War of 1812 Weekend

See where Canada gained its identity and the U.S. military grew up

The War of 1812 is often thought of as the one where the Brits burned down Washington, D.C., and Francis Scott Key wrote the National Anthem while detained on a British ship. But it was also the focus of significant action on the U.S.-Canada border, as well, and Sackets Harbor was the locus of much of that. As the nation’s shipbuilding center in that era, the U.S. Navy’s Great Lakes headquarters was located there, and a third of the U.S. Army was stationed there as well. In the end, while the British and Americans staged raids to capture lands, nothing changed hands. But Canadians emerged from the war with a sense of national identity, and Americans realized that they couldn’t rely entirely on volunteers to fight a war – they needed to build a strong standing military.

At a glance
  • 2014 is the final year of the three-year bicentennial remembrance of the War of 1812, which ended in 1814.
  • Muskets, artillery and drills: Tactical demonstrations held Saturday and Sunday
  • Canadian historian, author and re-enactor Richard Feltoe will speak Friday evening