Free performances will be presented at the Hennepin Park Gazebo (South Fourth and Center streets, Lewiston) at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 21; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 22
The 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 is approaching with the speed of a British cannonball. Lewiston played an important role in the War of 1812 and it's destiny was changed forever after it was burned to the ground in 1813. Come and hear the dramatic and inspirational stories of the impact that the war had on the lives of everyday people. The Marble Orchard Players, many returning and some new ones, will bring history to life in the telling of these true stories that celebrate the pioneer spirit.
The award-winning Marble Orchard, lauded by historians for its authenticity, has enthralled audiences of all ages from Western New York and beyond.
Here is a sneak peek of some of the stories patrons will hear.
Meet Sacarissa, the venerable Tuscarora Chief, who went to Canada to plead for peace, and who is still honored today by the Lewiston Independent Order of Odd Fellows (who named their lodge "Sacarissa Lodge" after him).
Lemuel Cooke was one of the first white settlers to build a cabin in Lewiston in the early 1800s. He will recall his harrowing escape from the British and Mohawk invaders when he was forced to shoot a Mohawk chief at point-blank range to save his brothers' life.
Sparrow Sage built his home and tavern at the base of Indian Hill. When the Brits and Mohawks chased the residents out of their burning Village, the invaders stopped at his tavern, but his confrontations with the Mohawks were not over yet.
The Gillette family will tell of the terror and tragedy they suffered at the hands of the Mohawks.
Catherine Hustler, who became famous for inventing the cocktail, will tell her version of the War of 1812 and will introduce you to the Millar family and the "Mudball Heroes."
Like the legendary Phoenix, Lewiston rose from the ashes as its early settlers returned even more determined to rebuild their lives with a renewed pioneer spirit. Where did all those spirits go? Nowhere. They are still right here and you can meet them in all person at the gazebo.
As the audience anticipates the Marble Orchard to begin, Tour DeElegance of Niagara will proudly escort the actors to Hennepin Park by horse and buggy - just as people traveled long ago.
"The Marble Orchard: Spirits of 1812" is sponsored by the Niagara River Greenway Commission and the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area.
This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the the Interior.
In the photo: The Marble Orchard Players. Seated from left: Madeline Catalano as Orphan Sister, Kaye Terryberry as Annie Lutts and Jacey Diez as Mary Millar. Middle, from left: Brodie McPherson as Alexander Millar, Kathryn Serianni as Catherine Hustler, Bonnie Clark as Mary Dunmead and Mark Porter as Chief Sacarissa. Top row, from left: Jerry Mosey as Sparrow Sage, Matt Hake as British Red Coat, Joanna Torreano as Sophia Shaw, Frank Filicetti as Bates Cooke, Sue Campbell as Agnes Latta Barton, Sandra Maslen as Nancy Gillette, Tim Henderson as narrator, Eva Nicklas as Sally Barton Tryon and Salvatore Bianco as Miles Gillette.