Heritage Celebration starts with a bang (12 photos)Thursday, September 20, 2012 by: Darren Taylor
Things were booming today at the Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site.
Fascinated schoolchildren and other visitors looked on as history re-enactors, dressed as 19th century British soldiers, repeatedly fired off a booming cannon as part of “1812 Rendezvous-A Heritage Celebration,” which began today at the historic site and continues Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Curator Kathy Fisher told SooToday.com “as part of the Grade 7 curriculum for September, we had eight school buses come in this morning, eight planned for the afternoon, both today and Friday.
That’s 32 schools and approximately 1,000 Grade 7 students.”
“We want people to know our history. The War of 1812 was pivotal for us, a partnership between Britain, First Nations, Metis and voyageurs, fighting off American invasion and forming what eventually became Canada.”
“And of course, we have a direct connection, as Charles Ermatinger was one of the civilians who joined the British troops back then.”
“Both sides (Canada and the U.S.) say they won the War of 1812,” Fisher notes, “but both sides were able to keep what they had in the outcome…we’ve had 200 years of peace, and what we’re doing here is for fun, what we call edu-tainment.”
There were many history re-enactors on the south side of the Ermatinger-Clergue site in 1812-style costumes, with numerous hands-on demonstrations and displays, including one by a gentleman dressed as an 1812 surgeon with some ghastly instruments!
Fisher said “admission charges are lower than usual for this event, because Bushplane Days are here on the corner of Bay Street this weekend as well, and we want to make it affordable for families to come to both events.”
“The British may meet the Americans once again, but it might be Captain America!” she chuckled, referring to the comic book superhero’s appearance planned for Bushplane Days on Sunday.
Admission prices for 1812 Rendezvous are $5 for adults, $3 for youth, children 6 and under free, and a special family rate as well.
“If people come to visit us this weekend they get a free 1812 tattoo, a pin, and postcards, and we have a photo booth coming where you get dressed up 1812 style. All of that is included in the admission price.”
On Friday, Sault Ste. Marie MP Bryan Hayes and Sault Mayor Debbie Amaroso will light the cannon at 2:30 p.m.