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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Selkirk Shores State Park

Selkirk Shores State Park

It was a bit late at night when I arrived at Selkirk Shores State Park so, when I awoke in the morning, I got up onto the picnic table to take a few shots of the area and of my camping spot in particular. Definitely not what I would call a remote site but adequate for the purpose! Despite the density, noise levels were quite reasonable and not a problem. No blaring radios!
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3rd Quarter 2012- MegapixelTravel’s most popular blogs

3rd Quarter 2012 – MegapixelTravel’s most popular blogs

Top Ranking – For the second quarter in a row the top ranking goes to blogs about the Kingdom of Osgoode. Although the Kingdom of Osgoode blog for 2012 still garnered quite a bit of attention, it was the 2011 live Hand-fasting wedding blog and video combined with the video of knights battling that kept the Kingdom on top.

Near the top (educational)Poison Ivy once again with mermaids a close second along with my review of the North Face Mountain 25 tent.

Near the top (athletics) – We didn’t photograph the 2012 event this year but quite a few people visited our site to view past cycling posts especially the 2011 RLCT post. In the heat of the summer quite a few people must have been thinking Polar Bear Swim as blogs relating to the activity of donning a bathing suit and jumping into ice cold water were very popular during the quarter.

Near the top (International travel) – Graeme traveled to Denmark and Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium and the blog entries related to those countries were viewed regularly but, as mentioned above, the Mermaids of Copenhagen  got the most notice. When the link to “El Otro Varadero” made it onto the TripAdvisor website, that specific blog, as well as our other Cuba entries, found their spot in the sunshine.

Near the top (North American travel) – Good hiking weather meant lots of people were interested in the Bruce Trail – Lions Head photos as well as the entries for similar hikes around the countryside.

Near the top (Historical) – With the addition to the annual re-enactment of the French and Indian War at Ogdensburg, the Civil War reenactment at Massena and a visit to the 19th century lifestyle of Upper Canada Village, a lot of history was covered but we didn’t attend any of the reenactments specific to the War of 1812 but do have a couple in mind for later in the War.

Back  to the 2nd quarter highlights.

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Upcoming event of particular interest to us is the Annual Live Butterfly Show at Carleton University.

 

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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

The Cloyne Pioneer Museum and Archives, Cloyne, Ontario

The Cloyne Pioneer Museum and Archives, Cloyne, Ontario (Location)

The events surrounding the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812 have begun in earnest in Canada and the USA but although I have been able to get to reenactments of the French and Indian War of the 1760’s and have a Civil War reenactment on my agenda, I didn’t expect to find anything relating to any of these wars in the Cloyne Pioneer Museum. Rather surprised, therefore to find this cannonball.

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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

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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Bicentennial of the War of 1812 – $28 Million Dollars!!!

Bicentennial of the War of 1812 – $28 Million Dollars and counting!!!

Normally people and governments celebrate the END of a war. With respect to the War of 1812, June of this year will mark the Bicentennial of the START of the War of 1812 not the END of that war. At the Federal government level, $28 million dollars of Canadian taxpayer money has been budgeted to commemorate/celebrate/discuss/educate, etc. with respect to a a war that STARTED 200 years ago. Continue reading

Bicentennial of the War of 1812

In my previous post, I indicated how there are seasonal changes to what people are thinking about based on the frequency of visits to certain of our blog entries. In similar fashion, the celebration of historical events can trigger increases in the number of hits (web hits, that is!).

A bullet finds its spot - Plains of Abraham Re-Enactment, Founders Day 2009, Ogdensburg, New York

This coming weekend, there is an important War of 1812 Bicentennial Symposium occurring in Guelph, Ontario (location). Whether it is the nearness of that conference or just an increased interest in re-enactment s due to it being the bicentennial year or whether it’s just re-enactment hobbiests getting their gear together and ready and polished for another wonderful summer of re-enactments is anyone’s guess. Whatever the reason, the impact is noticeable on our website, as an increased number of visitors arrive each day to take a look at the many images that we have in our past blogs about the reenactments that we have photographed at Ogdensburg, New York and some of the historic forts that we have visited and commented on such as Fort Niagara in New York State, Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Fort York in Toronto and the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida.

Clicking on the images will get you to the related blog entry:

July 2011 – Land Battle Re-enactment – Ogdensburg, New York
July 2011 – Water Battle Re-enactment – Ogdensburg, New York
July 2010 – Thousand Islands 250th Anniversary Commemorative

Land Battle
July 2010 – Thousand Islands 250th Anniversary Commemorative

Water Battle
July 2009 – Re-enactment of the Plains of Abraham Battle of 1759

FORTS

Fort Niagara in Youngstown, New York

Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Fort York in Toronto, Ontario

Castillo De San Marcos, St. Augustine, Florida

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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.