Niagara Gazette

War of 1812

December 16, 2012

Event brings nearly 200-year-old burning of Lewiston to life

Event brings nearly 200-year-old burning of Lewiston to life


Niagara Gazette — “We’ve been doing this for a couple years now,” Tuscarora representative Neil Patterson Sr. said.

The most important part of the event is the historical significance of the burning of Lewiston, a trade hub one time larger in population than Buffalo. But it’s also about the shared experiences with the Tuscarora, whose history is intertwined.

Darwin N. John, a Seneca who portrayed a Tuscarora native in the reenactment, said the event shows just how connected the two really are.

“It’s part of our heritage,” he said. “This is just a little bit of the history of the area.”

So is this the last of the Flames event? Historical Association of Lewiston President Bruce Sutherland thinks it’s time to end the night reenactments. But there is one last Flames celebration to come. Next year, as the village recognizes 200 years since real flames destroyed the lives of hundreds of residents, a new monument will be dedicated and a day-time reenactment will involve more than Center Street.

“I think remembering the bicentennial is good,” Sutherland said. “And if someone wants to organize something like this after that, that’s fine. But we’re going to put our efforts into other things, including trying to do something with the Frontier House.

“And Lee Simonson, the event creator, will probably think of something else. We have a lot of creative people on our board. We can probably think of some other aspects of our village’s history to explore.”

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War of 1812
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