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Living History, Exciting Night Battle, Bagpipes and More at War of 1812 Encampment

by C. Clark
Wed, Aug 17th 2016 12:00 pm

(August 17, 2016) Youngstown, N.Y. - Old Fort Niagara will present its final re-enactment of the season, War of 1812 Encampment, on September 3 and 4, when the fort's staff, volunteers and 150 regional re-enactors will present history demonstrations from the War of 1812 for visitors to our National Historic Landmark. Living history activities will begin at 9 a.m. daily and Saturday evening's special programming will include a battle demonstration, history tour and bagpipe concert. Everything is included with regular admission to the fort.


"Our 2016 re-enactment season wraps up with an exciting array of living history demonstrations from the War of 1812," said Robert Emerson, Executive Director of the fort. "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. 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 December 19, 1813, when British forces captured the fort in an unexpected pre-dawn 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. Then, 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 to incoming and outgoing visitors until about 9 p.m. to ensure visitor safety.


About 150 re-enactors from New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Ontario will participate to help recreate history for visitors. The full schedule follows:


War of 1812 Encampment Schedule for September 3 and 4


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

11 a.m. - 4 p.m.        Officers' Club Open

12:00 p.m.                 Artillery Demonstration

12 p.m. - 3 p.m.        Lighthouse Open

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

6:15 p.m.                    Regency English Country Dancing

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

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


Visiting historical fiction author, Eddie Price, will also be on site to sign and sell copies of his book, Widder's Landing, throughout the weekend.


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.


Upcoming Events


Now through Oct. 10            Lighthouse Open to the Public (12pm-3pm)

Sat., Oct. 15 & 22                 Haunted Fortress (tickets on sale starting September 12)


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 northbound Robert Moses Parkway. The fort is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in July and August, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting in September. Admissions end 30 minutes before closing. 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, Instagram 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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