The End of the War of 1812

On March 15th 1815, a peace treaty was signed officially ending the state of war between the British and the Americans. The War of 1812 had come to an end and the Niagara Frontier was left in ruins.

The British returned Fort Niagara to the Americans while the Americans returned Fort Erie to the British during their disengagement. The results of this war are unclear since neither the Americans nor the British were victorious. There were many casualties of war and both sides had suffered staggering losses in the dead, wounded and missing soldiers. The landscape had been changed forever. Nearly all settlements were destroyed as was the commerce and economies of both countries. Pain and hardships had been inflicted upon thousands of non combatants across the Niagara Frontier.

The War of 1812 – 1815, did provoke harmony upon those nationalist from both countries. America became much more cohesive and strong even though the American civil war lay ahead.

The birth of the nation of Canada in 1867 was just around the corner.
The borders between the two countries remained the same as they had before the war began. The original International Boundary line had been established by the Jay’s Treaty of 1794.

In July of 1815, the British moved their military headquarters to York and abandoned Fort George as it was too expensive to maintain.

Both American and British borders would remain heavily guarded by military troops until the 1870’s.

The only disarmament agreement reached between the two countries following the War of 1812 was the Rush-Bagot Treaty of 1817. This treaty limited both countries to four naval vessels per side to patrol the Great Lakes. None of these ships could exceed more than 100 tons nor carry more than one 18 pound gun.

The remaining fort property was leased to local families. This continued until 1911, when preservationists realized the historical importance of Fort George. At the end of the war, Fort Chippawa was abandoned.

Next to the Niagara Falls, the battlefields of the War of 1812 became the most popular tourist sites. Tours were given of the Lundy’s Lane battlefield by war veterans. In 1845, Captain Anderson built a 40 foot tall wooden observation tower overlooking the Lundy’s Lane battleground. It was located along the north side of Lundy’s Lane just north-east of the present day Drummond Hill Church.

In 1846, Donald McKenzie built the second tower on his property west of the Lundy’s Lane Hill residence. It was a 2 storey building and an 80 foot tall tower with an observation deck and a telescope mounted on top. This tower burned to the ground on July 4th 1851. In 1850, Adam Fralick built an enclosed wooden tower next to his tavern directly across from the Lundy’s Lane Presbyterian Church.

In 1855, Mr. Davis built a tower known as the "Durham Tower" overlooking the battlefield. It was located on the south-east corner of Lundy’s Lane and Drummond Road. In 1870, this tower was destroyed during a wind storm.

The final tower was built at the site of Fralick’s tower by citizens of Drummondville. Known as the Lundy’s Lane Observatory, this steel frame tower stood 102 feet tall and had a steam driven elevator. The use of this tower was short lived and it was idle from 1895 until it was dismantled in 1921.

The American Civil War of 1861 – 1865, resulted in the public interest in the War of 1812 dwindling.

By mid 1880, the Lundy’s Lane battlefield and cemetery had been overgrown with weeds. In 1887, Canon George Bell of All Saints Church founded the Lundy’s Lane Historical Society. A movement had begun to clean and preserve this historical site.

On July 25th 1895, a monument was dedicated to the soldiers of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane. Beneath the monument is a vault used as a depository for the remains of soldiers found on the battleground.

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