Article by: Sue London
It’s hard to imagine 200 years ago the exchange of cannon fire rang loudly out over Lake Ontario. Ships armed with cannons and troops patrolled the shores off of Grimsby. On June 8th, 1813 a battle was fought at the foot of Forty Mile Creek. It would be known as the Engagement at the Forty. This engagement played a key role in the War of 1812. On this historical date American Forces retreating after the battle of Stoney Creek were bombarded by the British Flotilla under Sir James Lucas Yeo. Indians and groups of the 4th and 5th Regiments of the Lincoln Militia joined in the attack and created such confusion in the enemy ranks that they abandoned their position and retreated to Fort George. The American Forces left behind 500 tents, 100 stands of rifles, 140 barrels of flour and 70 wounded American soldiers who became prisoners of war.
It is important, no matter which war, for us to never stop feeling the gratitude for the men and women who fought for our freedom. On May 26th, 2010 the Town of Grimsby hosted the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario for the launch of the first Canadian 1812 Bicentennial Peace Garden, located at the mouth of Forty Creek, the historic site of the Engagement at the Forty. The location for this momentous Peace Garden is found at the foot of Elizabeth Street next to the Grimsby Pump House. Now as you sit in the Peace Garden you can take in picturesque and tranquil views and enjoy lasting wonderful memories thanks to the brave souls who came before us some 200 years earlier.
Brian Purdy of Mediaimage Communications Group produced a video showing the re-enactment of the War of 1812 – Engagement At The Forty. This video received 12 International Awards and is now cataloged with the Library & Archives of Canada, the Archives of Ontario and US Library of Congress. Appreciate this much talked about, awarding winning, informative video at http://youtu.be/9DpxYV-nhyc.