22nd Annual Siege of Old Fort Erie
- Dear Reenactor:
2 April, 2008
Preparations for the 22nd Annual Siege of Fort Erie are well
underway. The event will take place August 9th and 10th following
the Simcoe/Civic Holiday Monday. Please find enclosed, the event
registration form and participation guidelines. Please forward your
unit registration by May 31st. Units can also register on-line at
www.oldforterie.com Only one registration per unit is necessary.
All individual participants must fill out a General Release From
Liability Form upon arrival. Check-in and registration available at
the Fort Welcome Centre Friday 1pm -10pm & Saturday 9am -12noon.
To lessen congestion and noise in the camp we have requests.
One - if there are American units interested in staying in the Fort
please let us know; US Regulars, travelling the greatest distance,
with a record of past attendance.
Two - please check-in at the Welcome Centre with site staff and the
camp Quarter Masters before setting up tentage.
Three - we ask reenactors to assist with the Candle-lit tours, please
do not participate as unpaying visitors, this would relieve the
congestion and shorten the public line up.
Four - We invite participants to the South Redoubt of the Old Fort
for Sat. night merry making. In the evening, the camp is for
families and quiet time.
For our American friends, we would advise you to cross into Canada
at: The Peace Bridge, Buffalo / Fort Erie. We will contact Canada
Customs in Fort Erie and this letter of invitation should assist your
crossing. Passports are NOT required at crossings. There is no fee
for flintlock firearms crossing the border but they must be declared.
The age limit for handling black powder is 16. All firearms,
artillery pieces and implements will be inspected by site staff
before they can be used for demonstrations. Copies of the site's
Black Powder rules are attached, will be available at the event and
on-line. Please ensure all unit members are aware of these safety
We will be supplying breakfast on both days, straw, firewood, and
black powder for artillery only. Participants will receive a 20%
discount on items in the Gift Shop and Snack Bar. Please identify
yourself at the time of purchase if you or your family are not in
period dress. Bottled water and musket ammo will be provided
Saturday Evening for participants assisting with the candle lit
ARTILLERY UNITS - Due to our shrinking battlefield, based on earlier
verbal and written advisories, we will be limiting the number of guns
on the field. Any cannon barrel under 3' or 90 cm in length and
with a carriage with less then 2' or 60cm of clearance, unless
designated a mortar or howitzer, cannot be guaranteed a spot in the
artillery lines. If you have any questions or concerns, PLEASE
contact Peter Martin before packing up with all your kit.
------Sunday Prizes------ for the individual travelling the
furthest, the most impressive hit on the battlefield and a Sally Port
Prize drawn from the Individual Release Forms.
As well, we would like to invite you and your group to:
June 14&15, 2008 Fenian Raids, The Battle of Ridgeway.
We have hosted a number of 1812 units for weekend drills,
just let us know if your regiment is interested.
Looking forward to seeing you this campaign season.
Old Fort Erie Phone/FAX (905) 871-0540 e-mail
PARTICIPATION GUIDELINES FOR EVENT - 1812
1. Everyone must check in at Registration upon arrival. Camp
locations are pre-determined and must be followed to allow room for
everyone. EVERY ADULT MUST SIGN AN INDIVIDUAL RELEASE FROM
2. Old Fort Erie's hours of operation are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and
we ask participants to have their area open to the public during
these times. No anachronisms are allowed in front of the public and
we ask that you explain to the visitors your uniforms and equipment.
Many visitors indicate this is the highlight of their visit to the
3. Equipment, black powder and firearms are the responsibility of
each unit and should not be left unsecured or unguarded. Flintlock
firearms only for 18th century and War of 1812.
4. Every Unit Commander Briefing must be attended by the unit
commanding /safety officer / unit representative. Every unit member
must read the Site Safety Rules for the handling of firearms and
5. This is a family event and please, no consumption of alcohol is
allowed during open hours. Late night noise or disorderly conduct
will not be tolerated.
6. Firepits will be designated by site staff, please ask where you
can place your unit's firepit. Fires must be limited to the size of
cooking fires and must not be left unattended. Each fire must have
water buckets. A 200 ft hose is always attached and available in
7. First Aid Kits, Firefighting Equipment and Emergency Phones are
located in the Fort and Welcome Centre. Please inform site staff of
8. Vehicles are allowed into the period camp for unloading and
loading. Please keep streets in the camp clear for maintenance and
emergency vehicles. Please park in the main lot at the Welcome
Centre. The Lakeshore lot is for modern camping. FOR EMERGENCY
ACCESS - NO PARKING IS ALLOWED ALONG LAKESHORE ROAD.
9. Washrooms are available at the rear of the Welcome Centre and
will remain open Friday and Saturday night.
10. Site staff will be on duty throughout the event. After hours a
designated staff member will be available at the Welcome Centre.
In order to make this a safe, enjoyable experience for all, we ask
your cooperation with:
a) Pets must be kept on a leash at all times. Please be a
responsible pet owner and clean up after your animal.
b) Children must be under the direct supervision of a parent or
responsible adult at all times.
MERCHANTS, PEDLARS, SUTLERS, CRAFTSPEOPLE, MUSICIANS
Merchants, Pedlars, Sutlers, Craftspeople and Musicians are invited
to demonstrate and sell their wares at the 22nd Annual Siege of Fort
The vendor is required to work in period clothing, in proper period
tentage and sell only related items i.e. 1800 - 1815. A separate
area will be set aside at the site.
Vendors are required to pay a fee of $25.00 which is payable at the
time of your arrival. If you are a craftsperson whose activity is
demonstrating only, the fee is waived.
**PLEASE NOTE** As you are well aware Sutler/Merchant Row has
reached capacity. We will assign spaces for your tentage and
displays. When registering please indicate the EXACT space required
including tent ropes, displays, firepits etc...
FIRST COME FIRST SERVE IS NO LONGER APPLICABLE AND YOU MUST BE
REGISTERED WITH THE SITE TO GET A SPACE.
We will try to accommodate everyone as best we can and thank you for
you patience and understanding. Please return your registration:
Niagara Parks Commission, The Siege of Fort Erie
7400 Portage Rd. Niagara Falls, Ontario, L2E 6T2
Or Register on-line at www.oldforterie.com
Questions or inquiries please call Peter Martin at (905) 871-0540
OLD FORT ERIE - FIELD SAFETY RULES
All participants, including non-combatants, should read these field
safety rules. Attendance by a Unit Representative at all safety
briefings and walk-throughs is compulsory. Any unit that is not
represented will be asked to stay in camp.
1. Black powder must be kept a minimum distance of eight (8)
metres/yards from open fires. When not in use powder must be secured
and out of the reach of children or visiting public
2. Any theft of black powder should be reported to site staff
whether actual, suspected or attempted.
3. Preparation of ammunition should be done before arrival.
Artillery unit members will remove wool coats and period footwear
when preparing charges in the fort powder lab.
4. Participants under 16 years of age will not handle black
5. If disposal of black powder is necessary, it is to be done by
designated site staff.
1. Only proofed reproduction firearms can be used.
2. All ammunition and firearms will be subject to examination by
designated site staff.
3. All firearms should be in proper working order and have a
functioning half-cock mechanism.
4. No firearm, loaded or unloaded, shall be pointed towards
another person including spectators or re-enactors.
5. No member of the public (including press) shall handle a
firearm, loaded or unloaded.
6. All firearms must be secure at all times, either held in hand
or locked away.
7. Any necessary licenses or permits should be readily available.
1. All edged weapons including bayonets, knives, swords,
tomahawks, etc., must be sheathed on the field with the exception of
approved weapons during demonstrations with no opposing sides.
2. No edged weapons may be thrown at any time with the exception
of approved weapons during demonstrations with no opposing sides.
TACTICAL DEMONSTRATIONS / SIMULATED BATTLES
The safety of the viewing public and reenactors is paramount and will
be the determining factor in the location and extent of
Any person found violating stated rules and regulations will result
in his/her immediate expulsion from the site during the remainder of
Any unit that does not abide by the rules or cannot control their
unit members will be removed from the program and will not be invited
to future reenactments at the site.
FOR PUBLIC SAFETY, POLICE TAPE AND BARRIERS ESTABLISH VIEWING LINES.
NO Firing, in any direction, within six (6) metres/yards of
NO Firearm or Artillery piece is to be discharged towards or
NO Participant will cross viewing lines during demonstrations.
ALL Unit commanders must clear and safety check their unit's
firearms before leaving a demonstration area. All units must check
their area for cartridges and percussion caps.
STOP will halt marching, loading and firing until cleared by
Safety Staff to continue.FIRST AID - Trained Site Staff are on and
around the field with water and first aid kits. Safety Access Routes
will be indicated. If you are a medical or emergency professional
it would be helpful if you identified yourself at registration or
1. During any opposed side demonstration, firearms will not be
deliberately aimed at `enemy forces', regardless of distance/range to
the opposing line.
2. Ramrods are not to be used at any time during a tactical
demonstration. At the beginning and end of a demonstration they will
be used to ensure the firearm is unloaded.
3. Muskets must use black powder in pre-measured paper
cartridges. Loading from a powder horn is not permitted. Revolver
chambers should be pre-loaded and reloading will be done with paper
4. No projectile, including wadding, may be fired from a musket
at any time.
5. Firing will cease within twenty five (25) metres/yards of two
units and no closing with edged weapons is allowed. Any closing must
be pre-determined with Safety Officers and Opposing Force Commanders.
6. Firearms will be unloaded - fired or the powder dumped -
before crossing obstacles.
7. No demonstration of rapid fire or speed loading will be
8. Frizzen covers (hammer stalls) to prevent accidental
discharge are strongly recommended. Flashguards fitted to priming
pans are strongly recommended. Earplugs are strongly recommended.
9. All mounted units must keep their horses under control at all
10. On the word of command STOP. All participants will stop
marching and stop firing until cleared by Safety Staff to continue.
11. Infantry will stay a minimum distance of fifty (50)
metres/yards from firing artillery. Infantry will not advance on a
gun position with a misfired artillery piece.
1. Firing and loading intervals will be confirmed by Site Safety
2. All artillery blank charges will be made of aluminum foil,
rolled and formed with a distinct bottom and top, filled with black
powder and no wadding.
3. Each artillery piece, its implements and the gun
detachment 's drills will be inspected by the Site Safety Officer.
4. Detachments will double worm and double sponge for all blank
5. Loaded artillery pieces will not be moved.
6. Any misfire will be cleared in place. After a minimum of 5
minutes, the detachment will be given the opportunity to prime and
attempt firing a second time.
7. Artillery pieces will be spaced a minimum of five (5)
8. Artillery will not be fired if there are any re-enactors
within fifty (50) metres/yards, inside a left and right arc of thirty
(30) degrees (550 mils), from the piece.
9. Artillery will be placed a minimum of twelve (11)
metres/yards in front of or to the side of the viewing public. No
person will be within the arcs and minimum safe range of a piece.
10. Earplugs are strongly recommended.
Recommendations For Gunners - Spare firing implements and equipment.
Charge form fit to the breech of your piece. Flashlights for night
firing. Appropriate clothing and footwear for work in powder lab
(i.e. small clothes and rubber soled shoes). Gun drill will be
assessed for safety and not precision appearance.