OLD FORT NIAGARA 
REENACTOR INFORMATION


Here is Old Fort Niagara's list of living history events for 2018. Please contact us in advance to pre-register for these events. Units that have attended our events previously need only let us know that you plan to attend along with estimated numbers, billeting requirements, etc. New units should send us an application letter or email with photos and references. Contact: Davis Tierney, Interpretive Programs Manager, Old Fort Niagara, Post Office Box 169, Youngstown, NY 14174. dtierney@oldfortniagara.org

 

2018 Schedule of Events

 

Please note, the 2018 French and Indian War Encampment is set for June 29-July 1 (Friday through Sunday) 2018.

 

January 6    Twelfth Night Ball

February 17   Winter Woods Battle

April 21-22    Patriots Day Weekend

May 19-20   Civil War Artillery School

May 26-27   Soldiers through the Ages

June 9-10   Civil War Garrison

June 29-July 1   French and Indian War Encampment

July 28-29   War of 1812 Grand Tactical

August 18-19   Soldiers of the Revolution

 

GENERAL PARTICIPANT RULES AND REGULATIONS for OLD FORT NIAGARA EVENTS

 

READ THESE RULES AND REGS CAREFULLY as they contain new information since the last time you may have read them!

 

PARTICIPATION —

Unit or individual participation in an event at Old Fort Niagara is by invitation only, at the sole discretion of the Old Fort Niagara Association.  Units or individuals who are not specifically invited by the Old Fort Niagara Association are not allowed.  Failure of a unit or individual to conform to our “General Participant Rules and Regulations for Old Fort Niagara Events”, or our “Weapons and Black Powder Regulations” may result in removal from an event and/or disqualification of an individual or unit from participation in future OFN-sponsored events.  Likewise, failure to follow the instructions of OFN staff and volunteers, or OFN-appointed provosts or other program officers, may result in removal from an event and/or disqualification of an individual or unit from participation in future OFN-sponsored events.

 

REGISTRATION—

All participants must check in at Registration upon arrival at the site.  There you will turn in your Volunteer Service Agreement form and Liability Waiver/Photo Release form.  Every adult must complete and sign these forms in order to participate in one of Old Fort Niagara’s events.  At registration, you will also receive a packet of additional information specific to the event, directions to your camp and parking locations, and participant pass.  Non-costumed dependents will not receive a pass, or free meals (if offered), and will be required to pay daily admission.

 

PARKING —

The participant parking area will designated at each event.  Participants must park only in the designated participant parking area.  Participants are not allowed to park in the public visitor lot.  Vehicles are not permitted to remain overnight in the fort, or in the outer works.  Participant vehicles are not allowed to park on the approach road to the Postern Gate, or in the loading area adjacent to the Postern Gate.  Any participant vehicles found in these locations will be ticketed by the New York State Park Police and may be towed at your expense.

 

DRESS, ACCOMODATIONS and ANACHRONISMS in the HISTORIC AREA —

a. Participants are expected to be in appropriate period dress for the duration of our public hours and are highly encouraged to remain in period dress for the duration of the entire event.  No non-period uniforms or civilian clothing are allowed.

 

b. Units are expected to bring their own appropriate period tentage and equipment. 

 

c. Period camps are to be maintained free of anachronisms, with any modern items hidden by period coverings.

 

d. Indoor quarters or barracks are extremely limited and, other than in the Boulangerie and Bakehouse, fireplaces are not to be used. 

 

e. Units or individuals assigned indoor space are responsible for keeping it clean, historically presentable, and open to viewing by the public. 

 

f. Units or Individuals assigned indoor space may rearrange furniture within that space but must return the furniture to its original placement prior to the end of the event.  Likewise, any unscrewed light bulbs should be screwed in again and the assigned space policed for cleanliness.  Failure to leave a clean and properly reset room may disqualify a unit or individual from any future use of interior space.

 

g. No cigarettes or other anachronisms are allowed in view of the public.

 

h. There is NO SMOKING in any building at any time, including after hours.

 

i. Participants who exhibit anachronisms during public hours will be asked to desist.

 

j. Military discipline and courtesy is to be observed while the event is open to the public.

 

k. All participants staying in the historic area, whether in camp or in a building, are expected to keep their areas clean and free of litter; use caution with candles or lanterns; and clean up after themselves.

 

l. On the rare occasion that remaining overnight beyond the conclusion of the event is a possibility (staying overnight from Sunday to Monday, for example) anyone needing to do so must notify the administrative office by noon of that day.  If the additional overnight is approved, individuals must be entirely clear of the fort prior to 8:00am the following morning.

 

FIREPLACES AND CAMPFIRES —

a. Other than in the Boulangerie and Bakehouse, fireplaces are not to be used.

 

b. Campfire locations will be designated by fort staff.  Campfires are allowed only in designated locations and only using an OFN-provided fire pad.

 

c. No fire pits may be dug.

 

d. A limited number of fire pads will be provided and must be used when building a fire.  For any fire being built, the individual or unit must also provide and maintain a period bucket filled with water.  (No folding canvas buckets please.)  Please be considerate of other participants when using the pads.

 

e. All fires must remain supervised.  Unsupervised fires will be extinguished and the irresponsible units noted.

 

MODERN CAMPING —

ALL participants with non-period tentage, trailers, campers and RVs are highly encouraged to make plans to camp at a local campground.  A very small amount of modern camp space is available in Fort Niagara State Park, adjacent to the fort.  This space has ABSOLUTELY NO UTILITIES OR SERVICES and is available on a first-come-first-served basis.  Modern campsites nearby include: Four Mile Creek State Park (800-456-2267); KOA Niagara Falls-North (716-754-8013); and Daisy Barn Campground (716-751-9375).

 

PETS, ALCOHOL and OTHER AMENITIES —

a. Old Fort Niagara does not allow pets on its grounds

 

b. Current New York State Park regulations PROHIBIT reenactors from possession or consumption of alcohol.  This regulation includes reenactments at Old Fort Niagara. 

 

c. Occasionally, the Old Fort Niagara Association is able to secure a special permit allowing us to offer complementary beer and wine to reenactors age 21+, for a limited time and within a limited area.  When and where this occurs, it is the only exception to the aforementioned prohibition.

 

d. The fort provides free wood, free water, and occasionally free ice.  We DO NOT WANT STRAW — we do not provide it and you should not bring it.

 

e. Free meals, if offered, will be provided only to participants in period dress.  Times and locations will be announced accordingly.

 

f. Participants are entitled to a discount on most purchases in either our Museum Shop or our food service facility.  If you are not wearing historical clothing at the time of purchase, please identify yourself as a participant before initiating the transaction.

 

LEADERSHIP, SAFETY AND SECURITY —

a. A meeting of unit commanders/representatives will generally take place each morning before public activities commence.  Location: TBA.

 

b. First Aid Stations will be designated during each event and each unit commander/representative will be made familiar with the Association’s emergency procedures.

 

c. During every reenactment, an Old Fort Niagara staff member is on duty after-hours and overnight.  Participants will be informed of that staff member’s whereabouts, in case of an emergency.

 

d. Program Officers and Provosts will be appointed by the Old Fort Niagara Association.

 

e. Provosts will act as safety officers and will have the full authority of the Association to see that our rules and regulations are being adhered to, and to direct participants to correct situations that do not conform to these guidelines.  Likewise, they are empowered to address and assist with any safety, health and welfare concerns that may arise.

 

f. Failure to follow the instructions of OFN staff and volunteers, or OFN-appointed Provosts or other Program Officers, may result in removal from an event and/or disqualification of an individual or unit from participation in future OFN-sponsored events.

 

RE: EVENTS THAT INVOLVE HISTORIC MILITARY VEHICLES —

a. Only military vehicles approved and/or invited by the Old Fort Niagara Association may enter the site or participate in programs at the site.  Non-military vehicles are not allowed.

 

b. All military vehicles must meet New York State laws with respect to ownership, licensing, insurance, inspection and registration.  All drivers must have a valid driver’s license.  Unlicensed and/or uninsured vehicles are NOT permitted on any roads/areas of Old Fort Niagara or Fort Niagara State Park.

 

c. No track vehicles of any kind are permitted on any roads/areas of Old Fort Niagara or Fort Niagara State Park.

 

d. Driving on grass shall be limited.  During wet weather, driving on grass and/or dirt areas may not be permitted.

 

e. Vehicle owners/operators are liable for damage to turf and/or hard surface areas, and for any and all hazardous vehicle spills, such as brake fluid, radiator coolant.  Vehicle breakdowns and maintenance are the responsibility of the vehicle owners/operators.

 

f. Because of security and liability issues, all vehicles will be displayed inside Old Fort Niagara and, therefore, must be able to fit through the Postern Gate (adjacent to the Coast Guard).  Dimensions of this gate are: 8’11”(w) x 8’(h).

 

g. It is the responsibility of vehicle owners/operators to transport, operate and display their vehicle in a manner that does not endanger people or property. 

 

h. Movement of military vehicles shall be extremely limited, especially during public hours.  All vehicles must have at least one ground spotter to guide the vehicle when it is moving.  Personnel may not ride or hang on the outside of a vehicle.  All weapons mounted on any vehicle must be locked down.

 

i. Vehicle placement and vehicle movement must be coordinated with event officials.  All vehicle owners/operators must at all times comply with the written and/or verbal instructions of event officials.

 

WEAPONS AND BLACK POWDER —

Anyone handling edged weapons, small arms weapons, artillery, and/or black powder, is responsible to familiarize themselves with, and act in accordance with the Old Fort Niagara Association’s “Black Powder and Weapons Regulations”.   These are available on our website (www.oldfortniagara.org), or in print, upon request.

 

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Old Fort Niagara Association — Weapons and Black Powder Regulations

 

1. All Individuals participating in these demonstrations who personally engage in the use of firearms or artillery must be sixteen (16) years of age or older.

 

2. All individuals participating in these demonstrations who are not personally engaged in the use of firearms or artillery must be at least twelve (12) years of age, except by the express written consent of the Executive Director.

 

3. All participants will have their firearms, cartridge boxes, and other weapons inspected by site-appointed safety officers immediately prior to the commencement of each tactical weapons demonstration to ensure that safety standards are properly observed.

 

4. Safety Officers will have the authority to remove participants found with non-conforming weapons or ammunition.

 

5. While unloaded pistols are allowed at Old Fort Niagara, they may not be carried in a tactical weapons demonstration.

 

6. All muskets used on the field during an opposed sides tactical demonstration must have a minimum barrel length of 16 inches and a minimum overall length of 26 inches.

 

7. Flintlock firearms shall be equipped with a hammer stall of leather, and tight, well-fitting, metal flash guards.  Hammer stalls are to be removed at the "present" or "take-aim" command and returned before loading begins.   All flash guards must be strong enough to withstand the vent blast without bending, and attached so they will not slip down and expose the vent.

 

8. All firearms must be shown to have a working trigger "safety" mechanism.  In flintlock and percussion ignition weapons, they should remain at both half-cock and in full-cock positions on their own accord.

 

9. All replica knives, axes, tomahawks, pole arms, swords, and bayonets used for passive demonstration shall have dulled edges and blunted points.  Knives, axes, and other cutting tools used for active demonstration, such as chopping or cutting, shall have sturdy sheaths or scabbards in place whenever the tool is not in use.  Throwing tomahawks, axes or knives ARE NOT permitted.

 

10. All black powder used at New York State Park facilities must be in the form of prepared cartridges or priming tubes for firearms and/or artillery priming.  Musket cartridges shall be of paper, rolled in the appropriate 18th or 19th century manner and secured in a period manner.  The paper used must be sufficiently heavy to resist damage prior to use, or accidental ignition by stray sparks.  Foil, staples, coin wrappers, or plastic tubes are not permissible.  Only prepared cartridges for firearms and/or artillery cartridges and priming tubes shall be brought to the demonstration area.  Cartridges for rifles must be made in the same manner as those for muskets.

 

11. No bulk black powder, or powder horns containing black powder, shall be permitted in any demonstration area.

 

12. Powder horns may be carried but must be empty.  Priming horns may contain no more than one (1) ounce of fffg or ffffg powder.

 

13. All cartridge boxes (an ammunition magazine carried on the person), must be made of leather and feature a flap or other self-closing mechanism.  No cartridge box may be made of cotton, linen or open-woven wool yarn.

 

14. No ramrods may be drawn or used during opposed forces tactical demonstrations.

 

15. Hand-to-hand combat is prohibited at all times.

 

16. With exception of special ceremonies or other circumstances, no fixed bayonets or unsheathed edged weapons shall be permitted during tactical weapons demonstrations.  Bayonets will not be fixed except upon order or approval of the Executive Director, or the Demonstration Coordinator.  If fixing of bayonets is approved, no closing with fixed bayonets is allowed (100 foot minimum distance).

 

17. Firearms will be elevated above the heads of opposing tactical weapons demonstration participants before they are discharged.  No weapon is to be discharged toward visitors.  In special cases involving demonstrations in fortifications, where participants are located at unequal heights, the weapons of the side situated at the lower level may be depressed below the position of the opposing side.

 

18. All firing should cease when opposing sides have closed within one hundred (100) feet; one hundred fifty (150) feet for artillery.

 

19. No objects/projectiles may be thrown or fired during a tactical weapons demonstration.

 

20. At the end of a tactical weapons demonstration participants must clear and secure all firearms before leaving the demonstration area.

 

21. Unit commanders shall verify that all weapons are cleared prior to the unit leaving the field following the demonstration.

 

22. Any misfires shall be cleared in a safe area, as designated by the Executive Director or the Demonstration Coordinator.

 

23. All unexpended or dropped cartridges, and other dropped objects, must be policed from the demonstration area and returned to safe storage conditions.  Following each demonstration, each unit shall be responsible for inspecting the area and removing all debris, cartridges, paper, or foil fragments.

 

ARTILLERY — In addition to the rules cited above …

 

24. Before any opposed side tactical weapons demonstration, a safety inspection will be made by site staff, appointed safety officers and/or unit commanders.  Safety Officers will have the authority to remove participants found with non-conforming artillery pieces or ammunition.

 

25. Only carefully made and proofed replica, muzzle-loading artillery pieces shall be used for demonstrations at Old Fort Niagara.  These replicas shall be constructed of steel, cast "iron" or bronze.  All "iron" guns which have been cast shall be made with a seamless steel sleeve.  Vents are to be clean and of a proper size for the weapon, and all implements of proper fit.

 

26. No cannon or howitzer with a bore of 3.5 inches or smaller shall be fired more frequently than once every five (5) minutes in demonstrations, tactical demonstrations, or opposed-sides tactical weapons demonstrations.

 

27.  No cannon or howitzer with a bore of 3.5 inches or larger shall be fired more frequently than once every ten (10) minutes in demonstrations, tactical demonstrations, or opposed-sides tactical weapons demonstrations.

 

28. No mortar shall be fired more frequently than once every five (5) minutes in demonstrations, tactical demonstrations, or opposed-sides tactical weapons demonstrations.

 

29. All artillery crews at Old Fort Niagara will double worm and double sponge for all blank firings.  Priming tubes, paper cartridges, or friction primers are the only means that may be used for ignition.  Linstocks, portfires or lanyards will be used for firing.

 

30. No artillery piece is to be discharged toward visitors.  Artillery fired at opposing forces must have a minimum distance of one hundred and fifty (150) feet.

 

31. Visitors must be kept at least five (5) yards from firearms and twelve (12) yards from artillery.

 

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Hours of Operation

The Fort is open year round with the exception of New Years Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

  • Jan - June 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • July - Aug - 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sept - Dec - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Please note: Ticket sales end 30 minutes before closing time.

 

Support the Fort

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.

Donate today!

 

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