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Porter Historical Society presents 1812 bicentennial program

by jmaloni
Mon, Aug 8th 2011 07:00 am

The Town of Porter Historical Society announces that a special War of 1812 bicentennial program, "Women's Voices: A Different View of the War of 1812," will be offered as a village walk on Wednesday, Aug. 10, beginning at 6 p.m.

"While the communities of Lewiston, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Queenston come to mind when the War of 1812 is mentioned, it was from Youngstown, located in the Town of Porter, that the first families fled the night of Dec. 18, 1813, when the British attacked and captured Fort Niagara, says Historical Society member Karen Noonan.

In anticipation of the coming bicentennial of the war and the founding of the town, she reports the Town of Porter Historical Society will offer the 1812 village walk.

Participants will listen to the stories of the burning of Newark (Niagara-on-the-Lake) and the hamlet of Youngstown in the winter of 1813 as told by Mrs. John (Catherine) Young of Newark and Ms. Rebecca Swain and Mrs. Robert (Agnes) Greensitt of Youngstown, says Noonan, who offers historical facts on their lives.

•Young, whose husband, John, was a merchant with property on both sides of the river, was forced from her home when troops burnt Newark on Dec.10, 1813. In retaliation, British troops crossed the Niagara River at Five Mile Meadows the night of Dec. 18, 1813, captured Fort Niagara and burned the hamlet of Youngstown.

•Swain, who was 15 years old at the time, resided in a log cabin about a mile from the fort. Hearing gunfire from the direction of the fort and knowing something was wrong, she and her family escaped to the east while their home was destroyed.

•Greensitt, a widow, whose husband, Robert Greensitt, purchased a lot from John Young in March 1812 and constructed a tavern in the hamlet, escaped with her children when the tavern was burned by the British.

The walk begins at the Salt Battery at 6 p.m., now the location of Constitution Park on Main Street in Youngstown and the former site of Greensitt's tavern. To register for a tour, call the Town of Porter Historical Society office at 745-1271.

There is no charge, but donations can be made to the Town of Porter Historical Society. Tour groups are limited to 20 individuals and registration is requested to ensure there are sufficient tour guides.

For additional information, contact Noonan at 745-1283 or 440-2893.

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