Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Siege 1759 on July 4 Weekend

by remerson
Mon, Jun 26th 2023 03:25 pm

Old Fort Niagara recreates the most dramatic event in the site’s history on July 4 weekend. Siege 1759 brings to life the 19-day battle that helped determine the fate of a continent. In July 1759, during the fifth year of the French and Indian War, British forces, New York troops and Haudenosaunee allies besieged French-held Fort Niagara. The outcome of that siege determined the future of the entire Great Lakes region.

During the event, four large-scale battle reenactments will demonstrate how 18th century military engagements were fought. Reenactors representing British and French soldiers and Native American allies will vie for control of the fort’s earthen outer walls. British forces will also confront a French relief column attempting to break through to the fort and relieve the siege.

Visitors to the event will discover how 18th century sieges worked; from laying out approach trenches to firing cannons in an attempt to batter down the fort’s walls. Artillery demonstrations will range from nimble field cannons to the ground-shaking larger guns of the fort’s Dauphin Battery, originally built in 1756.

Historically, the siege also involved a great deal of diplomatic activity. British and French officers will negotiate with Native American allies in the original languages. Visitors will hear negotiations conducted in Mohawk, Seneca, French and English, with a narrator to explain the intricate details of the proceedings.

Fife and Drum concerts each day will demonstrate how music played a major role in military life during the 18th century. Musicians conveyed orders, entertained the troops and participated in colorful ceremonies designed to boost morale.

Visitors often ask if there were any women at the fort. Daily programs about nursing during the French and Indian War will spotlight an important job women performed during the siege.

Large living history camps will demonstrate how soldiers slept and prepared food. Tents of the era were mostly made from canvas and housed from five to nine men. Soldiers prepared their own rations at camp kitchens and visitors will have the opportunity to stroll through the camps and take in the sights, sounds and aromas of an 18th century army camp.

Armies were never without skilled artisans and the fort will host dozens of period craftsmen and merchants. Food will be available on site.

The Siege of Fort Niagara will take place on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, July 1-3. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Program Schedule

Saturday, July 1

                10:00 a.m. Trooping of the Colors

                11:30 a.m. Artillery Firing Demonstration

                  1:00 p.m. Music

                  2:00 p.m. Battle Reenactment

                  3:00 p.m. Nursing Demonstration

                  4:00 p.m. Battery Artillery Fire


Sunday, July 2

                10:00 a.m. British-Native Council

                11:00 a.m. Siege Tour

                  1:00 p.m. Fife and Drum Concert

                  1:30 p.m. A British Surrender Demand

                  2:00 p.m. Battle Reenactment

                  3:00 p.m. Nursing Demonstration

                  4:00 p.m. Battery Artillery Fire


Monday, July 3

                10:00 a.m. French Native Council

                11:30 a.m. The Battle of La Belle Famille

                  1:00 p.m. Fife and Drum Concert

                  2:00 p.m. Artillery Demonstration

                  3:00 p.m. Battle Reenactment

                  3:30 p.m. Surrender Ceremony


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):






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!


Old Fort Niagara Logo

Newsletter Sign-Up

Keep up to date on Old Fort Niagara events and happenings! Sign up here for our e-newsletter.