Cancelled Battle of Stoney Creek a loss for community and re-enactors

News Jun 02, 2021 by Cara Nickerson Stoney Creek News

The cannons haven't fired at Battlefield House Museum and Park for two straight years. The re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek, which usually takes place on the grounds over the first weekend in June, won't occur at least until 2022 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The re-enactment commemorates a nighttime strike made by British forces against Americans on June 6, 1813. In 1981, a group of historians and professional re-enactors began staging a demonstration on the grounds where the battle took place.

Event administrator Debra Seabrook said that before the pandemic, the event saw an average of 10,000 visitors during the three-day demonstration. More got to experience the event during educational events where students would spend the day with re-enactors learning hands-on about the battle and the era in which it took place.

“You can read about what these people did and still not get it until you try to do what they did,” said Craig Williams, one of the original re-enactors.

While the re-enactment is meant to show people what life was like in the Stoney Creek region 200 years ago, some visitors have connected with the demonstrations in unexpected ways.

Volunteer and re-enactor Lisa Barty said that several years ago she was showing students how different herbs were used as medicine, and a parent volunteer from the Middle East recognized the sumac that Barty was using.

“She came up to me and started sniffing it,” Barty said. “She was telling me about all the different ways her family used sumac, and she was so excited to see that it was something Indigenous people in Canada had used.”

While the event is important for teaching the history of the time, for many of the re-enactors it’s a chance to reconnect with each other and with a larger community of history buffs.

Williams is still an active participant in the event. He said that what he has missed most is connecting with his friends. During the demonstration, the re-enactors camp out overnight on the grounds, and he said he enjoys finishing a long day sitting around the fire with his fellow re-enactors, talking about the day’s action.

“It’s the camaraderie,” Williams said. “I miss the camaraderie.”

Williams wasn’t the only one lamenting the loss of this year’s event. Seabrook said that the community at large also lost out.

“We’re missing the human connection,” she said. “We’re missing the celebratory nature of just being outdoors, enjoying good entertainment, as well as learning.”

While the battle didn't run this year, Hamilton Civic Museum has videos of past re-enactments on its YouTube page.


STORY BEHIND THE STORY: When we heard that the Re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek had been cancelled for a second year, we wanted to know what it meant for the people involved.

Cancelled Battle of Stoney Creek a loss for community and re-enactors

For the second year in a row, the guns will be silent

News Jun 02, 2021 by Cara Nickerson Stoney Creek News

The cannons haven't fired at Battlefield House Museum and Park for two straight years. The re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek, which usually takes place on the grounds over the first weekend in June, won't occur at least until 2022 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The re-enactment commemorates a nighttime strike made by British forces against Americans on June 6, 1813. In 1981, a group of historians and professional re-enactors began staging a demonstration on the grounds where the battle took place.

Event administrator Debra Seabrook said that before the pandemic, the event saw an average of 10,000 visitors during the three-day demonstration. More got to experience the event during educational events where students would spend the day with re-enactors learning hands-on about the battle and the era in which it took place.

“You can read about what these people did and still not get it until you try to do what they did,” said Craig Williams, one of the original re-enactors.

Related Content

While the re-enactment is meant to show people what life was like in the Stoney Creek region 200 years ago, some visitors have connected with the demonstrations in unexpected ways.

Volunteer and re-enactor Lisa Barty said that several years ago she was showing students how different herbs were used as medicine, and a parent volunteer from the Middle East recognized the sumac that Barty was using.

“She came up to me and started sniffing it,” Barty said. “She was telling me about all the different ways her family used sumac, and she was so excited to see that it was something Indigenous people in Canada had used.”

While the event is important for teaching the history of the time, for many of the re-enactors it’s a chance to reconnect with each other and with a larger community of history buffs.

Williams is still an active participant in the event. He said that what he has missed most is connecting with his friends. During the demonstration, the re-enactors camp out overnight on the grounds, and he said he enjoys finishing a long day sitting around the fire with his fellow re-enactors, talking about the day’s action.

“It’s the camaraderie,” Williams said. “I miss the camaraderie.”

Williams wasn’t the only one lamenting the loss of this year’s event. Seabrook said that the community at large also lost out.

“We’re missing the human connection,” she said. “We’re missing the celebratory nature of just being outdoors, enjoying good entertainment, as well as learning.”

While the battle didn't run this year, Hamilton Civic Museum has videos of past re-enactments on its YouTube page.


STORY BEHIND THE STORY: When we heard that the Re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek had been cancelled for a second year, we wanted to know what it meant for the people involved.

Cancelled Battle of Stoney Creek a loss for community and re-enactors

For the second year in a row, the guns will be silent

News Jun 02, 2021 by Cara Nickerson Stoney Creek News

The cannons haven't fired at Battlefield House Museum and Park for two straight years. The re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek, which usually takes place on the grounds over the first weekend in June, won't occur at least until 2022 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The re-enactment commemorates a nighttime strike made by British forces against Americans on June 6, 1813. In 1981, a group of historians and professional re-enactors began staging a demonstration on the grounds where the battle took place.

Event administrator Debra Seabrook said that before the pandemic, the event saw an average of 10,000 visitors during the three-day demonstration. More got to experience the event during educational events where students would spend the day with re-enactors learning hands-on about the battle and the era in which it took place.

“You can read about what these people did and still not get it until you try to do what they did,” said Craig Williams, one of the original re-enactors.

Related Content

While the re-enactment is meant to show people what life was like in the Stoney Creek region 200 years ago, some visitors have connected with the demonstrations in unexpected ways.

Volunteer and re-enactor Lisa Barty said that several years ago she was showing students how different herbs were used as medicine, and a parent volunteer from the Middle East recognized the sumac that Barty was using.

“She came up to me and started sniffing it,” Barty said. “She was telling me about all the different ways her family used sumac, and she was so excited to see that it was something Indigenous people in Canada had used.”

While the event is important for teaching the history of the time, for many of the re-enactors it’s a chance to reconnect with each other and with a larger community of history buffs.

Williams is still an active participant in the event. He said that what he has missed most is connecting with his friends. During the demonstration, the re-enactors camp out overnight on the grounds, and he said he enjoys finishing a long day sitting around the fire with his fellow re-enactors, talking about the day’s action.

“It’s the camaraderie,” Williams said. “I miss the camaraderie.”

Williams wasn’t the only one lamenting the loss of this year’s event. Seabrook said that the community at large also lost out.

“We’re missing the human connection,” she said. “We’re missing the celebratory nature of just being outdoors, enjoying good entertainment, as well as learning.”

While the battle didn't run this year, Hamilton Civic Museum has videos of past re-enactments on its YouTube page.


STORY BEHIND THE STORY: When we heard that the Re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek had been cancelled for a second year, we wanted to know what it meant for the people involved.