Ogdensburg, Prescott to celebrate as War of 1812 brings Canada and U.S. together 200 years later
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 8:58 am

PRESCOTT, Ont. – Prescott and Ogdensburg will commemorate the War of 1812 Battle of Ogdensburg bicentennial weekend February 22-24, 2013 in the spirit of cross-border cooperation with activities in each community.

The Feb. 22, 1813 attack across the St. Lawrence River from Canada into the United States is now part of the shared heritage of the two countries to be remembered in friendship.

"The Prescott Bicentennial Committee was fortunate to receive a $31,800 grant from the Government of Canada for local War of 1812 bicentennial events," said Suzanne Dodge, who heads the committee.

Their plans include a morning skirmish on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Fort Wellington before the re-enactors are bused to Ogdensburg for the afternoon battle. That evening there is a re-enactors’ dinner, followed by a period dance open to all.

"With the cooperation of Prescott, re-enactors and the public on both sides of the river will experience an expanded 200th anniversary Battle of Ogdensburg, safer, but just as thrilling, as the original battle." said Tim Cryderman, president of Forsyth’s Rifles. "An exciting change Saturday afternoon will have the re-enactors battling along the streets, following a route similar to the one taken by the Anglo-Canadian army in 1813 as it fought toward the fort on Lighthouse Point."

Given the large number of participants expected at this once-in-a-lifetime event, 60 or more re-enactors from the Canadian Fencibles, Les Voltigeurs canadiens and the 15th New York Regiment will bunk in the Fort Wellington blockhouse Friday and Saturday night. Their breakfasts will be served at the Royal Canadian Legion, courtesy of the Prescott organizers.

Prescott’s bicentennial activities include unveiling a mural commemorating the raid on Ogdensburg, an art and artisans showcase, and family activities that include horse-drawn wagon rides.

Friday, Feb. 22, 200 years to the day of the attack across the frozen St. Lawrence, Canadian historian Robert Henderson will address the Red George Heritage Dinner at the Red George Public House in Prescott.

Lt. Col. Red George Macdonnell led the Anglo-Canadian army across the ice in Feb. 1813 against the American forces commanded by Captain Benjamin Forsyth.

From December through February, monthly heritage talks related to the War of 1812 will be given by established historians at a Prescott school and Fort Wellington to help set the tone and generate enthusiasm for the bicentennial commemorations.