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War of 1812 Encampment Includes Evening Battle

by C. Clark
Fri, Aug 14th 2015 11:00 am

(August 14, 2015) Youngstown, N.Y. - Labor Day weekend will bring 1812 history to life for visitors at Old Fort Niagara during its annual War of 1812 Encampment, September 5 and 6. Unique to this event is the Saturday evening battle that recreates the British capture of Fort Niagara in December 1813. During the demonstration, visitors will experience the British assault on the fort in real time and on the original grounds where the event occurred more than 200 years ago. About 150 re-enactors from New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Ontario are expected to participate.


"The Niagara Region was at the center of the British and American conflict in the War of 1812," said Robert Emerson, Executive Director of the fort. "Many of our most dramatic stories are from this war, including that of Betsy Doyle and how she carried hot cannon balls to the cannons on the roof of the French Castle. Visitors will learn how the fort was lost to the British during a brief but intense battle and better understand the importance of the fort's location at that time in history."


Old Fort Niagara was held by the United States during 1812 and 1813, but on the morning of December 19, 1813, British forces captured the fort in the pre-dawn hours. 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.


Saturday evening's festivities will begin at 7:15 p.m. with a concert by the MacKenzie Highlanders' Pipes and Drums. The concert will be immediately followed by the battle reenactment inside the fort on its parade ground. Admissions into the fort for this battle will cease at 7 p.m. when the doors will be closed to incoming and outgoing visitors until about 9 p.m. to ensure visitor safety.


The weekend's events also feature 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. The full schedule is as follows:


War of 1812 Encampment Schedule for September 5 and 6

9:00 a.m.        Fort Opens

10:00 a.m.      Flag Raising

10:15 a.m.      Manual Exercise — Troops Marching, Maneuvering

11:00 a.m.      Uniforms of the War of 1812

12:00 p.m.      Artillery Demonstration

12:30 p.m.      Prisoner Sentencing

1:00 p.m.        Concert of Military Music

2:00 p.m.        Battle Re-Enactment

3:00 p.m.        Kids Program: Recruiting (Saturday); Games (Sunday)

4:00 p.m.        Artillery Demonstration (Saturday); Musket Demo (Sunday)

(The following on Saturday only)

5:00 p.m.        Musket Demonstration

6:00 p.m.        Guided Tour: Fort Niagara in the War of 1812

7:15 p.m.        Music Concert by the Mackenzie Highlanders' Pipes and Drums

8:00 p.m.        Reenactment of the Capture of Fort Niagara


Admission to the Fort is $12 per adult, $8 per child (ages 6-12) and free for children 5 and under. Members of Old Fort Niagara are admitted free. Group discounts are available. Please refer to our website for details.


Calendar of 2015 Events:

September 5-6, War of 1812 Encampment

September 21, InternationalFife and Drum Concert

October 17 and 24, Haunted Fortress (tickets on sale starting Sep. 1)

November 6, French Heritage Day

December 5 and 12, Castle by Candlelight


Old Fort Niagara (www.oldfortniagara.org) is located in Fort Niagara State Park in Youngstown, N.Y., which is 14 miles north of Niagara Falls via the Robert Moses Parkway North. The fort is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily in August (admissions end at 6:30 p.m.) and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting in September (admissions end at 4:30 p.m.). Old Fort Niagara is a Registered National Historic Landmark and New York State Historic Site operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association (a not-for-profit organization) in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Hours of Operation


January 13 through March, Open Wednesday-Sunday  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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