Content approved by Jerry Parker
Upstate New York saw more than its fair share of action during the War of 1812. With access to the Atlantic, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie in addition to numerous critical waterways, the state saw conflict on multiple fronts. Its border with Canada also put upstate New York in particular on the front line of the conflict. Today, dozens of amazing historical sites and forts still showcase the region’s rich history. There are plenty of stories waiting to be retold and explored. Below, you’ll find a few of the very best.
The biggest landmark in Oswego County, this sprawling fort is open for lone visitors and guided tours. The parade grounds, barracks, two guardhouses, and the walls are ready to explore, and the star-shaped fort has plenty to offer.
- Guided underground tours offer even more excitement for visitors.
- The nearby Safe Haven museum illuminates the story of 1,000 Jewish refugees who were sheltered in the fort during WWII.
- Guests enjoy an unparalleled view of Lake Ontario from Fort Ontario’s historic walls.
Gracefully aged and seasoned with history, this fort rises out of the Adirondacks at the southern end of Lake Champlain.
- Fort Ticonderoga’s history includes the most famous surrender of the Revolutionary War.
- This may be the best-preserved fort in upstate New York.
- There are extensive natural attractions in the area.
Old Fort Niagara
While the falls may be the most popular tourist attraction, Old Fort Niagara may be the most storied. It has been very well cared for over the years, and it enjoys a stunning location. Occupied by American, British, and French armies over the years, it is a must-see for both sight-seers and history buffs.
- The museum offers a haunted fort tour in October.
- Guests enjoy stunning views of Lake Ontario and the mouth of the Niagara River.
- The museum offers daily programs.
Set along Sackets Harbor, this unusual fortification was built specifically as a result of the War of 1812, making it one of the newest locations on this list. The area saw plenty of action during the multiple major battles fought for control of the harbor.
- President Grant served in this fortification.
- The area was largely shaped by the War of 1812, and there is plenty of history to see just strolling down the street.
More Resources About the War of 1812
- Old Fort Niagara: Step into the past and visit this historical fort that played a pivotal role in the War of 1812.
- Mrs. Emily Otis Gill’s Letter: Personal accounts give historians a window in the past. This narrative was provided by a woman who lived about a mile away from the battlefield of The Battle of Big Sandy Creek.
- The Battle of Big Sandy Creek: Written by the people who run the Sandy Creek History Center, this overview of the battle helps visualize the event with maps and images.
- The Events Surrounding the Battle of Big Sandy Creek: Although the battle has gone down in history as one of America’s most decisive victories in the war, what elements shaped the engagement?
- Lt. Col. Bisshopp: Learn more about the man who led the raid on Black Rock.
- Account of Captain W.C. Saunders of the 41st Regiment: Hear about the Raid on Black Rock and its fallout directly from an eye witness and participant.
- Feb. 12, 1814 Newspaper: Read an actual newspaper and see how the American people heard about the battles surrounding them.
- The Burning of Buffalo: 200 years ago, Buffalo, NY burned. See how much two centuries of research have revealed to historians.
- Buffalo and the War of 1812: Today, Buffalo is a thriving city, and it has plenty of stories to share about the War of 1812.
- What Led to the Burning of Buffalo: Discover what led to the city’s near total destruction and what historic pieces of the city survive today.
- Lodowick at the Bridge: Enjoy an exciting story about the heroes of the Battle of Scajaquada Creek.
- Niagara Campaigns (PDF): Read up on how the Army teaches about the historic military actions in Niagara during the War of 1812.
- The War of 1812 in a Nutshell: Need a quick, fun summary? This article is for you.
- The Capture of Fort Niagara: Read about the battle from a Canadian perspective.
- Capturing Fort Niagara: Get the details and feel the thrill of one of the war’s greatest sneak attacks.
- Ogdensburg’s Role in the War of 1812: Discover the small, frontier community’s role in the war leading up to and following the biggest battle there.
- Kellogg’s Inn: What was life like, dealing with the wilderness in a small town while caught between British and American forces? One historic landmark gives a hint.
- Attack on Fort Oswego: Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Check out this contemporary image of the British raid.
- The Forts of Oswego (PDF): Learn more about why these defenses were so important and the role they played in the war.
- The Battle of Plattsburgh: Read a quick article from a modern U.S. Army Colonel about the conflict.
- USS Ticonderoga and the Naval Battle of Plattsburgh: The navy has kept great records about the War of 1812, and modern naval insight has plenty to offer on this historic battle.
- Battle of Sackets Harbor Facts and Summary: Get up to speed quickly and discover some of the most interesting facts of the battle with this efficient article.
- Sackets Harbor During the War Years: Find out what life was like around this critical harbor before, during, and after both of the major battles fought there.
- Women in the War of 1812: Although gender kept them from joining the army and navy, women played critical roles throughout the conflict.
- American Indian Women in the War of 1812: Vital allies to both American and British forces, these women may be overshadowed in history books, but their stories aren’t lost.
- The War of 1812 and Manifest Destiny: Read about the intrinsic links between America’s second war for independence and the national ideology of manifest destiny.
- 10 Things You Didn’t Know About the War of 1812: Some of the biggest surprises come in small facts. This article is packed with them.
- Causes of the War of 1812: From the official foreign policy website, this article explores in-depth what sparked open war between America and Britain a second time.
- The War’s Significance: Learn more about the influence and result the War of 1812 had on American history.
- Who Fought in the War of 1812?: The struggle included more than just American soldiers and British Redcoats.
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