Fort Erie

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Fort Erie (1764-1823) - First established in July 1764 by British Captain Montresor at the direction of General Bradstreet just after the French & Indian War in present day Fort Erie, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada. Three different forts of the same name were constructed on or near this site. Finally abandoned in 1823.

Posting the Guard (2012 Re-enactment)
American Flag over East Bastion (2012 Re-enactment)
Fort Erie Bastion & Barracks

Early History

The first Fort Erie was built in Jul 1764 by Capt. Montresor as a rectangular loopholed stockade with a bastion at each corner. There were two demi-bastions with rubble masonry walls. Inside the stockade was a parade ground, log barracks, officers quarters and a large storehouse. This fort was built at the edge of the lake and suffered greatly during winter storms.

Revolutionary War (1775-1783)

Fort Erie, 1803 Sallyport

The fort became a supply base for British troops, Loyalist Rangers and Iroquois Warriors during the Revolutionary War. In March 1779, a big storm blew a large amount of ice ashore severely damaging and flooding the fort. A second replacement fort (1779-1803) was built just south of the first location, still on the lower level by the water. The new fort lasted until another large storm on 5 Feb 1803 flooded, and severely damaged it.

The third Fort Erie was built by the British between 1805 and 1807 on the upper level of a 35' bluff. The new fort was rectangular with a bastions at each corner and connecting walls constructed of solid masonry. The barracks, storehouses and magazine were also constructed of stone. The fort was designed to accommodate 200-300 men.


War of 1812 (1812-1814)

Work was stopped in 1807 and the fort remained unfinished when the War of 1812 began. On 27 May 1813 the British garrison, fearing an American invasion, evacuated Fort Erie and blew up the magazine. American troops briefly occupied the fort and when they left on 9 Jun 1813 the British reoccupied the fort with a small garrison.

Siege of Fort Erie (2012 Re-enactment)

That garrison was captured by a large invading American army under Major General Jacob Brown who laid siege to the fort in July of 1814. The American army went on to to the Battles of Chippawa and Lundy's lane and then returned to Fort Erie after suffering significant losses. The British, under General Gordon Drummond, followed them back and laid siege to Fort Erie. Close fighting continued around Fort Erie and the British established a position inside the fort. Unfortunately, the British position was near a large store of gunpowder and when it all ignited over 300 British officers and men were killed. The British army backed off and lifted the siege in September. The American Army remained for a while and then abandoned and destroyed the fort on 5 Nov 1814. In leaving, the American army blew up the bastions and burned the buildings.

The War of 1812 ended two months later on 24 Dec 1814 with the Treaty of Ghent. The fort was not rebuilt as a military post but continued to be occupied by the British army until 1823.


Current Status

Fort Erie Visitor Center

Must See! In 1901 the property was granted to the Niagara Parks Commission who restored the fort to its 1814 state between 1937 and 1939. Fort Erie is part of Mather Park and continues to be operated by the Niagara Parks Commission.



Location: Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada.

Maps & Images

Lat: 42.89325 Long: -78.923817

Sources:

Links:

Visited: 11 Aug 2012

Fort Erie Picture Gallery

Click on the picture to see a larger version. Contribute additional pictures - the more the better!

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