Sunday 1 June 2014

Battlefield House Museum & Park, Stoney Creek, ON

Gord and I visited the Battlefield House Museum & Park in Stoney Creek today.

The Battle of Stoney Creek was fought on June 6, 1813, during the War of 1812. British units made a night attack on an American encampment.  Due in large part to the capture of the two senior officers of the American force and an overestimation of British strength by the Americans, the battle was a victory for the British and a turning point in the defence of Upper Canada. The battle lasted 45 minutes.

British stats:
  • Strength:  700
  • 23 killed
  • 136 wounded
  • 52 captured

American stats:
  • Strength:  3,400 of which 1,328 engaged
  • 17 killed
  • 38 wounded
  • 100 captured

There are lots of cannons in the park.


Battlefield House was the homestead of the widow Mary Jones Gage and her two children, James and Elizabeth, who journeyed to the area from New York State in 1790. Mrs. Gage received a grant of 200 acres and in exchange was required to swear allegiance to the Crown. Battlefield House was constructed first as a rough-hewn log house and in 1796 this was replaced by a storey-and-a-half frame house.

On June 5, 1813, the Gage residence was forced to become headquarters of the invading American troops who occupied the house. After the British victory, the family overcame the aftermath of war and returned to a normal lifestyle and prosperity. In 1835, Mary Jones Gage sold the farm and the family went to live in Hamilton. The house changed hands many times and parts of the property were sold.

In 1899, the house was in a bad state of repair and in danger of being torn down. A granddaughter of James, Sara Calder, recognized the historical value of the property. She purchased the house and four-and-a-half acres of land around it. Later this property was transferred to the Women's Wentworth Historical Society of which she was president.

Similar views ...


The Battlefield Monument was constructed to honour the relationship to the British crown and remind future generations of the War of 1812. On the centennial of the Battle of Stoney Creek, June 6, 1913, the completed monument was unveiled by Queen Mary in London, by means of a transatlantic cable. School children were given a half-day off school. Approximately 15,000 people were in attendance, including local military forces.

The British flag
Peeking inside a window

It's a lovely park with lots of space (32 acres) to walk around.

A memorial to the native peoples who fought alongside the British

Samuel Nash immigrated to Upper Canada from Connecticut in 1800 and married Susannah Gage ten years later. The newly married couple was deeded land from Susannah's father, William Gage.  The homestead was used as a hospital during the Battle of Stoney Creek in 1813.  Grandview (The Nash-Jackson House) is unique because five successive generations of the same family inhabited it.  A log cabin was built first on the property. By 1810, a two-storey Georgian-style dwelling was complete and Samuel and Susannah Nash's farm prospered.

Leone (Nash) Jackson and her husband Angus Jackson, were the fourth generation to live in the house and they had three children. Mrs. Jackson died in 1996 and through the generosity of her family, the home was donated to the City of Stoney Creek. On November 7, 1999, the Grandview was relocated to Battlefield Park.

Behind the house there are benches with dedications.  This one is dedicated to Billy Green.  He discovered the challenge response password for the day and rode his brother-in-law's horse part way and ran on foot the rest of the way to Burlington Heights where he revealed the password to Lieutenant James FitzGibbon. He was provided with a sword and uniform and used his knowledge of the terrain to guide the British to the American position. He was present at the battle.

Every year the Battlefield House Museum and Park presents a re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek ... that's happening next weekend.  You can visit the encampment and mingle with early 19th century settlers and soldiers as they go about their daily life, witness historical demonstrations of cooking, dancing, blacksmithing and more and enjoy food, games and musical entertainment.

They were setting up for next weekend

If you are in the Stoney Creek area, it's worth stopping in and checking out the park.


Masshole Mommy said...

Sounds like an interesting piece of history!

Patricia said...

I enjoyed reading your post very much and catching up on the area. I have some family still living in the Toronto area - Oak Creak?

and my wonderful poet, artist, photographer, friend also lives near Toronto
her blog is called TALON Her posts are exquisite

What delightful pictures too
I am now going to wander around you site! thank you for your comment on Dialogues of a Crime

Teresa said...

Another interesting adventure! Looks like you had a fun weekend all around.