Fort George is a must-see on the Niagara student trips. The site was originally a fortification for military training. It was where militants lived and worked. Major General Isaac Brock, one of the most iconic Canadian figures from the War of 1812, first served until he was shot at the Battle of Queenston Heights. Rich in historical treasures, Fort George is the perfect stop to introduce the Canada’s triumph in the War of 1812.
Step into another time
The fort fell into disrepair during the war. However, this national historic site was reconstructed in the early 1900’s allowing visitors to travel back in time for a uniquely authentic experience. Our guide, dressed in the most fashionable of fashions for the time (complete with her frilled bonnet), greeted us at the entrance. As we passed through the palisades, we were transported. The lush green landscape, wooden buildings, costumed figures, and distant sound of a soldier’s flute. We were immersed in an engaging environment.
Taking a closer look
Our guide took us in and out of the different buildings on site. Our group got a closer look at a very different way of life. Quarters were a tight squeeze and day-to-day life was quite regimented, even free-time was fit into their time schedule. Passing through each room, we explored the lives of different classes of Fort George’s prior inhabitants. Many detailed artifacts are left behind. A day in the life at Fort George wasn’t always easy. Taking a closer look and exploring the grounds allowed us to experience a little of what life was once like at the fort.
Ending with a bang
The grand finale of any visit to Fort George is a spectacle that you absolutely cannot miss. Every hour at quarter to the hour, a soldier regally dressed in red performs a musket demonstration in the field at the far end of the site. As our guide loaded his musket, he set the tone for action on the battlefield. Muskets are no longer the weapon of choice and with good reason. With a laborious loading time and unreliable precision, it was likely that you could be shot dead before you even pulled your own trigger. After much anticipation, three loud shots are fired as we all watched on the edge of our seats. The highlight of every visit, the musket demonstration is not to be passed over when visiting Fort George.