A visit to Old Fort Erie, Ontario
Tourism, Travel Guide
Whenever you visit Canada and especially Ontario don't miss to learn something about our history.
This must not be boring and should include more than museums. There are related events width lots of action at historical places such as forts. Old Fort Erie is such a place, even when the name is misleading.
The original fort is long gone and what you find here on the banks of Lake Erie has been reconstructed in the thirties of the last century.
I consider our forts to be an attraction all year long. But unfortunately most of them are only open during summer.
A major event here in Fort Erie is called "The Siege of Fort Erie". Please visit our site about this spectacle. We also show one of our first videos. I apologize for all the flaws in it.
When you visit the fort, please join a guided tour. You will learn many interesting things. You can browse through the fort after the tour on your own ant take pictures.
Unfortunately you will not see this every day
Inside of the fort
As already mentioned this is not the original fort. That had been destroyed several times.
The first fort was built in 1764 by the English very close to the lake. Winter storms and ice from Lake Erie destroyed it soon.
These kind of damages occur still to houses built too close to the lake.
1803 it was decided to built a new fort a little bit away from the lake. The construction of this fort was not completed when the Americans declared in 1812 war to Britain as part of their movement for independence.
Also economical interests played a major role for this war. Naturally the Americans were not able to attack the British Islands, but todays Canada seemed to be an easy and strategical important target.
Right at the beginning of the war in 1812 the British garrison of Fort Erie was involved in fights and in 1813 the fort had to be evacuated because of the forceful attacks from the Americans. Before leaving they destroyed the fort.
However, in the same year the Americans lost the fort to the returning British, who began to repair it.
They did not have too much time to do this and so they lost it again in the following year to the American troops.
The Americans proceeded width the construction work and had up to 4000 man stationed here. Many of them had to live in tents surrounding the fort.
Most battles in the surrounding area were won by the Americans, but they suffered heavy losses.
After occupation forces in and around the fort were reduced, the British saw a chance to reconquer the fort again.
This attempt is being brought back to live by many volunteers from Canada nd the USA every year. It is a really unforgettable vent. Please visit our web site to get an impression what to expect.
From the court yard in the fort you have access to all the buildings.
The soldiers were drilled in front of a building which contained mainly the guard-room, the sleeping room for the soldiers and a place for officers who lived very often outside of the fort. A powder magazine was at the end of this building.
Because of the high unemployment to become a soldier was very popular.
They became a salary, food, every day free beer and a portion of rum. Some soldiers were even allowed to bring their wives width them. However, the lucky ones were chosen by lot.
The soldiers were allowed to have little gardens outside of the fort to improve the quality of the food.
I was told that the meat was delivered by boat from England. Can you image in which state that arrived? Even when it was protected by lots of salt.
Soldiers getting a drill
Where the soldiers slept
We learned that up to 100 men were sleeping here. Married couples got some privacy by blankets which were hanging down.
It was not allowed to leave this building during the night.
Buckets served as toilets.
Today the fort does not have buckets or any wash rooms. The renovation was done to meet the original standards - but they missed the buckets! Bring your own?
The windows were very small and I cringed when I was thinking about the smell. Especially in winter when most of the windows had to be kept closed.
Compare this room to the living quarters of the officers who did not live outside of the fort.
When I visited medieval castles in Europe I got the impression that the sanitary standards were better. They had a hole in the floor of a jutty.
The two very friendly cooks were busy preparing food. A mouthwatering smell came from a cast iron kettle.
Also their baking fascinated me.
Unfortunately, they were not allowed to serve me a free sample or sell me a complete meal. Probably, they had to eat everything by themselves.
I asked my self again, why do they not have a nice restaurant on this property which offers authentic food from the past width some good live entertainment.
In Europe this is very common.
The cooks were originally paid by the officers. The menu was always depending from the season, but sounded very good to me. Certainly much better, what fast food restaurants offer today.
The fort has also a little museum. When I was there old toys were demonstrated to the children. Believe it or not - they had fun in watching and trying them.
In the past they cooked for the officers. For whom do they cook today?
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Watch the video: Die Belagerung von Fort Erie. The siege of Fort Erie.
Many thanks to all the participants and the organizers.
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