‘Winter Woods Battle’ returns to Old Fort Niagara from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday featuring cordwaining as a new demonstration along with its assortment of indoor and outdoor living-history activities.
“This year, visitors will learn about cordwaining, or shoemaking, in the 18th century from our guest cordwainer, Brett Walker of Ligonier, Pa.,” said Robert Emerson, executive director of the Old Fort Niagara Association. “Additionally, there are indoor and outdoor activities to accommodate our visitors’ interests and comforts, including quill writing, making a tin ornament, starting a fire with flint and steel, building winter shelters with branches, learning the history of snowshoes and the Great Lakes fur trade. Plus, the annual trek into the woods for the battle!”
Re-enactors from regional units – Brant’s Volunteers, Hoisington Rangers, New York Provincials and Shroth’s New York Company – join the fort’s staff and volunteers in presenting a full slate of programming for all, whether indoor or outdoor enthusiasts.
“Pull on your boots, hats, gloves and coats and head to the fort for a fun, wintry day,” added Emerson. “ ‘Winter Woods Battle’ offers everyone a chance to get some fresh air, wander around historic buildings and experience life in the 1700s with fun and friendly re-enactors and staff.”
All events are included with regular admission to the fort and members get in for free.
• 10 a.m. to noon — A Winter's Project – Cordwaining demonstration by Brett Walker of Ligonier, Pa. (formerly with Colonial Williamsburg, Va.). Learn how shoes are made in the 18th century.
• 10 a.m. to noon — Quill Penmanship – Take up your quill and learn to write in the 18th-century style. Experience life when "texting" meant a quill pen, inkwell and paper.
• 10 a.m. to noon — Winter games
• 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Food on the Frontier – 18th-century hearth cooking demonstration
• 10:15 a.m. — Musket firing demonstration
• 11:30 a.m. — Winter Survival in the Fort and on the Trail
• Noon — Start a Fire with Flint and Steel
• 12:15 p.m. — Musket Firing Demonstration
• 12:30 p.m. — Shelter Building
• 1 p.m. — Tinsmithing, Make and Take a Tin Ornament
• 1 to 3 p.m. — Quill Penmanship
• 1:15 p.m. — Musket Firing
• 1:30 p.m. — The History of the Snowshoe: New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
• 2 p.m. — The Expedition: Be on the front lines as French forces from the fort clash with British rangers posted in the woods. Walk on snowshoes (weather permitting*) and enjoy hot chocolate in the British camp. This is approximately a one-mile hike. Please wear practical footwear and dress for the weather.
• 2 p.m. — Fur Trading Demonstration: Hear tales of the voyageurs and their lives on the Great Lakes.
• 2 to 3:30 p.m. — Cordwaining (shoemaking) Demonstration
• 2 to 3:30 p.m. — Winter Games
• 2:15 p.m. — Musket Firing Demonstration
• 3:15 p.m. — Musket Firing Demonstration
• 4:15 p.m. — Musket Firing Demonstration
Ongoing demonstrations include fishing, Native American stories and songs.
In addition to the activities, warm drinks and snacks will be for sale onsite at the log cabin.
General admission is $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 6-12, and free for children ages 5 and under.
More information about membership and Old Fort Niagara’s upcoming events and programs is available at www.oldfortniagara.org.