‘Battle that saved Canada’ reprised at Crysler’s Farm battlefield this weekend

American forces return fire during the 2016 reenactment. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

UPPER CANADA VILLAGE — The Battle of Crysler’s Farm reenactment weekend returns today and tomorrow with the crackle, boom and military pageantry of yesteryear, July 14-15, in the shadow of the spectacular local monument commemorating the Nov. 11, 1813 victory over an American invasion.

Come learn and experience your country’s history and the epic battle that took place right here on Dundas County soil, when British, Canadian and Indigenous Allies numbering 1200 defeated an attacking American force of 4,000 men on the muddy fields adjacent John Crysler’s farm, near present-day Morrisburg. It was the “Battle that saved Canada” and effectively the “first November 11th” to be memorialized by this country when the monument was erected at the battle site.

Canada might not be the country it is today had the battle gone differently.

Below, some of the action during the reenactment a couple of years ago.

On Site and Ongoing
Period blacksmith and stone cutting demonstrations, sutler (merchant) displays/artisans, displays by local historical groups, photo booth, visit to the Battlefield Memorial Building, visit to the Battle of Crysler’s Farm Monument (1895). Gates open at 9:30 am at Crysler Park.

Admission: $7 person; Family $30 (2 adults and 4 children under 18 yrs); ages 6 and under free. $5 off UCV’s day program with wristband.

Military encampments open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday only: 11 a.m. – noon: Demonstration of English Country Dancing by Spencerville English Country Dancing Club. Spectator participation welcome!

Saturday, July 14th, On the Field
1:30 – 2:00 pm: Children’s Muster followed by Gun Run – Cannon Demonstration
2:00 – 2:45 pm: Re-enactment Interpretation: The Battle of Crysler’s Farm 11 Nov 1813

Sunday, July 15th, On the Field
1:30 – 2:00 pm: Children’s Muster followed by Gun Run – Cannon Demonstration
2:00 – 2:45 pm: Re-enactment Interpretation: The Battle of Crysler’s Farm 11 Nov 1813

Organizers advise bringing a chair or blanket. Friendly transportation provided to and from the field for visitors with mobility issues. As this is a noisy event please leave your pets at home. The cannons and black-powder rifles really crackle and boom, so consider providing hearing protection for yourself and especially young children.

Flashback below: The 2016 reenactment included the commemoration of a tree planted in honour of the late Robin Morris, 1949-2014, a former president of the Friends of  the Battle of Crysler’s Farm Battlefield Memorial. The mother and sister of Morris’s widow, Kathryn Guthrie, donated the maple tree in memory of the deceased, as recounted by the Friends’ past president Bob Irvine. Guthrie and Irvine pose with members of the Canadian Fencibles regiment at the end of the clip.
Flashback, below, to scenes of the 2016 reenactment — a more overcast year than 2018!
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