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Hamilton. It's Happening Here!

1812 Sites in Hamilton

Route 1812 map guide

Find out more about the 1812 historic sites in the area by using this interactive guide. Or download the 1812 app!


Battlefield House Museum & ParkGage House, Battlefield House Museum and Park

On June 5, 1813, approximately 3,500 American forces advanced as far as the Gage family homestead in Stoney Creek, now Battlefield House Museum & Park, and established camp for the night. A surprise night attack by the British was initiated in the early morning hours of June 6, 1813 from Burlington Heights (where Dundurn Castle now stands).

Seven hundred British regulars from the King’s (8th) Regiment of Foot  and the 49th Regiment of Foot were supported by a small contingent of native warriors, led by John Norton, during the Battle of Stoney Creek. During an intense 40-minute battle, the British captured two American Generals and two field guns. The Americans were forced to retreat, never to advance as far into the Niagara Peninsula again.

Visit the Museum:
King St and Highway 20, Stoney Creek
http://www.battlefieldhouse.ca/
www.hamilton.ca/battlefield

Dundurn National Historic SiteDundurn National Historic Site

Burlington Heights is the height of land on which Dundurn Castle is located today.

In early June of 1813, Major General John Vincent and the Central Division of the British Army took possession of Richard Beasley’s picturesque farm on the Heights which served as a place of defense, rest and re-supply for the rest of the war.

Faced with an approaching American army 3,500 strong, Vincent and 700 British troops and Native warriors marched from Burlington Heights to surprise and defeat the Americans encamped around the Gage Family homestead at Stoney Creek.

Two decades after the war, the new owner of Beasley’s property, Sir Allan Napier MacNab built Dundurn Castle, incorporating some of the surviving military buildings into his new home.

Visit the Museum:
610 York Blvd, Hamilton
www.hamilton.ca/dundurn

The Hamilton Military MuseumHamilton Military Museum, located beside Dundurn Castle

On June 1st 1813, Burlington Heights – where Dundurn Castle sits today – became a fortified supply depot which was approached but never attacked by American forces during the war.

The Hamilton Military Museum is housed in the former MacNab gate house on the grounds of Dundurn National Historic Site. The museum contains hands-on and traditional glass-cased exhibits. The permanent collection features artifacts from the War of 1812 up to the First World War. Archaeologically recovered artifacts from the property and two original uniforms form the core of the Hamilton Military Museum’s War of 1812 collection.

Visit the Museum: 610 York Blvd, Hamilton

Westfield Heritage Village

Westfield Heritage Village is a stunning collection of over 30 historical buildings which has made Westfield one of the most interesting historical destinations in Ontario. Carefully restored and staffed with costumed interpreters, the buildings capture the true charm and spirit of early Canadian culture. Westbrook Home, one of the oldest surviving buildings from Brant County, is currently being re-constructed at Westfield. The timber frame house was witness to the last land battle of the War of 1812 on Canadian soil – the Battle of Malcolm’s Mills. Other Westfield buildings of this era include the 1808 Bamberger Home, a c. 1814 log church, the c. 1793 Queen’s Rangers cabin and the c. 1818 D’Aubigny Inn.

Visitors may witness living history demonstrations and take part in guided tours of the 130-hectare site which is bordered by beautiful woodlands, meadows and trails.

Westfield is open Sundays and holidays from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. April to October. Special events run from March to December, hours may vary.  Westfield is located at 1049 Kirkwall Road (formerly Regional Road 552), off Highway 8 in Rockton.

For more information, call 1-800-883-0104 or 519-621-8851 or www.westfieldheritage.ca

Stoney CreekBattlefield Monument, Battlefield House Museum and Park

Location: Battlefield Park, King St and Highway 20, Stoney Creek

Several plaques and the impressive hundred foot tall Stoney Creek monument commemorate the location of the Battle of Stoney Creek.

Plaque Monuments include:

  • Plaque Battle of Stoney Creek 1813 provincial heritage marker
  • Plaque Battle of Stoney Creek federal heritage marker
  • Plaque Their Fame Liveth (Stoney Creek)
  • Monument Stoney Creek Battlefield Monument

For more information, click here.

Monument Smith’s Knoll
Located on the North side of King St, across the street from Battlefield Museum

Smith’s Knoll Monument & Memorial Garden

Visit this moving memorial to the fallen from the four Nations party to the conflict, featuring a stone cairn, statue of a lion, cannons and a beautiful memorial garden opening in June, 2013.
www.battlefieldhouse.ca, battlefield@hamilton.ca, 905-662-8458

Royal Botanical Gardens Peace Garden

Encounter this symbol of peace featuring 1,812 red geraniums in front of the T.B. McQuesten Lookout on York Blvd.
www.rbg.ca, info@rbg.ca, 905-527-1158

Ancaster

The Bloody Assize 1914 plaque by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Historic Sites Board of Ontario

Location: Wilson St E, Ancaster, ON

Treason trials were held in Ancaster to convict some of the men involved in raids that took place in 1813 and 1814. Eight men are executed by hanging in 1814 in sight of the garrison on Burlington Heights. The trials are known as the Bloody Assize.

Plaque The Bloody Assize – 1814

Burlington Heights1812 marker, along York Boulevard at the High Level Bridge

Location: Dundurn Park, Harvey Park and the Hamilton Cemetery, York Blvd., Hamilton

Burlington Heights was occupied by the British military from 1813 until 1815. The property was turned into a fortified supply depot and was a main staging area for British forces operating in southwestern Upper Canada and the Niagara Peninsula.

At a ceremony on Burlington Heights in 1815, a wampum was passed from the British to the Six Nations and a ritual of condolence was performed, announcing the peace with the Americans and grieving over the costs of war.

Plaques include:

  • Plaque Burlington Heights 1813-1814
  • Plaque Sir John Harvey 1778-1852
  • Plaque “The Burlington Races” 1813

War of 1812 EarthworksMap of Burlington Heights
An earthwork is a wall of earth created by digging a borrow ditch and then piling the earth behind. This process produces an effective obstacle for attacking troops to try and get around and it also absorbs the shock of cannon balls without allowing them to pass through.

Magazines, barracks and storehouses were built on Burlington Heights for the purpose of providing a place of rest and re-supply for the British army and they needed to be protected. Three lines of earthworks served as defense walls here. The first line of defense was completed by September of 1813. The first line of defense also had a palisade or wooden fence in the ditch in front of it for extra protection.

Today two earthworks survive in Dundurn and Harvey Parks and a portion of the first line survives inside the bounds of the Hamilton Cemetery. A magazine and sally port can still be seen, incorporated into Allan MacNab’s home, Dundurn Castle.

For more information on plaques in Hamilton please visit the following sites:

Hamilton Historical Board’s Joint Plaquing Sub-committee
Online Plaque Guide from Ontario Heritage Trust
Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada

The Hamilton & Scourge National Historic Site

Hamilton & Scourge
The Hamilton & Scourge schooners are among the best-preserved wooden shipwrecks in the world, and they rest in the deep, dark and frigid waters of Lake Ontario. They were part of the American fleet, battling the Royal Navy for control of the Great Lakes during the War of 1812.

A mere two months after the Battle of Stoney Creek, the ships vanished in a violent summer storm on August 8, 1813. The ships disappeared in just minutes, taking most of their crews to the bottom. It was the largest single loss of life on the Great Lakes during the War of 1812.

A National Historic Sites Alliance for Ontario plaque will be installed and dedicated during the bicentennial period.

www.hamilton-scourge.hamilton.ca/

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