One year ago, the Lithuanian Museum-Archives of Canada (LMAC) located in Mississauga, Ontario, opened an exhibition called “European Traces in the War of 1812” – a fascinating investigation into the history of Lithuanian soldiers who served in that war in Canada. Currently it is being featured at the Old Fort Erie Museum at 350 Lakeshore Rd, Fort Erie, ON, and will be on display all summer.
Those soldiers, originally hailing from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, were very likely the first Lithuanians to set foot in Canada. Researcher Peg Perry and Museum director Danguolė Breen unearthed a surprising amount of information, displayed on banners by graphic designer Akvilė Minkevičienė. Because of the pandemic, the exhibition could only be seen virtually on www.lithuanianheritage.ca, where it is still available.
This amazing array of photos, events, maps and lists relating to these soldiers and their role in the war is now available to see in person at Old Fort Erie near Niagara, Ontario, a fitting place near the location of the actual events of 1812-1814. Old Fort Erie was built in 1764, and was the first permanent British military stronghold, undergoing several attacks until it was ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Ghent. Later it was used to house war veterans, then in 1901 became the property of Niagara Parks. It was reconstructed in 1937-1939 according to 1812 drawings and began to function as a historical heritage site. During the renovations, the remains of 150 British and 3 American soldiers were found, and a monument was erected in their memory.
Canadians have not forgotten this historic battle and enjoy the re-enactments that are staged at the Fort every year on the second weekend of August. Take the opportunity to see our Museum’s excellent exhibition!