The Annual Meeting of the Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance, Sackets Harbor Historical Society, and the Sackets Harbor Area Cultural Preservation Foundation will feature a talk by John R. Grodzinski entitled “A Tale of Two Dockyards: The Naval Bases at Sackets Harbor and Kingston in the War of 1812.”
The War of 1812 witnessed the unprecedented employment of naval power on Lake Ontario. From their humble pre-war beginnings, the dockyards at Sackets Harbor and Kingston grew in scale and by the end of the conflict, were producing ships of a scale intended more for the open ocean than inland seas. This presentation will examine the naval commitment made by Great Britain and the United States on Lake Ontario during the War of 1812 and the legacy of those efforts.
This free event will be held on Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site’s Barn on Hill Street, off Washington Street in Sackets Harbor. The annual meeting begins at 6 pm; the program at 7 pm. Light refreshments will be served.
John R. Grodzinski teaches military history at the Royal Military College of Canada at Kingston, Ontario. He is author of Sir George Prevost: Defender of Canada in the War of 1812 (forthcoming, University of Oklahoma Press) and several articles examining various topics related to the War of 1812. Grodzinski is also the editor of the on-line War of 1812 Magazine and conducts staff rides and battlefield tours that consider the Seven Years’ War, the American War of Independence, the War of 1812 and the development of fortifications in Canada from 1608 to 1871.
Illustration: The Kingston (now Ontario) naval yard at Point Fredrick in 1815 by E. E. Vidal (watercolor) now hanging in the Massey Library at the Royal Military College of Canada.
The Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance, Inc. and the Village of Sackets Harbor, New York are proud to host the War of 1812 North American Grand Tactical, July 31-August 1, 2010. The Grand Tactical is the annual gathering of all 1812 American and Crown Forces recreated units, showcasing a wide range of living history traditions including 1812 camp life, clothing, cooking, dance, etiquette, music, period games, military dress and tactics, and weaponry.
One of the largest living history weekends for re-enactors, this is the dress rehearsal for the 2013 Bicentennial living history event scheduled for Sackets Harbor. Grand Tacticals annually alternate between the United States and Canada, attracting large numbers of participants and spectators. This is the first War of 1812 Grand Tactical for New York State’s north country. The Sackets Harbor site was selected for its battlegrounds authenticity and ranking by the National Park Service as one of the top ten War of 1812 sites in the nation.
Experience life during the War of 1812 as living history re-enactors and sutlers (period merchants) gather at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site. A full schedule of demonstrations fills Saturday from 9am to 8pm and again on Sunday from 9am to 3pm. There is a nominal admission fee.
This gigantic Grand Tactical kick-off to the upcoming War of 1812 Bicentennial will give everyone a taste of what’s to come during the three-year cross-border observance starting in 2012.
For more information, contact the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site (NY) at 315-646-3634 or online at www.sacketsharborbattlefield.org
A presentation by acclaimed French & Indian War reenactor Major George A. Bray III will present “Struggle for an Empire, The French and Indian War along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, 1755-1760” at 6 pm at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield this Thursday, May 21, 2009. Bray will relate tales of the 250-year-old conflict to open the 2009 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Experience Series. Bray will appear in period costume, portraying an officer of Rogers’ Rangers, an elite rapid response light infantry unit known for its bold military tactics. Rogers’ Rangers became the chief scouting unit of the British Crown forces during the war fought from 1754 to 1760.
In addition to being a respected French & Indian War historian, Bray is a Fellow of the Company of Military Historians, and an author writing for such publications as Early America Review. He has written about various aspects of the war from the use of poisoned bullets by the French to scalping. Bray’s historic collection includes original newspapers, documents, books, prints and weaponry.
As event commander at historic Fort Niagara in Youngstown, NY, Bray will welcome hundreds of reenactors for the July 3-5 New York State Signature Event for the 250th French & Indian War Anniversary Commemoration. Bray says, “My mission is to portray 18th century military life for the education of visitors to historic sites and to perpetuate the significant history of the French and Indian War and Rogers’ Rangers.”
Bray serves with Seaway Trail Foundation President Teresa Mitchell on the New York State French and Indian War 250th Anniversary Commemorative Commission. The $5 admission for May 21st presentation will benefit the nonprofit Seaway Trail Foundation that promotes learning experience tourism along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, one of America’s Byways noted for authentic American experiences. Learn more at www.seawaytrail.com or call 315-646-1000.