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Youngstown: Historic marker to honor 1812 heroine


Tue, Mar 4th 2014 04:30 pm

A new historic marker, placed in honor of a famous War of 1812 heroine, will soon appear in the Village of Youngstown.

On Saturday, March 22, at 10 a.m., local officials, historians and history buffs will gather at Youngstown's Falkner Park to unveil the blue and gold plaque that honors the service of Betsy Doyle, a soldier's wife who assisted in the bombardment of Fort George in November 1812.

"This marker will raise Mrs. Doyle's visibility to the general public," said Catherine Emerson, Niagara County historian. "We're hoping the marker will encourage area residents and visitors to our region to learn more about her story."

Betsy Doyle was the wife of an American soldier stationed at Fort Niagara. When her husband was captured by the British during the Battle of Queenston in October 1812, Betsy stayed on at the fort serving as a laundress or a nurse. During a ferocious artillery bombardment between Fort Niagara and Fort George in November 1812, Doyle undertook the dangerous task of carrying red-hot cannonballs to an artillery piece on the roof of the French Castle.

While her story has long been a part of Niagara's folklore, Doyle's actual history remained obscure. Recent research discovered her service to the artillery was not only genuine, but that she stood sentry duty at the fort and led her family to safety by trudging across New York state after Fort Niagara was captured by the British in December 1813.

The new marker, which will stand along Main Street - not far from Betsy Doyle's home - is made possible by a grant from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation. The Syracuse-based foundation funds a statewide historic marker program and believes historic markers play an important role in local historic preservation. In addition to instilling pride, historic markers educate the public and support historic tourism, thus providing economic benefits to the towns and villages where the markers are placed.

The project has been under development for two years and is a collaborative effort among Niagara County, The Village of Youngstown and Old Fort Niagara. The public is invited to attend.

Old Fort Niagara is located in Youngstown, 14 miles north of Niagara Falls via the Robert Moses Parkway North. The fort opens at 9 a.m. daily. Old Fort Niagara is a National Landmark and State Historic Site operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association (a not-for-profit organization), in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.


Reliving drama from War of 1812 with a day of re-enactment, history and tribute

“Tuscarora Heroes” monument, showing two Tuscarora men helping a Lewiston woman and her baby to safety in 1813 as village is besieged by the British, will be dedicated at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Photos by Bill Carpenter/Historical Association of Lewiston

Newspaper Coverage Tuscarora Monument

  • The Wall Street Journal
  • December 17, 2013, 3:02 a.m. ET

Western NY village honoring tribe's 1813 heroics

    Associated Press

LEWISTON, N.Y. — A monument honoring Tuscarora Indians for saving American lives in western New York during the War of 1812 is being unveiled on the 200th anniversary of the tribe's heroics.

The ceremony for the Tuscarora Heroes Monument is being held Thursday night in the Niagara County village of Lewiston, on the Niagara River 20 miles north of Buffalo.

The event will feature more than 150 re-enactors from the U.S. and Canada recreating the events of Dec. 19, 1813, when British troops and their Indian allies attacked Lewiston, burning the frontier village and killing many of its residents.

Tuscarora Indians in a nearby village rushed to their aid. Despite their small force, the Tuscaroras halted the attack and got the surviving villagers to safety.

The monument features two Tuscarora men rescuing a woman carrying a baby.

—Copyright 2013 Associated Press



COVER STORY: In the Youngstown-Lewiston-Porter-Wilson area, bicentennial of region’s historic role features events such as predawn battle re-enactment at Old Fort Niagara and evening unveiling of long-awaited tribute

Saturday, December 14, 2013

YOUNGSTOWN – Before the crack of dawn on a bitter morning 200 years ago this week, more than 500 British soldiers and their Native American allies stealthily arrived on the banks of the Niagara River from Canada. They were determined to capture Fort Niagara and avenge the burning of Newark, now Niagara-on-the-Lake, the previous week, during the War of 1812.

In a brief but horrific battle in 1813, the British succeeded in taking the sleeping fort and marched on to destroy unsuspecting Youngstown, Lewiston and Wilson.

Two centuries later, these communities will remember that fateful date of Dec. 19 with numerous activities planned throughout the day and evening Thursday.

It begins with re-enactors charging the gates at Old Fort Niagara at 5 a.m. Spectators are invited to watch the simulated assault from a safe area, but they must arrive at the fort between 4:30 and 4:45 a.m. Admission is free, and the re-enactment will be followed by a brief ceremony. Calling it a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Old Fort Niagara Executive Director Robert L. Emerson said he had no trouble attracting re-enactors, even at this early hour. “We want this to be an authentic experience, and we are replicating the assault as closely as we can,” he said.

At 7:15 a.m., events move to Falkner Park on Main Street in Youngstown, where re-enactors will light ceremonial flares and fire musket volleys as part of a brief ceremony recalling the burning of the village.

At 8:15 a.m., two historical programs will be presented at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Main Street, with the Niagara County Historical Society giving a PowerPoint presentation followed by the screening of “Niagara on Fire,” a video produced by the Niagara-on-the-Lake War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee.

Youngstown restaurants will open at 6 a.m. for event spectators, while a catered breakfast for the 150 re-enactors will be served at Youngstown Fire Hall.

At 9:30 a.m., 650 students from Lewiston-Porter, Wilson, Stella Niagara and Tuscarora Nation elementary schools will arrive at the fort for a special program illustrating the 1813 capture of the fort, where interpreters in period costume will give demonstrations. At 11 a.m., the students will travel to four learning centers in the village, where they will experience everyday life circa 1812, and learn about topics ranging from Fort Niagara’s 1812 flag to the music and military life of the era. They will also watch “Niagara on Fire.” These student learning centers will be hosted by the Youngstown Village Center (Red Brick) and St. John Episcopal, First Presbyterian and St. Bernard Catholic churches.

Each student will receive a haversack and quill pen, according the Gretchen A. Duling, chairwoman of the Youngstown events committee.

In addition, each student will receive a copy of a new map created by Porter Town Historian Suzanne Simon Dietz, who worked with Historical Society member Karen K. Noonan in researching and documenting the residents and where they lived in 1813. They created a map of the early settlements in Porter from 1800 to 1829 and co-authored a booklet, “Early Town of Porter Residents 1800-1829,” based on U.S. census data, Holland Land Co. records and federal documents, as well as oral history and genealogical data.

In Porter churches today, the names of the “sufferers” – a term used for people who suffered as a result of the War of 1812, whether they lost family or friends or property – will be read aloud or be printed in bulletins. Bells will be rung following the services, Duling noted. She also said a new souvenir program will be distributed at the Falkner Park ceremony Thursday.

Emerson said, “This is a combined effort, and there are a number of things going on. It’s a progressive event, and it’s going to be a full, full day.” Events involve more than 150 volunteers and are supported by the Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council, the Niagara River Greenway Commission, the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area and the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission. For more information, visit

Attention shifts in the early evening to Lewiston, where thousands are expected to gather at 6:30 p.m. on Center Street and Portage Road, for the “Flames Through Niagara” re-enactment marking the 200th anniversary of the destruction of the village and the unveiling of the new “Tuscarora Heroes” monument.

Lee Simonson, the Historical Association of Lewiston’s volunteer project coordinator, said the Lewiston event will commemorate “a forgotten moment in a forgotten war that will never be forgotten” with the dedication of the new monument.

Simonson said spectators need to arrive early to witness the dramatic re-enactment of the day the British and their Mohawk allies traveled down River Road from Youngstown and stormed Lewiston, armed with torches, guns and tomahawks. Unsuspecting and unarmed civilians – even children – were murdered, while many tried to flee the chaos.

The new monument to be unveiled depicts two Tuscarora men helping a Lewiston resident and her baby to safety as her village is besieged by the British. Lewiston artist Susan J. Geissler was commissioned to create the bronze monument by HAL, which has been raising funds for four years through grants and donations. The monument also contains a time capsule, placed Oct. 16, 2013, containing items from Tuscarora Nation Elementary students.

“This is a remarkable story of how Native Americans, our Tuscarora neighbors, intervened here during the British attack, allowing some residents to escape, which saved dozens of lives,” Simonson said. “… The British were so infuriated that they destroyed the Tuscarora village atop the hill, and all of their winter supplies. They were homeless for a year or two, because they defended their neighbors and friends in Lewiston and sided with us in the War of 1812. And they were never thanked!”

Lewiston’s commemorative event will begin with British re-enactors firing muskets, inciting screams as those playing besieged Lewiston residents who run for their lives amid flames burning in giant barrels on Center Street, against the backdrop of dramatic music. The re-enactment – which will last less than 15 minutes – will culminate in the unveiling of the new monument.

“It’s important that people realize that this monument is not government-conceived,” Simonson said. “Our local governments certainly gave us tremendous support, but this is the voice of the people. The people of Lewiston are thanking the Tuscarora Nation for a courageous act that occurred 200 years ago and that has been ignored and unappreciated since that time.”

Sponsors for the Lewiston event include the Town of Lewiston and Niagara County, through Niagara River Greenway Commission funds; the Village of Lewiston; KeyBank Foundation; Margaret L. Wendt Foundation; Niagara Falls National Heritage Area; and Daughters of 1812. For information, visit www.historic


Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 12:30 am

By Virginia Kropf 


ALBION — A veteran of the War of 1812 was honored in services Saturday at his grave in Union Cemetery.

Moses Bacon owned the farm on Route 98, just north of Albion, where Watt Farms is now located.The cemetery is also on the property.

Elfreda Stangland of Albion, a member of the Niagara Frontier Chapter of the Daughters of the War of 1812, organized the event, which began at 11 a.m. at the Cobblestone Museum in Childs.


Welcoming remarks were given by Deborah Brundage, director of the Cobblestone Museum, and Jeanette Brooks, president of the Niagara Frontier Chapter, USD of 1812.

Colors were presented by the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry from Niagara Falls Air Force Base, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Jan Johnpier, president of the State of New York Society, USD of 1812.

Bagpiper Mo Britt of Lockport provided patriotic music at the Cobblestone Museum and during the grave marking ceremonies which followed in the cemetery.

While at the Museum, Lee Simonson, author of “Tuscarora Heroes,” presented a program on Western New York during the War of 1812.

Events at the cemetery included placing a wreath on Bacon’s grave by members of Boy Scout Troop 164 of Albion, and remarks by town of Gaines historian Dee Robinson and Orleans County historian Bill Lattin.

Robinson said the Watt farm was owned by Bacon and two brothers. After the war, Moses sold the east part to Hosea and the north part to Elias, reserving 100 acres for himself.

Moses moved to Albion from Connecticut about 1809. He joined the war effort in 1813, and in December 1814 he participated in the battle of Fort Erie, where he was shot in the neck and captured by the British. Moses was one of 1,000 prisoners captured on the Niagara Frontier and taken to Halifax Prison, where Robinson said he was treated poorly. Men slept in four-tiered hammocks and had no shoes or jackets.

Robinson also said Fort Erie was commanded by Gen. Edmond Pendleton Gaines, for whom the town of Gaines was named.

She showed a tiny carving from the Albion DAR’s museum, which Bacon carved while in prison. It was from the bone of a horse’s head, after the meat had been picked from it, she said.

Lattin explained the significance of monuments in honoring great people in our history.

“Moses Bacon was part of a great event in our nation’s history,” Lattin said. “It is fitting to honor this man who served his country.”

Lattin pointed out Bacon’s broken marker and said he was committed to see it was repaired.

After Brooks placed a War of 1812 marker on Bacon’s grave, a tea in his honor was served at Watt Farms.

State Reports New York

Major George Armistead Chapter attends General Dodge Day which was held today (21 September 2013) at Colonial Cemetery, Green St, Johnstown, NY. Several of his General Dodge's descendants were in attendance along with the (SSWGBSNY) General Society of War of 1812, John E Wool Chapter, DAR and Sons of the American Revolution.

Click Here Photos Nations in Harmony Concert, Lewiston, NY Tri-Nation Choir

Beverly Sterling-Affinati Nov 30, 2013
Anne Davis and Sid Shafer (Boni's husband) are doing an awesome job working
together on War of 1812 Soldiers buried in Jefferson County, NY. There could be as many as 2,000 soldiers buried in the county (not all of them verified as having served, read the page for details). If you haven't already, check out Sid's website at this link:

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Lawrence County New York in the War of 1812.

War of 1812 author to speak Saturday in Ogdensburg
Thursday, February 20, 2014 - From North Country Now

OGDENSBURG -- The Ogdensburg Public Library, 303 Washington St., will host a lecture and book signing with John Austin on Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. in the auditorium.

Austin will speak about the War of 1812 as it affected St. Lawrence County and specifically Ogdensburg. He will be signing his new book, “St. Lawrence County in the War of 1812: Folly and Mischief”, after the presentation.

Austin is a retired teacher who lives in DeKalb. He has is a member of the St. Lawrence Historical Society and has researched and compiled lists of soldiers from St. Lawrence County in both the Civil War and the War of 1812.


honored for ‘spirit of 1812’


Timothy J. Abel, archaeologist, was recently awarded the ‘Spirit of 1812’ medal by the United States Daughters of 1812, General Jacob Brown Chapter. Mr. Abel is a noted speaker on the history of the War of 1812 in New York state. He recently was honored at a brunch at the Sackets Harbor American Legion. From left, Anne Davis, Gen. Jacob Brown chapter vice president, Mr. Abel and Beverly Sterling-Affinati, Gen. Jacob Brown chapter president. See many more photos of organizations and clubs from all over Northern New York on the Times website, by scrolling down to NNY Scrapbook feature.



    Jan Johnpier

    12:48pm Jan 16

    Betsy Doyle Marker! Saturday March 22, 2014

    , March 22, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. - Catherine Emerson, Niagara County Historian, will be holding a marker installation ceremony for War of 1812 Heroine Betsy Doyle. Mark your calendars and plan to attend, if possible. Members from Niagara Frontier Chapter will be attending, but all daughters are welcome, of course. Kate indicates that there will be a small reception afterwards. I have asked Mrs. Emerson if she would like the United States Daughters of 1812 to place a wreath that day, and will wait for her reply, but I am guessing she will say yes. I believe that this marker will be placed near Old Fort Niagara, (perhaps right out front) but Mrs. Emerson has indicated that she will get back to me with further details. (More info to come....)

    REPORT FROM JAN JOHNPIER:: our State Chairman of 1812 Schools, who happens to be my mother, Jeanette Brooks. I called her to ask how many soup labels she sent to the 1812 schools - so that I can do the 1812 Schools report. She said, 1,782.00 soup labels were sent! I was expecting maybe 200? Wonderful! Thank you everyone who gave her soup labels and remember to save Campbell Soup labels and Box Tops for Education for our 1812 schools. She collects all year long. You can mail them to her or give them to me. We don't care how you get them to her, as long as she gets them

    honored for ‘spirit of 1812’


    Timothy J. Abel, archaeologist, was recently awarded the ‘Spirit of 1812’ medal by the United States Daughters of 1812, General Jacob Brown Chapter. Mr. Abel is a noted speaker on the history of the War of 1812 in New York state. He recently was honored at a brunch at the Sackets Harbor American Legion. From left, Anne Davis, Gen. Jacob Brown chapter vice president, Mr. Abel and Beverly Sterling-Affinati, Gen. Jacob Brown chapter president. See many more photos of organizations and clubs from all over Northern New York on the Times website, by scrolling down to NNY Scrapbook feature.






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