Old Fort Niagara will host a series of free, distance learning videos that share important stories from Fort Niagara’s early history on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the month of May.
The content is targeted for school-aged children, but is appropriate for people of all ages.
While the historic site remains closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is taking this opportunity to connect with people in new ways.
Using Zoom as the platform, the fort is planning six combination video and Q&A sessions with participants that will feature six different people who lived at the fort between 1750 and 1815. The sessions will start at 10 a.m. with a brief introduction by Robert Emerson, executive director of the Old Fort Niagara Association, followed by a short, 5-6 minute video, followed by a Q&A with Emerson or a member of the fort’s staff.
Each program will last 20 to 30 minutes and will differ based on the following schedule:
•Tuesday, May 12, meet Charlotte Contrecoeur, a 10-year-old girl whose father is commandant of French Fort Niagara in 1753. Learn about life at Fort Niagara on the eve of the French and Indian War.
•Thursday, May 14, 10 a.m., meet Guy Johnson, an officer of His Majesty’s Indian Department, as he prepares for the great peace conference of 1764. Learn about the great peace conference of 1764 through British eyes and what role Fort Niagara played in ending the Native American uprising known as Pontiac’s War.
•Tuesday, May 19, meet Anahgogare and Onughshory, two Native American delegates to the great peace conference of 1764. Discover the Native American perspective on Pontiac’s War through the eyes of two participants.
•Thursday, May 21, meet Patrick Gibbs, a Loyalist refugee on his way to Fort Niagara in 1780 during the American Revolution. During the American Revolution, some Americans remained loyal to King George. Learn about the War for Independence through the eyes of a Loyalist refugee.
•Tuesday, May 26, meet James McDermitt, a soldier in the First U.S. Regiment of Artillery during an artillery bombardment in the fall of 1812. Learn about the beginning of the War of 1812 on the Niagara Frontier through the eyes of a soldier in the First U.S. Artillery Regiment.
•Thursday, May 28, meet Mary Taylor, an American refugee when the British captured the fort in December 1813. The War of 1812 took its toll on the civilian population of the Niagara Frontier. Find out what life was like for civilian refugees, forced from their homes by British attack.
These are the steps interested participants should take for accessing each session of “Faces of the Fort.” Space is limited, early registration is suggested.
Per Old Fort Niagara’s recommendations:
√ Register for a free account at www.zoom.us. Being a registered user helps secure each video program from outside hackers.
√ Once registered with Zoom, use this link to register in advance for each session: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAtcuuuqj4iGdJuTNMxc-dOwF5Jtc0mV5xC.
√ Once registered for a session, participants will receive an email confirmation with a link and password for accessing the program. Use the provided link and password for accessing the session.
√ Download and review the companion booklet to this program: https://www.oldfortniagara.org/documents//FlinklocksCouncilFires_Booklet_Final.pdf.
These distance learning programs are sponsored by Emerge USA & Canada Inc., a multimedia company focusing on assisting not-for-profits and companies whose services or products help people. More information is available at www.emergehelps.com.
Old Fort Niagara is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An opening date has not yet been established. Visit www.oldfortniagara.org for the latest information.
Old Fort Niagara is a Registered National Historic Landmark and New York 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.