Built by the British near the turn of the 19th century, Fort George once served as a headquarters for the British Army until the War of 1812.
Located in Niagara on the Lake, this massive Fort was surrounded by a ditch to protect it from invaders. It consisted of barracks, blockhouses, kitchens and had a hospital on site.
In May of 1813, the majority of the Fort was destroyed in an ambush by American forces. which went on to capture the town of Niagara. They subsequently used Fort George as a base from which they sought to invade much of Upper Canada.
The American forces ensuing occupation proved short-lived. The Native warriors, called Kahnawake, ambushed the American invaders at the Battle of Beaver Dams. The British then further beat them back at the Battle of Stoney Creek. After suffering such defeats, the US presence at Fort George shrunk to a small group of soldiers. These soldiers abandoned the Fort in December 1813, fearing an impending British attack. The British retook the Fort shortly after and tried to restore the destroyed buildings. They eventually gave up and left by the end of the war. In the 1930s Fort George was reconstructed, to look like the original. It has officially been recognized as one of Canada’s National Historic Sites.
Today, visitors from all over visit this beautiful and mysterious museum. It is considered haunted by some and is regarded by all as rich with historical significance, particularly for Canadians. The destruction of Fort George by the American militia in 1813 represents a frightening moment in Canadian history. Parts of Canada could have been annexed if things had gone the other way. The composition of North America could have looked quite different today.
You will definitely want to spend some time walking around the spacious grounds. Its impressive greenery and collection of historic buildings is breathtaking. The staff dress in colonial garb, reenact battles, fire muskets.
Take a tour and learn the history in depth.