Old Fort Niagara has announced French Heritage Day, featuring living history programs on the French influences on the Niagara region on Saturday, November 9th.
Demonstrations of life as a soldier, games, cooking, trading, music, muskets and artillery will occupy the French Castle and fort grounds from 10 am to 4 pm.
A Hearth Cooking Workshop in the French Castle’s boulangerie will be held from 9 am to 2 pm. The workshop will teach eight participants how to cook an 18th-century meal over an open hearth. It includes recipes, ingredients, tools and techniques.
The class is open to anyone, regardless of cooking or fire-making skills, and includes lunch (eating the prepared meal). Niagara County Historian Kate Emerson will instruct. Participation in the workshop is $50 per person or $45 for Old Fort Niagara Association members. Reservations can be made by calling (716) 745-7611.
Staff and volunteers will portray French soldiers, Native traders, voyageurs and civilians and teach the public about:
- Hands-on introduction to the 18th century fur trade
- French military music
- Food and cooking techniques from the 1700s
- 18-century French medicine
- French soldier life
- Religion in the original Catholic chapel
- Musket firing demonstrations
- Cannon firing demonstrations
- 18th century French games
- 18th century surveying
The French Castle at Old Fort Niagara was built by the French in 1726 and is the oldest original building that still exists on the Great Lakes. It was surrounded by a wooden stockade and housed about 40 soldiers. The new fort protected French interests in the region and provided a venue where Frenchmen and Native Americans could meet to negotiate and trade.
Regular admission prices apply to “French Heritage Day” (not including the cooking workshop): $13 for adults, $9 for children, and free for children ages 5 and under and for Old Fort Niagara Association members.
More information is available on Old Fort Niagara’s website.
Photo of Voyageur Display at Old Fort Niagara provided.