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November Tea Party Winners: Carrie Fancett Pagels' copy of The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection - Debbie Curto, Christmas tea - Andrea Stephens, Golden Tea body wash Joy Ellis, lighthouse earrings -- Pegg's SIL from Lake Ann and Perrianne Askew, Pegg Thomas's Leather journal - Shelia Hall, and Writing Prompts book goes to - Connie Porter Saunders

Monday, April 30, 2018

A Memorable Trip to Old Fort Niagara



Fort Niagara (in present day New York state) is the setting for my Backcountry Brides novella, A Heart So Tender. With their first event of the 2018 season, “Patriot’s Day”, I decided to take my two eight year-old grandsons along for some fun. They are great fans of costumes, history and weapons. Blessed by some amazing spring weather, we visited on April 21.

Dressed up in makeshift costumes and some fancy tricorns, the boys were awed by the site of the fort. They didn’t know what to expect. With a light crowd throughout the day, re-enactors and visitors made much of a sunny warm day where the Niagara River flows into Lake Ontario.
The view from the South Redoubt (Block house) toward the French Castle
With muskets in hand, my grandsons were easily conscripted into the colonial army and learned how to load their muskets, follow commands, and march—even learning how to pivot in formation!

Across all that water? Fort York, or as we know it, Toronto, Ontario. And, yes, we could see the skyline!
The muskets had quite a work out. Can you imagine how much fun it was to run all over the fort, over berms, lurk around stockade fences, and spy on the enemy from the walls of the fort and the two redoubts (block houses)?

Here they are along the berms/ramparts where centuries of soldiers fought against enemies approaching by land. Behind is the north Blockhouse and in the distance, the French Castle sitting on the corner overlooking both the Niagara River and Lake Ontario.
These young men surprised me with how much they knew, but the experience made for an unforgettable look into our history. Fourth graders in New York have a ‘colonial history’ day and these costumes will come in handy! They learned about the parts of the uniforms of both armies worn during the Revolutionary War, and demonstrations of musket loading and firing, and how British regiments fought in formation. 


Watching a demonstration of Revolutionary War era uniforms and clothing. Fort Niagara hosts an amazing French and Indian War encampment, as well as War of 1812 and Revolutionary War events, among others. (Ignore the hooded sweatshirts on my soldiers! It had snowed the day before.)
Before we left, we witnessed a skirmish meant to simulate "The shot heard round the world", the battle at Lexington and Concord. 


Indoor corridor on the second floor. The French Castle was built in the 1700s and has seen three nations' armies in the nearly 300 year history. It's always exciting to see the places my characters walked. 
Please stop back tomorrow when the authors of Backcountry Brides host a day long tea party and an afternoon facebook party with prizes and treats and lots of fun!


16 comments:

  1. That is such a cool place to visit. We were there in 2011 when our son was 13.

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    1. I have yet to go to Fort Ticonderoga, so that's a goal for the next few years. I've been to many sites during the War of 1812 bicentennial as well as in my younger years. The French Castle is rather unique.

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    2. Don't forget Fort Michilimackinac! Come in the summer and Carrie and I will meet you there. :)

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    3. Oh, and you'll have to go to Mackinac Island for sure. The War of 1812 touched there. https://www.mackinacparks.com/war-of-1812/

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    4. I need to plot that course! Of course, the direct route for me is through Ontario, which is always fun! (unless I took my rowboat).

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    5. 9.5 hr drive... but that's doable for me! I love road trips.

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  2. Such a memorable day for them! I'm sure it will stick with them much more than if they had only read it in a book.

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    1. Yes, I think so. They must have thanked me about ten times during the day (without prompting!)

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  3. I have a few videos but Blogger doesn't want to cooperate. The boys had a blast. One of them used a video for show and tell on Friday!

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  4. Love this post and photos, Deb. What a great grandma to teach your grandkids the history of their nation in such a memorable fashion.

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    1. I only have room to take two at a time, but we do have a lot of events in the area. This was a special treat for the boys!

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  5. I love the pictures. I'm sure your grandsons had an amazing time they will treasure forever.

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    1. Thanks, Sherry! They did. And I hope it continues to spark their interest in history.

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  6. Enjoyed the photos. Would love to visit.

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    1. I have multiple videos of the day as well. It's a lovely place and it wasn't rainy or snowing for a change! Thanks for commenting, Lucy!

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  7. This is a great post Debra! What a great, fun day y'all must have had and wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing and love the pictures.
    Blessings, Tina

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