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27th Annual Siege of Fort Erie

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  • oldforterie
    Hello All, This is just a friendly note to let you all know that the Siege Registration is now up and running at www.oldforterie.com. We are looking forward
    Message 1 of 2 , May 21 10:00 AM
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      Hello All,

      This is just a friendly note to let you all know that the Siege Registration is now up and running at www.oldforterie.com. We are looking forward to seeing all of you back again for another successful event. I have posted the Siege package below to read over. Please take note of changes in parking and the elimination of modern camping.

      Thank you all so much! As always, we couldn't put on this amazing event without all of you. Looking forward to seeing you in August!!

      Heather
      Manager: Old Fort Erie



      Dear Reenactor: 15 May, 2013

      Preparations for the 27th Annual Siege of Fort Erie are well underway. In preparation for the bicentennial in 2014, there are changes to the camp lay outs and parking. The event will take place August 10th and 11th. Please find enclosed, the event registration form and participation guidelines. Please forward your unit registration by July 1st. Units can also register on-line at www.oldforterie.com Only one registration per unit is necessary and updates are allowed – please indicate an update.

      All individual participants must fill out a Volunteer Release Form upon arrival. Check-in and registration available at the Fort Visitor Centre Friday 1pm -9pm & Saturday 9am -12noon.

      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. If travelling from the U.S. be advised that you will need a passport to get back home, please contact your local representative for information. There is no fee for flintlock firearms crossing the border but they must be declared.

      The age 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 Participant Guidelines and Field Safety Rules are attached, and will be available at the event and on-line. Please ensure all unit members are aware of these safety rules.

      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 light tours.

      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 Heather Gorman before packing up with all your kit.

      PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THERE WILL NO LONGER BE MODERN CAMPING AVAILABLE ALONG LAKESHORE ROAD. THE CANADIAN MILITIA, NATIVE WARRIORS AND FENCIBLE CAMP IS NOW MOVING TO THE EAST SIDE OF LAKESHORE ROAD. THE ROAD WILL BE SHUT DOWN TO ALL TRAFFIC. THIS WILL PROVIDE MORE SPACE AS THE EVENT GROWS, LEADING TO THE BICENTENNIAL IN 2014.

      RE-ENACTOR PARKING AVAILABLE IN THE LOT ON LAKESHORE RD. OUR MAIN PARKING LOT WILL BE AVAILABLE TO PAYING VISITORS ONLY. REENACTOR PARKING WILL BE FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED AND WILL ONLY BE AVAILABLE FRIDAY EVENING AND SUNDAY FOLLOWING THE AFTERNOON BATTLE. ONCE THE ROAD IS CLOSED SATURDAY MORNING, NO VEHICLES WILL BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE OR ENTER THE LOT. WE WOULD SUGGEST A MEMBER OF YOUR UNIT LEAVE A CAR PARKED ON DOMINION ROAD OR A SIDE STREET FOR ACCESS DURING THE WEEKEND.

      ------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.

      Looking forward to seeing you this campaign season.
      Heather Gorman Jim Hill
      Manager: Old Fort Erie Superintendent of Heritage
      Phone: 905-871-0540 E -mail jhill@...
      E-mail hgorman@...
      OLD FORT ERIE - UNIT REGISTRATION

      UNIT / SUTLERY NAME: ______________________________________________

      Name of Unit Commander/ Safety Officer: _______________________________

      Mailing Address of Unit Commander/Safety Officer:



      _______________________________________________________________________

      Phone # E-mail _______________________________

      NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS:

      Officers: Other Ranks: Musicians: ____

      Women: Children: ______

      ARTILLERY / # AND TYPES: _________________

      CAVALRY / #OF HORSES: ______________________

      CAMPING:
      The Number, Size and Type of Tents including space for ropes/ flies, displays, fires.

      _______________________________________________________________________

      ARRIVAL:Date and Time DEPARTURE:Date and Time ____________

      Do you require any special arrangements?:_________________________________

      What can your group demonstrate?: _______________________________________

      Can your group assist with the Saturday Evening Lantern Tour?: ____

      Insurance Company and Policy Number: ____________

      Will you be attending our other events this season? ____

      IMPORTANT NOTE - UPON ARRIVAL - EVERY ADULT UNIT MEMBER MUST SIGN A VOLUNTEER FORM LISTING FAMILY MEMBERS AND SUTLERS PAY FEES.

      Please Return Completed Form to: THE NIAGARA PARKS COMMISSION
      SIEGE OF FORT ERIE
      PO BOX 150
      NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO, L2E 6T2
      OR Register Your Unit on-line at www.oldforterie.com

      Questions? Please contact Heather Gorman at: (905)871-0540 or hgorman@...


      MERCHANTS, PEDLARS, SUTLERS, CRAFTSPEOPLE, MUSICIANS

      Merchants, Pedlars, Sutlers, Craftspeople and Musicians are invited to demonstrate and sell their wares at the 27th Annual Siege of Fort Erie.

      The Historic Merchants are 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.

      Historic Merchants are required to pay a fee of $40.00 which is payable at the time of your arrival in the Gift Shop. If you are a craftsperson whose activity is demonstrating only, the fee is waived. However, if you do not meet the period presentation standards, as determined by site personnel, you will be considered a VENDOR and a fee of $300.00 will be applied. If there are any questions regarding this matter please feel free to contact me.

      We will assign spaces for your tentage and displays. When registering please indicate the EXACT space required including tent ropes, displays, firepits etc...

      PARKING WILL NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE IN THE MAIN FORT PARKING LOT. ONCE YOUR TRAILER HAS BEEN UNPACKED, PLEASE PARK IT IN THE LAKESHORE RD PARKING LOT. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION!


      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 Jim Hill
      jhill@...
      OR Heather Gorman at (905) 871-0540
      hgorman@...


      PARTICIPATION GUIDELINES

      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 LIABILITY FORM.

      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 event.

      3. Equipment, black powder and firearms are the responsibility of each unit and must not be left unsecured or unguarded. Firing is only allowed in designated range areas. Time in the powder lab can be arranged for artillery or musket ammunition preparation.

      4. Every Unit Commander Briefing must be attended by a unit representative. Every unit member must read the Site Safety Rules for the handling of firearms and black powder.

      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 and those involved may be asked to leave by site staff or police.

      6. Firepits will be designated by site staff, please ask where you can place your unit's firepit. Simply turn the sod, please don't dig, fires must be limited to a size for cooking and must not be left unattended. Each fire must have water buckets. Please turn the sod back before leaving the event.

      7. First Aid Kits, Firefighting Equipment and Emergency Phones are located in the Fort and Welcome Centre. Please inform site staff of any requirements.

      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. FOR EMERGENCY ACCESS - NO PARKING IS ALLOWED ALONG LAKESHORE ROAD.

      9. To expand period camping, there will no longer be modern camping available on the Lakeshore Road.

      10. Re-enactor parking will only be available in the Lakeshore Rd. Lot as we will be keeping the main lot for paying visitors. Lakeshore Rd. will be closed Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon. Cars parked in the lot will not be able to leave during that time. Additional/Alternate parking is available along Dominion Rd and side streets. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION!!

      11. Selling items from anywhere other than Merchants/Sutler's Row and without paying the Sutler Fee is prohibited.

      12. Site staff will be on duty throughout the event. After hours a designated staff member will be available at the Visitor Centre. If there is an emergency, do not hesitate to call 911.

      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. Children under 16 without adult accompaniment are not allowed in the Fort.
      c) Registered participants welcome into the Fort free of cost if in period costume. Shoes must be worn in the fort at all times.
      d) Straw and Firewood provided by the site is for EVERYONE. Please take only as needed

      NIAGARA PARKS COMMISSION - 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.

      BLACK POWDER
      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. 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 powder.
      5. If disposal of black powder is necessary, it is to be done by designated site safety staff.

      FIREARMS
      1. Only proofed reproduction firearms can be used.
      2. All ammunition and firearms will be subject to examination by designated site safety 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
      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.

      EDGED WEAPONS
      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 demonstrations.

      Any person found violating stated rules and regulations will result in his/her immediate expulsion from the site during the remainder of the program.

      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, CAUTION TAPE AND BARRIERS ESTABLISH VIEWING LINES.

      NO Firing of small arms, in any direction, within six (6) metres/yards of viewing lines.
      NO Firearm or Artillery piece is to be discharged towards or over viewers.
      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 site safety staff to continue.

      FIRST AID - Trained site staff are on and around the field with water and first aid kits, they will be identified by armbands. 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 officer call.



      INFANTRY
      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 cartridges.
      4. No projectile, including wadding, may be fired from a musket at any time.
      5. No demonstration of rapid fire will be permitted.
      6. 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 Opposing Force Commanders and Site Staff.
      7. After three misfires, powder will be dumped from the barrel of a muzzleloader before another attempt.
      8. Firearms will be unloaded - fired or the powder dumped - before crossing obstacles.
      9. Frizzen covers (hammer stalls) to prevent accidental discharge are strongly recommended. Flashguards fitted to priming pans are strongly recommended. Earplugs are strongly recommended.
      10. All mounted units must keep their horses under control at all times.
      11. On the word of command STOP, all participants will stop marching and stop firing until cleared by Site Safety Staff to continue.
      12. 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.

      ARTILLERY
      1. All Loading and Firing intervals will be confirmed by the Site Safety Staff.
      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. Ear plugs and gloves are strongly recommended.
      4. Each artillery piece, its implements and the gun detachment's drills will be inspected by site safety staff.
      5. Detachments will double worm and double sponge for all blank firings.
      6. Artillery pieces will be spaced a minimum of five (5) metres/yards from hub to hub.
      7. Artillery will not be fired if there are any re-enactors within fifty (50) metres/yards of the muzzle, inside a left and right arc of thirty (30) degrees (550 mils), from the rear of the artillery piece.
      8. Ammunition in a self-closing munitions box will be kept within the safety arcs at the rear of the piece.
      9. Artillery will be placed a minimum of twelve (12) metres/yards in front of or to the side of the public.
      10. Loaded artillery pieces will not be moved.
      11. Any misfire will be cleared in place and no attempt to re-ram will be allowed. Once all evidence of smoke is clear, a minimum of 5 minutes will be observed and the detachment will be given the opportunity to prime and attempt firing a second time. No third attempt will be permitted. The artillery piece is out of action and will be cleared in place after the tactical demonstration.


      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.






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    • oldforterie
      Dear Friends, Well, yet another Siege has come and gone, and again we are overwhelmed by the amount of support we received from all of you. THANK YOU!!!! We
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 13, 2013
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        Dear Friends,

        Well, yet another Siege has come and gone, and again we are overwhelmed by the amount of support we received from all of you. THANK YOU!!!! We can't say it enough!

        Special thanks to Sioux Spencer, Richard Feltoe, Peter Monahan (despite being unable to attend... We hope you feel better!), Steve Hartwick, Peter Twist, Craig Williams, and Ollie Claffey for getting the camps set up. They looked great! We know there were some changes this year in how they were set up, but hopefully we've managed to find extra space for the increased numbers we hope to get next year! Thank you to the militia camp for your patience with the change in location!

        Thank you as well to everyone that helped out with our Lantern Tours. We had some really great feedback from them! This tour really pays for the whole weekend, and all of the added help when get from you makes it simply amazing.

        Thank you also to all of our field commanders. Betsy, Rob, Marty, Peter, Craig... the battles looked awesome! We got so many compliments! We appreciate everything you do for us.

        And I think we can all say a big THANK YOU to Mother Nature!! How unusual for everyone to have dry canvas to pack up after the Siege weekend! The weather really was the perfect addition to a fantastic weekend!

        Thank you all again for everything. We are SO lucky to have such an amazing group of re-enactors that help put on this event! I can't wait to see you all again next year as we commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Siege of Fort Erie!!

        With much gratitude,
        Heather Gorman
        Manager: Old Fort Erie
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