs; a display of surgical instruments; military music; artillery firings; and soldier’s life activities.
Saturday evening’s events will begin at 6 p.m. with a guided tour to provide historical context for the ensuing battle. At 7:15 p.m., the MacKenzie Highlanders’ Pipes and Drums will perform, immediately followed by the battle re-enactment inside the fort on its parade ground. Admissions into the fort for this battle will end at 7 p.m. when the doors will be closed until about 9 p.m. to ensure visitor safety.
Visiting historical fiction author Eddie Price will also be at the fort throughout the weekend to sign and sell copies of his book, “Widder’s Landing.” The fort’s lighthouse, which was built in 1872, is also open to the public from noon to 3 p.m. through Oct. 10.
Look for tickets to go on sale Sept. 12 for the fort’s popular Haunted Fortress event, planned for Oct. 5 and 22.
Regular fort admission is $12 for adults, $8 for children ages 6-12, and free for children 5 and under, and for members of Old Fort Niagara.