French and Indian War Encampment

Sat Jul 1st, 2017 9 am to Mon Jul 3rd, 2017 4 pm
Relive the historic siege of 1759

Witness all of the drama and adventure of one of history's great turning points!

Old Fort Niagara's largest event of the year recreates the historic siege of 1759 when British forces and their Native allies besieged Fort Niagara's French garrison. This event features hundreds of reenactors, large scale battle reenactments, siege demonstrations, military music, large living history camps, period merchants and artisans, Native councils and much more.

Activities go on all day long, so plan to arrive early and stay for the day. Food is available for purchase on-site.

Please arrive at least 30-minutes before battle demonstrations. For safety reasons, access to the Fort is suspended during battle demonstrations. It's best to get here a little early to guarantee your spot!

Program Schedule

Saturday, July 1


9:30 a.m.  Siege Tour: The French Rebuild Fort Niagara 1755-1759. This special tour will explore the physical history of the Fort during the French and Indian War. The tour will touch on military engineering practices of the 1750s and how they were employed to better defend Fort Niagara.


10:00 a.m. The Fur Trade: Natives and French traders gather to barter furs for European goods. Witness the fur trade, which was brisk at Niagara during May and June 1759. Handle sample trade goods and furs.

10:30 a.m. French Colors Ceremony: The garrison  assembles in front of the Castle to troop the colors. Afterward,  a small hunting party leaves the Fort  to seek game in the woods to the east of the Fort.

11:00 a.m. The British Advance:  Discover the story behind the planning and execution of the British campaign. Meet British and Provincial soldiers, and Native warriors who took part in the 1759 campaign.

11:15 a.m. The Pigeon Hunters  French hunters approach the woods line, when they are fired on and  seized by Native warriors. One man escapes and sprints for the Fort. A detachment from the Fort  soon appears to investigate. Suddenly British regulars begin to fire volleys from the woods line, backed up by Native warriors.  French troops return fire but are slowly pushed back toward the Fort.

11:30 a.m. Interrogation  British officers question the French prisoners about the strength of the Fort .

12:30 p.m. Preparing the Fort for Siege. Portraying the events of July 6-8, French defenders prepare the Fort for Siege. Soldiers move barrels and trade bales into the Ravelin for additional cover. Meet the French soldiers, miliciens and Natives who will defend the Fort from attack.

1:00 p.m. Rutherford's Embassy.  British  Captain Walter Rutherford appears with a small party and requests a parley. He is met, blindfolded and brought to the French Castle, where he delivers a surrender demand to Captain Pouchot.

1:30 p.m. Opening the Sap.  Captain-Lieutenant Williams discusses how the British intend to approach Fort Niagara, how saps are laid out and constructed. Deadline for entering the Fort for the 2 pm battle.

2:00 p.m. Battle Demonstration:The French Sortie. Events of July 9-11. A British work party enters the sap with a trench guard. The French sally from the Fort's defenses, driving the British back. Drums roll in the British camp and British forces counterattack, driving the French back to the Fort. The French retreat back to the Fort under cover of artillery.

3:00 p.m. British Mortars British mortar demonstration in the sap.

3:15 p.m. Kaendae's Embassy  With Sir William Johnson in attendance, Kaendae holds council in the British camp. Six Nations warriors agree to withdraw from the siege and camp at La Belle Famille. 

4:00 p.m. French batteries resume fire.

4:30 p.m. 18th Century Military Music

Sunday, July 2

9:15 am: Military Church Service 

10:30 a.m.  Kaendae's Embassy.  At the Castle, Captain Pouchot makes a speech, reproaches the Senecas  for allying with the British and invites them to extricate themselves from the Siege. Potawatomie and Mississauga in the Fort also address the delegates. Six Nations delegates leave the Fort.

11:00 a.m. Siege Tour. The British advance the sap and trade small arms fire with the French, who also continue to fire artillery. An interpreter conducts a tour around the periphery of this action, explaining what is happening. 

Noon Foodways. Demonstration of camp cooking at the British camp.

1:00 p.m. Siege Tour- British Batteries British guns are brought forward and open up on the Fort. Artillery and engineering demonstration. 

1:30 p.m. Deadline for entering the Fort for the 2:00 p.m. battle.

2:00 p.m. Battle Demonstration: British assault on the Fort British forces make an assault on the Fort but are driven back by French fire.

3:00 p.m. Women's Program French women sew sandbags and powder bags, and treat the wounded. An interpreter explains the role of women in the siege.

4:00 p.m.  18thCentury Children's Games.   

 4:30 p.m.  18th Century Military Music


Monday, July  3

9:00 am: Lacrosse game on Parade Ground.

10:00 a.m. Siege Tour. Both sides enter the lines and trade musket and cannon rounds.

11:00 a.m. Battle Demonstration: La Belle Famille. Events of July 24. The French relief force tries to break through to Fort Niagara but is stopped by British regulars under Col. Massey.

Noon Artillery Demonstration. British guns pound the Fort. French return fire.

12:30 p.m.  18th Century Military Music

1:00 p.m. Desperate Measures  Events of July 21-24. British small arms and artillery continue to pound the Fort. Many French guns are dismounted and men refuse to fire over the parapet. Officers try to motivate their men to continue the defense of the Fort. 

1:30 p.m. Deadline for entering the Fort for the 2:00 p.m. battle.

2:00 Battle Demonstration: British Assault the Fort. The British successfully assault the outer works. French sue for terms.


2:45 p.m. Surrender Ceremony. British troops enter the Fort, French troops formed on parade ground, Natives acquire French goods, Fort surrenders.


Daily admission to the event is $13.00 per person. Admission is free for Old Fort Niagara Association members.*

*Please note that new or renewed memberships to the Old Fort Niagara Association will not be processed onsite during the French and Indian War Encampment. Please plan accordingly or buy your membership online here.

General Events Event

Hours of Operation

January through March, Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. (Closed Monday-Thursday) 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m

April 1- June 30, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

July and August, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

September 1 - October 15, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

October 16 - December 31, Open Wednesday through Sunday (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays) 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

The fort will be open daily during Christmas week, December 26 - 31. 

Closed New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. 


General Admission



Children (6 to 12 years) 


Children (5 and under):






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Old Fort Niagara is operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association, an independent, not-for-profit organization established in 1927. We do not rely on tax dollars. Instead, the Fort is funded through a combination of admission fees, museum shop sales, and charitable contributions.

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