The St Davids Ratepayers Association
In Partnership with the Niagara Historical Society and Museum
War of 1812 Bicentennial: The Burning of St. Davids
On December 10th, 1813, members of United States militia forces and Canadian sympathizers conducted a brutal assault on Newark, burning the town as their forces retreated across the Niagara River. The U.S. forces invaded again in the summer of 1814, captured Fort Erie, defeated the British forces at Chippawa, re-occupied Queenston and on July 18th, burned and looted the Village of St Davids. British and U.S. forces met at Lundy’s Lane on July 25th after which the U.S. forces retreated to Fort Erie. The burning and looting of St Davids was the last aggressive action of the war to take place in what is now Niagara-on-the-Lake.
In 2013, the St Davids Ratepayers Association began the planning of commemorative events to mark the burning and looting of the village of St Davids. In collaboration with the Niagara-on-the-Lake Historical Museum and the assistance of members of the Bicentennial Committee, the SDRA created a Heritage Committee chaired by St Davids resident Harry Murdoch.
The Heritage Committee decided to add to the commemoration of 200 years of peace and the successful defence of Upper Canada by organizing an event on Friday and Saturday, July 18th and 19th, 2014 to recognize the Burning of St Davids and the 200 years of peace along the Niagara Frontier that eventually followed the destruction of the Village.
The commemorative ceremony was held in the St Davids and Queenston United Church on Friday evening for a commemorative service and a presentation of the facts surrounding the burning of the seemingly small population centre in 1814 and its short and long-term significance in North American history. A procession, led by the Fort George Fife & Drum Corps, followed the service and a reception was hosted by theRavine Estate Winery, where the Royal Lincoln Artillery proudly displayed and fired a faithful replica of an 18th/19th century British field gun . The climax of the evening was a magnificent fireworks display.
Highlights of the evening are depicted below: