Stoney Creek’s History on the Web

By Martin & Sean Simons
Partners, Wenex Technologies

The month of June marks the anniversary on a number of important historical events that took place in the Hamilton and more specifically in Stoney Creek.

Most historians are of the opinion that one of the most significant battles of the War of 1812 was the Battle of Stoney Creek. The battle involved the superior invading American force against a decimated, retreating British army. The battle took place in the dark of night and through a series of confusion and miscommunication on the part of the Americans, the British overcame the odds and were able to stave off the American invasion of the area. Oddly enough the battle lasted only 45 minutes. The Battle of Stoney Creek was considered the turning point in the war and was instrumental in turning back the American invasion which was the deepest penetration into Upper Canada.

Every year on the weekend closest to June 6th, the Battlefield House Museum and Park, National Historic Site presents the annual Re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek to mark the anniversary of this historic and decisive battle.

Several more significant battles occurred later that year such as the Battle of Beaver Dams and the Battle of Crysler’s Field that were decisive in stopping the American invasion.

In early June of 1813, Major General John Vincent and the Central Division of the British Army took possession of Richard Beasley’s farm on Burlington Heights which was to serve as a place of defense, rest and re-supply. Facing an American army of 3,500 strong, Vincent and 700 British troops and Native warriors marched from Burlington Heights to surprise and defeat the Americans who were encamped around the Gage Family homestead at Stoney Creek. Two decades after the war, the new owner of Beasley’s property, Sir Allan Napier MacNab built Dundurn Castle, incorporating a number of the elements of the post and surviving military buildings into his new home. Dundurn Castle was constructed over a three-year period, and completed by 1835.

The web is rich with references to these famous battles and other sites about similar local events surrounding the War of 1812. The following is just a sampling of sites that provide information about places and depictions of significant events in Canadian history.

Stoney Creek Historical Society
http://www.stoneycreekhistorical.ca/

Battlefield House Museum and Park
http://www.battlefieldhouse.ca/

Ancaster Township Historical Society
http://ancasterhistory.ca/

Dundas Museum & Archives
http://dundasmuseum.ca/

Dundurn Castle National Historic Site
http://www.hamilton.ca/CultureandRecreation/Arts_Culture_And_Museums/HamiltonCivicMuseums/Dundurn/

Upper Canada Village
Our costumed interpreters will be happy to tell you what life was like in the 19th century.
http://www.uppercanadavillage.com

Historical Stoney Creek
http://www.hpl.ca/articles/historical-stoney-creek