The Fort La Présentation Associations War of 1812 Heritage Talks April 25-26 offer two distinct historical experiences; a traditional fiddle concert the evening of April 25 and a slate of speakers and exhibits April 26 at the Freight House, 20 Market St., Ogdensburg.
New York Grand Champion Fiddler Don Woodcock performs a wide selection of War of 1812-era jigs, reels and ballads at 7 p.m. April 25. Children accompanied by an adult enter free to this family friendly concert. Adults of 18 years and older pay the $5 admission at the door. There will be door prizes.
The first-rate April 26 line-up of seven speakers, eight exhibits, two authors and two documentaries has graduated fees; $30 for students, $50 for educators, state historians and Fort Association affiliates, and $60 for the broader public.
This year we strove to broaden our appeal across New Yorks north country with the inclusion of three speakers from St. Lawrence County, four exhibits covering Sackets Harbor to Plattsburgh, two local authors and our fiddler, said Fort Association President Barbara OKeefe. We have incorporated improvements and program suggestions proposed at previous heritage talks, including lower prices.
The far-reaching heritage talks also bring speakers from Maryland, Connecticut, Vermont and Ontario, as well as four exhibits from Ontario. The War of 1812 documentaries address New York State battlefield preservation and the devastation along Ontarios Lake Erie shore by U.S. soldiers.
The presentations sweep from the St. Lawrence River to the Chesapeake Bay, delve into underwater and land-based archaeology, introduce a Connecticut captain and a St. Lawrence County general, the Upper Canada Militia, American uniforms, and much more.
Many past participants noted the talks gave them a better grasp of the wars episodes as they interlaced through the conflict, Mrs. OKeefe said. I am sure some folks may be surprised to learn just how much happened along the St. Lawrence between June 1812 and the end of 1814.
Advance registration is requested for the April 26 program. The charges include a continental breakfast and a buffet lunch. Some local motels offer discounts to participants.
A comprehensive list of presentations, along with the graduated fees and registrations forms, is at www.fort1749.org.