Old Fort Niagara's final summer event will take place Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend as the historic site presents its annual "War of 1812 Encampment." The highlight of the event is a Saturday night battle, which recreates the British capture of Fort Niagara in December 1813.
During the re-enactment, visitors get a birds-eye-view of the British attack that captured the fort. To view the battle, visitors must be inside the fort by 7 p.m. The re-enactment covers the same ground as the original attack in 1813, and demonstrates how the British were able to capture the fort in just 30 minutes.
The re-enactment will be preceded by a concert presented by the Mackenzie Highlanders Pipe and Drum Band.
In addition to the night battle, historical vignettes throughout the day will recreate the sights and sounds of the War of 1812. Activities begin both days with a colors ceremony followed by an 1812 infantry exercise with musket firings. Other activities include regency country dancing, artillery demonstrations, fife and drum music, and a recruiting demonstration for kids. At 3 p.m., a battle demonstration based on events of the summer of 1814 will showcase military tactics of the 1812 era.
At 1 p.m. on Saturday, Neil Yetwin, author of a new book, "To My Son: The Life and Remembrances of Major Mordecai Myers, 13th United States Infantry, 1812-1815," will present a lecture and sign copies of his book in the visitor center. Yetwin's biography of Myers and editing of the major's papers was published by Old Fort Niagara in 2013. Copies will be available for purchase at the visitor center.
Yetwin has been a teacher for 36 years and has published nearly 100 articles for a variety of journals and newspapers. He is the recipient of the Louis B. Yavner Award of the New York State Regents for Excellence in Teaching the Holocaust and Civil Rights, and in 2005 was named Outstanding Citizen of Schenectady.
More information on the event is available at www.oldfortniagara.org or by phone at 716-745-7611.
Old Fort Niagara is located in Youngstown, 14 miles north of Niagara Falls via the Robert Moses Parkway North. The fort opens at 9 a.m. daily. Old Fort Niagara is a National Landmark and State Historic Site operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association (a not-for-profit organization) in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.