Friends of Crysler’s Farm receive federal heritage grant

The re-enactment of the Battle of Crysler’s Farm will be the largest War of 1812 event in Eastern Ontario next year with the announcement last week by Heritage Minister James Moore that his department will be supplying a grant of up to $171,400 for the two-day event, to be held July 13 and 14, 2013.

The military heritage weekend has been organized each year since 2000 by the Friends of Crysler’s Farm, chartered in Ontario as a not-for profit, charitable organization and recognized as a charitable body by Canada Revenue Agency, under whose authority the Friends can issue tax receipts. The Friends are a cooperating body with the Parks of the St. Lawrence but they are an independent organization with their own executive and bylaws.

The grant is being provided under Heritage Canada’s Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program and will be used for advertising, increased food costs for the greater than usual number of re-enactors expected in 2013, underwriting travel costs for those coming from great distances and for specialized groups like cavalry units and heavy artillery pieces. Money is also being set aside to pay for floating docks for the small boat flotilla se to take part in the battle demonstrations in 2013.

Organizers are also planning a larger civilian component for the 2013 show. Chief among these will be a larger English country-dance program, both for practiced dancers and first-time visitors.

The Friends are also applying  for a grant for a service of remembrance at the site on Mon., Nov. 11, 2013. It will be held during the afternoon of the actual anniversary date so as not to interfere with area Remembrance Day services.

Grades seven and eight students from South Dundas and South Stormont schools are being invited to the service, which we feature a prominent guest speaker.

The Battle of Crysler’s Farm was fought on Nov. 11, 1813 between a 1200-man Anglo-Canadian “corps of observation” commanded by Joseph Wanton Morrison and an 8,000 man American army commanded by General James Wilkinson on their say to attack Montreal. Wilkinson had sent 4,000 of his men down river to occupy Cornwall while he turned with the remainder to rid himself of the nuisance Morrison presented.

But in a pitched battle on the Crysler, Van Allen and Fetterly farms the superior discipline of the outnumbered Anglo-Canada regiments and native allies proved too much for the invaders and after absorbing heavy losses they withdrew to the U.S. side of the  St. Lawrence, ending the  threat of U.S. invasion in this theatre of the war for the remainder of the conflict.

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