The Niagara frontier in the midst of the American Revolution will be the theme of re-enactment activities at “Soldiers of the Revolution” at Old Fort Niagara this weekend.
Visitors will have opportunities to meet soldier and civilian re-enactors from the American and British camps, watch artillery and battle demonstrations, join a tour and learn about the conflict, listen to fifes and drums play period music, peek in on British justice practices and Native ransoms, pick sides for a mock wooden-musket battle, and play period games. Activities begin at 10 a.m. and continue throughout the day.
During the American Revolution (1775-1783), Fort Niagara was a strategic location for the British and their allies on the Niagara frontier. It also served as a safe place for British-aligned Native Americans and British loyalist settlers who were threatened and ousted from their communities by the Continental Army and its allies.
“The history of Fort Niagara as a strategic planning hub and safe place for refugees will be woven into the re-enactment activities,” said Robert Emerson, executive director of the Old Fort Niagara Association. “This event is a great way to learn about our region’s role and alliances during the American Revolution and how they influenced the war.”
Ongoing demonstrations include: woodworking, blacksmithing, Native American material culture, and foodways (cooking). The schedule is also available online at https://www.oldfortniagara.org/event/100152/soldiers-of-the-american-revolution.
The Officers’ Club, just outside the fort's footprint, will be open from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. for tours and access to the World War II display. The lighthouse will also be open from noon to 3 p.m.
Food, snacks, drinks and ice cream will be available for sale each day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the log cabin.
The cost to attend the event is $14 for adults, $10 for children ages 6-12, free for children 5 and under, and free to members of the Old Fort Niagara Association.
Old Fort Niagara (www.oldfortniagara.org) is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in July and August. Admissions end 30 minutes before closing.
Please note that visitors should arrive an hour before the battle demonstrations to allow time to get through admissions and to the viewing areas. The following schedule applies to Saturday and Sunday.
• 10 a.m. — Morning formation and flag raising
• 10:15 a.m. — Manual exercise
• 10:30 a.m. — Tour: Fort Niagara in the American Revolution
• 11 a.m. — Native refugees arrive at the fort
• 11:30 a.m. — Musket vs. Rifle Demonstration
• Noon — Artillery demonstration
• 1 p.m. — Music of the American Revolution
• 1:30 p.m. — Uniforms and clothing of the Frontier War
• 2 p.m. — Battle demonstration
• 2:30 p.m. — Prisoner ransom
• 3 p.m. — Recruiting demonstration for kids
• 3:30 p.m. — 18th century games
• 4:15 p.m. — Musket demonstration
• 5:15 p.m. — Musket demonstration
• 6 p.m. — Musket demonstration