New England Trip 2012 – Day 2 – Tupper Lake, NY

New England Trip 2012 – Day 2 – Tupper Lake, NY

After photographing the flock of Wild Turkeys at Higley Flow State Park, we headed further south to Tupper Lake where we stopped at a couple of locations including a parking lot by the ball diamond where I noticed this sign that seems to imply that the ball park is only open during the hours when children and adults alike are unlikely to be around to use it. I’m certain that that isn’t the intended meaning but it did make me smile a bit to try and figure it out.

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New England trip 2012 – Day 1 – Ogdensburg, NY

 

New England trip 2012 – Day 1 – Ogdensburg, NY

Our original plan for this period of time was to fly to Vancouver and then borrow my brother’s car for a trip along the west coast down to the Los Angeles area. We changed or minds when we looked at the long range forecast for our intended route. It looked like we might encounter three or four days of nasty weather along the west coast, so we decided instead to visit the New England states and enjoy the many colours of the Fall foliage.

We planned on leaving early in the morning and traveling straight south but, one thing led to another and we ended up leaving rather late in the day so our first day of travel was a rather short one and we arrived in Ogdensburg, NY  just in time to enjoy the evening light along the banks of the St. Lawrence River.

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Fort Ontario, Oswego, NY

Fort Ontario, Oswego, NY

I had spent the night in my tent at Selkirk Shores State Park which is located about 20 miles to the east of Oswego, NY. While checking out in the morning, park staff had told me that there was a fort in Oswego that was operated by the New York State Parks and Historic Preservation organization. With only that information, and no specific directions, off I headed for Oswego, NY stopping along the way to photograph a fire hydrant or two :-).

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Upper Canada Village near Morrisburg, Ontario

Upper Canada Village near Morrisburg, Ontario (Location)

We had some visitors from the U.S earlier this week so spent some time visiting the Upper Canada Village located between Cornwall, Ontario and Morrisburg, Ontario. I have been there a few times in recent years photographing the seasonal lights but this was the first time in quite a while that I had visited the village in daylight hours without snow on the ground. (Previous Upper Canada Village posts)

In the past year, the new entrance has been completed and provides access to the Village properties as well as to a new museum-style group of displays. This year, the displays focus heavily on the events of the war of 1812-14 which impacted this area directly when the Americans crossed the St. Lawrence River and battled with the locals, the natives and the British at Crysler Farm. The village itself reflects a period of time closer to the mid 1800’s but with this being the bicentennial of the War of 1812-14  Canada and with the Fall of 1813 marking the bicentennial of the actual battles at Crysler Farm, there is more than a normal emphasis on the events of the 1812-14 period. Continue reading

St. Lawrence Seaway – Eisenhower Lock – Massena, NY

St. Lawrence Seaway – Eisenhower Lock – Massena, NY (Location)

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The Eisenhower Lock near Massena NY (Location) is one of two American-operated locks on the St. Lawrence River. Five other locks are operated along this route on the Canadian side of the St. Lawrence River and are, collectively, an integral part of the St. Lawrence Seaway System. The St. Lawrence Seaway locks provide a method for ocean vessels to travel from Montreal, Quebec to Lake Ontario and then back again without the need for intermediary-sized vessels. A further collection of locks between the Great Lakes opens the route all of the way to Thunderbay, Ontario and Duluth, Minnesota on the western end of Lake Superior, a total distance of about 3700 km or 2300 miles. Continue reading

Robert Moses State Park, Massena, NY.

Robert Moses State Park, Massena, NY.

Robert Moses State Park is located on the banks of the St. Lawrence River near to Massena, NY. (Location). I was traveling to this state park in order to enjoy and photograph the activities of the St. Lawrence County Historical Association Civil War Weekend. I was detained in Ottawa on family-related business so did not arrive at the park until dusk and the park office closed just before I arrived. I had brought my tent expecting that I would not have too much trouble finding an available spot to pitch the small tent. Continue reading

Fort Wellington National Historic Site, Prescott, Ontario

Fort Wellington National Historic Site, Prescott, Ontario (Location)

I arrived at Fort Wellington today after being a spectator at the re-enactment of the French and Indian War at the former site of Fort de la Presentation on the opposite shore of the St. Lawrence River. It was late in the day, so I decided to just take some shots of the perimeter of Fort Wellington and save a visit inside the fort for a later date. Continue reading

Land Battle Re-enactment of the French and Indian War at Ogdensburg July 22, 2012

Land Battle Re-enactment of the French and Indian War at Ogdensburg – July 22, 2012

Each July the folks of Ogdensburg, New York turn the clock back a few hundred years on a piece of open land at Lighthouse Point on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in order to welcome re-enactors interested in the skirmishes that occurred in the 18th century when this piece of property was the site of Fort de la Presentation. They are hoping that some day they will have been able to raise sufficient funds to begin a reconstruction of the fort itself as a tourist site of historical and educational interest. More information about Fort de la Presentation is here.

Click on image for larger view of this on-site placard.

As the beginning of the land battle draws closer, cannons roll in, the drummers start drumming and the troops assemble in period clothing ready to do battle. Lots of noise and smoke as the black powder artillery adds to the drama of the re-enactment.

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Gananoque, Ontario

Gananoque, Ontario

June 2, 2012 – Gananoque sports a population of 5200 and is located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River a few kilometers downstream from Kingston, Ontario. There are a number of reasons that one might want to visit Gananoque. One reason might be to visit the OLG 1,000 Islands Casino visible from the Hwy 401 intersection. As we were arriving at that intersection, we were directly behind a large white bus that acted as a shuttle bus bringing another busload of people to the Casino. We had no particular interest in following that bus into the casino parking lot since my success rate at slot machines is very low.

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War of 1812 Bicentennial

Less than three months until the calendar page is turned to 2012. Throughout many parts of Canada and the United States, re-enactors and historians have been planning for many, many months for the various events for the bicentennial of the War of 1812. The North American based War of 1812 was a war between the Americans and the British over maritime trade issues spinning out from the Napoleonic Wars but American interests in acquiring territory of then Upper and Lower Canada lead to many skirmishes along the shores of the St Lawrence River and the Great Lakes.

This week, the US Embassy previewed a documentary of the War at Canada’s War Museum in Ottawa. It is expected that the documentary will be aired on many PBS channels in the upcoming months. Some Canadian TV vignettes will also be aired over the same period.

In August 2011, I visited Fort Niagara in Upper New York State and, in the previous year, I visited Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Both of these forts were the site of significant skirmishes during the War of 1812. While photographing them, I found myself reflecting back on what fort life might have been like in the two years of on-again off-again battles at those locations located in sight of one another across the Niagara River where that river enters into Lake Ontario.

Although Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture was written to commemorate the Russian defeat of Napoleon in 1812 and had nothing directly to do with the North American based War of 1812, the overture made for interesting background music while I was working on my Fort Niagara  blog today (retroactive posting of my August 20, 2011 trip to Fort Niagara)

Considering that the War of 1812 included the burning of some pretty significant buildings in Washington, DC and the burning of Fort York (Toronto), it will be interesting to see what the many communities have in store for the bicentennial.

I’m looking forward to photographing many forts and re-enactments in the coming year and sharing them on our website. Could be an interesting year.