OLD FORT NIAGARA 
REENACTOR INFORMATION


Here is Old Fort Niagara's list of living history events for 2017. 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: Phillip Dickenson, Interpretive Programs Manager, Old Fort Niagara, Post Office Box 169, Youngstown, NY 14174. pdickenson@oldfortniagara.org 


2017 Schedule of Events

May 27-28, Soldiers through the Ages. Time period- 17th through 20th centuries. This time line event welcomes units from the 17th century through modern times reflecting Fort Niagara's long history of occupation. Units may arrive Friday evening after 4:30. The Fort provides Saturday and Sunday breakfast and lunch. Period camps and indoor billeting available.

Schedule:

Friday, May 26  

4:30 p.m. Units may drive into the Fort to unload/set up. No overnight parking.

Saturday, May 27 and Sunday May 28

 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast for Participants (OFN Maintenance Garage)

9:00 a.m. Unit Commanders/Exhibitors Briefing (Fort Office) Saturday only.

10:15 a.m.    Military Parade and Colors Ceremony

11:00 a.m.   Small Arms Demonstration- 1645-1945, Matchlocks to M1s

Noon   Artillery Demonstration, Lunch for Participants (Outside Log Cabin)

1:00 p.m.   Military Uniforms and Weapons of the Flintlock Era

1:30 p.m.   Hotshot Demonstration

2:00 p.m.    Military Uniforms and Weapons of the 19th Century

2:30 p.m.   Concert of Military Music

3:00 p.m.    Military Uniforms and Weapons of the 20th Century

3:30 p.m.   Small Unit Tactical Demonstration- The American Revolution vs. World War Two.

4:15 p.m.   Parade of Military Music

4:30 p.m.   Retreat Ceremony. Participants may drive into Fort for loading (Sunday only).

Ongoing exhibits and demonstrations- Military Vehicles, Rations through the Ages, Living History Camps, Militaria on display.

 

June 3-4, Rebels and Redcoats, Time period 1775-1783. Period camps, battles, living history demonstrations. Breakfasts and Saturday dinner provided. Indoor accommodations available. Units may arrive Friday after 4:30 p.m.

 

July 1-2-3, French and Indian War Encampment, Time period 1759. Recreating the Siege of Fort Niagara. Please note that this event is Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Living history camps, multiple battle demonstrations, siege demonstrations, Native councils. The Fort provides breakfasts and free ice.

Tentative Participant Schedule:

Thursday, June 29

9:00 am to 5:00 pm: camp marshals lay out camps

4:30 pm:  Sutlers may drive in equipment. NO OVERNIGHT PARKING

Friday, June 30

9:00 am:  Sutlers, French and Allied Natives may begin carrying in equipment for set up.

10:00 am - 9:00 pm: Registration in triangle in front of Collections Building.

Noon:  British forces and Native allies may drive into camp for set up. NO OVERNIGHT PARKING.

4:30 pm:  Sutlers, French and allied Natives may drive into Fort for set up. NO OVERNIGHT PARKING.

7:30 pm:  Officers Call to go over scenarios for the event. 

Saturday, July 1

7:00 am - 9:00 pm: Registration in triangle in front of Collections Building.

7:30 am - 8:30 am: Breakfast at Maintenance Building.

8:00 am: All vehicles out of Fort and camps.

8:30 am: Officers Call behind Visitor Center

9:00 am: British forces march from Four Mile Creek (optional)

9:00 - 10:00 am: Ice Call at Maintenance area.

9:30 a.m.  Vignette -Siege Tour: The French Rebuild Fort Niagara 1755-1759. This tour, led by OFN staff 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. Handouts will be included showing the public several of the maps that depict the work completed during the war.

10:00 a.m. Vignette - The Fur Trade: Natives and French traders gather to barter furs for European goods. The fur trade was brisk at Niagara during May and June 1759. The British Army has not yet arrived so the French and Natives exchange goods as normal. As event participants demonstrate a trading session, an interpreter explains the proceedings and uses a hands on trunk to allow visitors to handle same furs and goods.

10:00 am: Safety Inspections

10:30 a.m. Demonstration-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. Vignette: The British Advance: Beginning at 10:30, we will transport the public over to the east end of the beach area. The public will gather in a viewing area staffed with Fort interpreters.  Using handouts, the interpreters will describe the planning and execution of the British campaign from the concentration of troops in the Schenectady area, through the march up the Mohawk Valley and the descent of Lake Oneida, Oswego River, etc. to Oswego, then the voyage along the southern shore of Lake Ontario. There will be representative British and Provincial soldiers, and Native warriors in front of the public for a mini- uniform/clothing program. The rest of the British Army will be hidden in the woods. Following the clothing program, British and Native "models" will join their comrades in the woods.

11:15 a.m. Demonstration: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 (the whole French force in our scenario) 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. Vignette:  Interrogation  British officers question the French prisoners about the strength of the Fort in front of the public. A Fort interpreter narrates and describes the Fort's defenses .

12:30 p.m. Vignette: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. Several soldiers are posted in front of the public (in the Ravelin) for a brief French uniform program. A gun is moved into the Ravelin and the French provide a musket and artillery demonstration, narrated by an interpreter. French soldiers begin guard rotation in the Ravelin, changed every 30 minutes.

1:00 p.m. Vignette:Rutherford's Embassy.  July 9. At the far end of the field, 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.

Change French guard.

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

Change French guard.

Pre-tactical safety inspection.

2:00 p.m. 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. French retreat back to the Fort under cover of artillery. Designated British trench guard remains in sap. Designated French guard remains in outer works.

3:00 p.m. Vignette: British Mortars Events of July 11. British mortar demonstration in the sap.

Change French and British guards.

3:15 p.m. Vignette: Kaendae's Embassy  Events of July 12. 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.

3:30 p.m. Change French and British guards.

4:00 p.m. Vignette:  French Bombardment. French Batteries resume fire.

Change French and British guards.

4:30 p.m. Stand down, both sides cease manning siege lines and defenses for the day.

4:30 - 5:30 pm: Ice Call in Maintenance area.

7:00 pm Participants may drive in to unload. NO OVERNIGHT PARKING.

7:30 p.m.  Speaker, George Bray on John Bradstreet

8:00 - 11:00 pm: Tavern at the Officers Club.

Sunday, July 2

7:00 am - Noon: Registration at triangle in front of Collections Building.

7:30 am - 8:30 am: Breakfast at Maintenance Building.

8:00 am: Vehicles of our Fort and camps.

8:30 am: Officers call behind Visitor Center

9:15 am: Church Service

9:30 am - 10:30 am: Ice Call at Maintenance.

10:30 a.m.  Vignette: Kaendae's Embassy.  Events of July 11.  At the Castle Pouchot makes a speech, reproaches 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. Vignette:Siege Tour. Events of July 14. Both sides man their works, 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.

11:30 a.m. Change French and British guards.

Noon Vignette: Foodways. Food shortages in the British camp. Demonstration of camp cooking at the British camp.

Change French and British guards.

1:00 p.m. Vignette:Siege Tour- British Batteries Events of July 17. British guns are brought forward and open up on the Fort. Artillery and engineering demonstration.

Change French and British guards.

1:30 pm: Pre-tactical safety inspection.

2:00 p.m. Demonstration: British assault on the Fort British forces make an unsuccessful assault on the Fort.

2:30 p.m. post French and British guards

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

Change French and British guards.

4:00 p.m.  18th Century Children's Games.   Change French and British guards.

4:30 p.m. Siege lines/defenses stand down.

4:30 - 5:30 p.m. Ice Call at Maintenance.

7:00 p.m. Participants may drive in to Fort and camps. NO OVERNIGHT PARKING.

8:00 pm - 11:00 pm: Tavern at the Officers Club.

Monday, July  3

7:30 am - 8:30 am: Breakfast at Maintenance Building

8:00 am: All vehicles out of Fort and camps.

8:30 am: Officers Call behind Visitor Center.

9:00 am: Lacrosse game on Parade Ground.

9:00 am - 10:00 am: Ice Call at Maintenance.

9:30 am: Safety inspection.

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

11:00 a.m. 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. Action takes place just south of the Officers Club.

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

Post French and British guards.

12:30 p.m. Change French and British guards.

1:00 p.m. Vignette:  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. Interpreter explains what is happening.

Change French and British Guards

1:30 p.m. Change French and British Guards. Pre-tactical safety inspection.

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

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

4:00 pm: Vehicles may enter Fort and camps to pack up. 


August 5-6, Soldiers of the Revolution. Time period 1775-1783. This event interprets the American Revolution on the New York frontier. Period camps, indoor billets available. Breakfasts and Saturday dinner provided.

September 2-3, War of 1812 Encampment. Time period 1812-1814. Tacticals, uniform and weapons demonstrations. Saturday night battle recreating the British assault of December 19, 1813. Breakfasts and Saturday dinner provided. Contact Jere Brubakerjbrubaker@oldfortniagara.org .

 

Old Fort Niagara Association General Event Rules and Regulations

 

  1. READ THESE GUIDELINES they contain new information!

 

  1. Old Fort Niagara staff and program officers appointed by Old Fort Niagara are responsible for the safety of visitors, participants and historic buildings.

 

  1. All provosts are appointed by the Old Fort Niagara Association as safety officers with the full authority of the Association to enforce these guidelines. Provosts are authorized to direct participants to correct situations that do not conform to these guidelines. Individuals who fail to follow their directions will be removed from the site.

 

  1. Units whose members have been found in violation of these guidelines or the

Old Fort Niagara Association's Black Powder Regulations may be asked to leave

and/or be removed from the invitation list for future events.

 

  1. Participation will be limited to registered units depicting troops and camp-followers who served in North America during the time period being portrayed.

 

  1. No non-period uniforms or civilian clothing are allowed.

 

  1. Participants are requested to remain in period clothing for the entire program.

 

  1. Participants are to be in period dress while the event is open to the public.

 

  1. Non-costumed dependents must pay for admission.

 

  1. No cigarettes or other anachronisms are allowed in front of the public.

 

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

 

  1. Military courtesy and discipline are in effect while the event is open to the public.

 

  1. Period Camps are to be maintained free of anachronisms. Modern items must be kept hidden by period coverings.

 

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

 

  1. Participants are required to register upon arrival at the site. Upon arrival you will turn in your liability and state volunteer forms. Without these completed forms, you will not be allowed to participate. You will also receive your information packet, directions to your campsite and parking area, and participant pass.

 

  1. Program officers will be appointed by the Old Fort Niagara Association.

 

  1. Meetings of unit commanders/representatives will generally take place in the morning before public activities commence.

 

  1. Old Fort Niagara safety standards will be observed. Old Fort Niagara staff and event provosts are on duty throughout the event.

 

  1. After visitor hours, a staff person will be on duty in the Interpretive Programs Office at the west end of The Provisions Storehouse (Point #1)

 

  1. Each Unit Commander will receive a list of emergency procedures upon arrival at the site.

 

  1. FIRST AID STATIONS WILL BE DESIGNATED DURING EACH EVENT

 

  1. Units are requested to bring tentage. Requests for indoor quartering will be considered by the camp marshals upon request. Units/individuals assigned barrack space, are responsible for keeping them clean. Please note the following: Clean up and keep areas free of litter during visitor hours. If candles are used, please clean up melted wax. If you unscrew a light bulb, screw it back in again.

 

  1. NO SMOKING in any building at any time, including after hours.

 

  1. If you make a mess, clean it up!

 

  1. Furniture may be moved but must be returned to its original proper location.

 

  1. Rooms must be kept accessible and presentable to visitors during business hours.

 

  1. All assigned barrack space must be policed for cleanliness and furniture placement before you leave. If any of the above are violated, the unit or person assigned the space will not be allowed use of quarters in the future.

 

  1. Anyone wishing to remain overnight after the last event day must notify the administration office by noon of that day. Vehicles must be loaded and driven out of the Fort and camps before 8:00 am the morning after the last day of the event.

 

  1. ALL participants with non-period tentage, trailers, campers and RVs are highly encouraged to make plans to camp at a campground instead of at Fort Niagara. A very small amount of modern camping space is available adjacent to the Fort. This space is available on a first-come-first-served basis. Modern campsites are available at Four Mile Creek State Campsite (800-456-2267). To arrange campsites, please contact Four Mile Creek State Campsite at least one month in advance of the event date. As Four Mile Creek is a separate organization, we cannot guarantee that there will be space available. Modern camping is also available at KOA Niagara Falls-North (716-754-8013) and Daisy Barn Campground (716-751-9375).

 

  1. No fire pits may be dug.

 

  1. A limited number of fire pads will be provided. Please be cooperative with other participants when using the pads. If you plan on using a fire pad, you must provide a period bucket, filled with water, for each unit using a pit. No anachronistic folding canvas buckets, please.

 

  1. Any fire kindled must remain supervised. Fires found unsupervised will be extinguished.

 

  1. Participants are entitled to discounts on refreshments and most shop purchases. Please, identify yourself before making a purchase.

 

  1. Meals, if provided, will be provided only to participants in period dress.

 

  1. Parking for participants will be provided within the bounds of Fort Niagara State Park.

 

  1. The principal participant parking area will designated at each event. Vehicles are not permitted to remain overnight in the Fort, or the Ditch. Participant vehicles are not allowed to stand on the Postern Gate Hill at any time. Any participant vehicles found in these locations will be ticketed by the New York State Park Police and may be towed at your expense.

 

  1. In compliance with recently adopted New York State Parks regulations, participants are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages to the site. A courtesy tavern will be available during the evening.

Old Fort Niagara 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  1. 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 it will not slip down and expose the vent.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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 is not permitted.

 

  1. All black powder used at State Park facilities must be in the form of prepared cartridges, priming tubes or powder horns for firearms, and/or artillery priming. Musket cartridges shall be of paper, rolled in the appropriate 18th- or 19th-century manner, secured in a period manner. The paper used must be sufficiently heavy to resist accidental ignition by stray sparks or damage prior to use. 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.

 

  1. No bulk black powder or powder horns containing black powder shall be permitted inany demonstration area.

 

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

 

  1. 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.

 

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

 

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

 

  1. 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 Demonstration Coordinator. If approved, no closing with fixed bayonets is allowed (100 foot minimum distance).

 

  1. Firearms will be elevated above the heads of opposing tactical weapons demonstration participants before they are discharged. No weapon is to be discharged towards 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.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  1. 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...

 

  1. 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.


  1. 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 weapons, and all implements of proper fit.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

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

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. No artillery piece is to be discharged towards visitors. Artillery fired at opposing forces must have a minimum distance of 150 feet.

 

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

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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