1812 Rendezvous concluded yesterday
Sunday afternoon marked the last firing of a three pound canon at the old stone house yesterday where a re-enactment of the war of 1812 was held. Organizer Cathy Fisher stated the success of the event as over 1000 students attended this last weekend for a grade 7 and 8 day orientation. The purpose of the event however was not entirely about historical education but to celebrate the rich history the shoreline of Sault Ste. Marie really has!
What was the war of 1812? Here is a quick rundown. In 1812 the United States declared war for the desire of expansion into their northwest territory – currently Ontario – Several battles occurred aboard ships on the great lakes especially because at this time Sault Ste. Marie operated as a fur-trading port. Fort St. Joseph at this time acted as a British outpost where soldiers would wait for an attack on the St. Mary’s River. With a general command the British used their location on St. Joseph Island to overtake Fort Michilimackinac keeping the border where it is today. The Courer de Bois, otherwise known as “the runners of the woods” emphasized their role in the re-enactment as the men who hid amongst the bushes, climbing up trees and steep embankments to have the higher advantage in the battle of Fort Michilimackinac.
Dressed in costume and never breaking character, the demonstrators breathed life into the pages of the history textbook. The surgeon, Ed Christufek, serious and very unskilled, expressed how he would offer to “fix” ailments attending visitors had – either by burning their skin with blisters, or pulling out their sore tooth with several sharp and visually disturbing tools. The skit was shockingly informative as such practices were used in previous war-times. Other stations included a Pioneer Royal of the Newfoundland Regime, Lyn Downer, who exhibited how a tool – resembling a weapon – was used to clear brush on a voyage. Canon Demonstrators, Andrew Flint, Laurence Gutcher, Paul Comission, Colin Brown, David McMikkins, Ben Fisher, and the unforgettable Dave Brunelle, were dressed in royal British attire and posed in tableaux for local2.
The event served its purpose – to grasp the attention and emphasize the importance a small town like Sault Ste. Marie has had on the rest of Canada – an interactive, entertaining, informative history rendezvous.
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