Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Americans are coming!

Who knew that years ago, the popular fresh water beach of Wasaga was home to an important chapter in Canadian history.
During the War of 1812, travel on the Great Lakes was the key to supply. The Nottawasaga River was used to travel from Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe, which then connected to Lake Ontario.
The British had a supply ship, the Nancy, which the Americans believed was on its way back from Fort Michilimackinac. In fact, the Nancy was in the River, and her commander, Lieutenant Woseley, tried to hide her from the US troops. When the US landed on the beach they discovered its mast in the trees. Woseley only had 22 seamen, 23 indians and 9 Voyageurs against a force of over 500 US soldiers and three ships, the Niagara, Tigress and Scorpion.
They battled on the beach, with the British/Canadians falling back and destroying the ship to prevent its capture.
Woseley's men escaped and travelled to Michilimackinac, and eventually turned the tables on the US. Two of the US ships were left to defend the area, Worsley and 92 men in four rowboats captured the Tigress in De Tour Passage, and on the following day, the Scorpion was lured into position and also captured.
In honour of these battles, War of 1812 re-enactors create battles representing the various military operations in the area, in an event called Wasaga Under Siege. This year, the tall ship St Lawrence II will play the part of one of the US ships.

The battle activities were centred on Nancy Island, which was created by the sunken hulk of the Nancy. In the encampment, a musket and canon demonstration was held.

then everyone headed to Beach One for the US attack.

After the battle the sun set in a glourious display of colour!

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