The 2012-2015 Bicentennial of the War of 1812 will mark the 200th anniversary of significant military activity in Hamilton.
In 2013 the Battle of Stoney Creek and the sinking of ships the Hamilton and Scourge, among other activities, will be commemorated. The City of Hamilton's commemoration will be part of the larger Bicentennial commemoration happening across North America.
Bicentennial Video: (Produced by Inside City of Hamilton - presented on YouTube)
Check out all the of fantastic family events happening in the city to celebrate the Bicentennial.
The City of Hamilton is providing funding to help organizations and collectives develop events and activities which will commemorate the story of Hamilton’s role in the War of 1812. Read more...
The history of Dundurn is built on the history of the War of 1812, Burlington Heights, where Dundurn Castle now stands, was occupied by the British military from 1813 until 1815 during the War of 1812. The property was turned into a fortified supply depot and was a main staging area for British forces operating in southwestern Upper Canada and the Niagara Peninsula.
In early June of 1813, Major General John Vincent and the Central Division of the British Army took possession of Richard Beasley's picturesque farm on the Heights which served as a place of defense, rest and re-supply for the rest of the war. Faced with an approaching American army 3,500 strong, Vincent and 700 British troops and Native warriors marched from Burlington Heights to surprise and defeat the Americans encamped around the Gage Family homestead at Stoney Creek.
Two decades after the war, the new owner of Beasley's property, Sir Allan Napier MacNab built Dundurn Castle, incorporating some of the surviving military buildings into his new home.
During the Bicentennial, Dundurn will focus on it’s War of 1812 history through tours and programming.
The Hamilton Military Museum is housed in the former MacNab gate house on the grounds of Dundurn National Historic Site. The museum contains hands-on and traditional glass-cased exhibits. The permanent collection features artifacts from the War of 1812 up to the First World War. Archaeologically recovered artifacts from the property and two original 1812 uniforms form the core of the Hamilton Military Museum's War of 1812 collection.
During the Bicentennial the Military Museum will have War of 1812 exhibits and programming available to the public. As well, Military Museum staff are providing historical information to organizations in Hamilton planning War of 1812 themed programming.
During the Bicentennial, Battlefield staff and volunteers prepared for the annual Re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek. June 6, 2013 marked exactly 200 years since the Battle occurred. The Stoney Creek Battle Monument was also remembered as 2013 marks 100 years since it was unveiled.
On June 5, 1813, approximately 3,500 American forces advanced as far as the Gage family homestead in Stoney Creek, now Battlefield House Museum & Park, and established camp for the night. A surprise night attack by the British was initiated in the early morning hours of June 6, 1813 from Burlington Heights (where Dundurn Castle now stands).
Seven hundred British regulars from the King's (8th) Regiment of Foot and the 49th Regiment of Foot were supported by a small contingent of native warriors, led by John Norton, during the Battle of Stoney Creek. During an intense 40-minute battle, the British captured two American Generals and two field guns. The Americans were forced to retreat, never to advance as far into the Niagara Peninsula again.
Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum presents “Noose, Knife and Fire: The Bloody Assize”, an exhibition in commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. Fieldcote's exhibit examines one of the most controversial moments in all of Canadian history. Read more about The Bloody Assize.
The Hamilton and Scourge were initially named the Diana and the Lord Nelson respectively, before the War of 1812. They were not large specialized war vessels; instead, they were simple merchant ships that were pressed into service for the American Navy just prior to the War of 1812. Both vessels foundered in Lake Ontario during a sudden squall just after midnight on August 8, 1813. Today, these vessels rest under 300 feet of water.
During the Bicentennial a plaque was unveiled in Confederation Park commemorating the Hamilton and the Scourge.
The 2012-2015 Bicentennial of the War of 1812 will mark the 200th anniversary of significant military activity in Hamilton. We invite you to join us and experience the many programs and activities that will present historical perspectives and create contemporary meaning to activities of this historical time
War of 1812 Trail
Hamilton will have a War of 1812 self guided trail available in 2012. This project has been spear headed by members of the Hamilton Historical Board and will have assistance from Culture Division staff.
War of 1812 Virtual Tour
With assistance from grant funding, virtual tours have been designed for all of Hamilton’s civic museums. Take a virtual tour of the War of 1812!
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