Youngstown and Lewiston, the communities devastated by a vicious attack by the British exactly two centuries ago today, have been busy the past couple of years planning a number of events to commemorate the anniversary:
• 5 a.m.: More than 150 re-enactors storm Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown, followed by a brief memorial ceremony.
• 7:15 a.m.: Falkner Park in Youngstown; re-enactors will light ceremonial flares and fire musket volleys to commemorate the burning of the Village of Youngstown. Open to the public.
• 8:15 a.m: Niagara County Historical Society presents a PowerPoint lecture on the war in St. John’s Episcopal Church on Main Street in Youngstown, followed by a screening of “Niagara on Fire,” a video chronicling the Dec. 10 burning of Newark, Ont. (Niagara-on-the-Lake) by American forces. Open to the public.
• 9:30 a.m.: 650 students from Lewiston-Porter and Wilson central schools, the Tuscarora Indian School and Stella Niagara Education Park arrive at Fort Niagara for a special program on the capture of the fort. They will then be bused into the village to participate in learning stations on 1812 life. For students only.
• 6:30 p.m.: Local volunteers in period dress will run down Center Street in the Village of Lewiston for the “Flames Through Lewiston,” recalling the flight of village residents in 1813 from invading British redcoats and their allies; also features American militia and Tuscarora heroes. Barrels will be set afire to signify the burning of the village; unveiling of bronze monument to the Tuscarora Nation.
Parking for the expected thousands of spectators will be available on neighboring side streets.
Organizers say the best vantage point for the re-enactment will be the sidewalk and parking lot by Subway at Portage Road and Center Street.
Security cameras, doubling as webcams, will broadcast live images of the statue unveiling at historiclewiston.org.