The 2015 Battle of Crysler’s Farm Weekend was again a resounding success.
The reenactors fought an exciting and suspense-filled battle on each of two successive afternoons with artillery and horses adding to the battle, to the enthusiastic cheers of a good crowd on each day. A steady stream of interested visitors to the encampment gained an increased interest and knowledge of the lives of both soldiers and civilians of the era. The sutlers and civilians added to the military encampment that attracted reenactors and visitors alike. A lively festive addition to the reenactor’s pub night was the introduction of period-appropriate English Country Dancing, just as it might have appeared in front of Cook’s Tavern any summer’s evening in 1813. Upper Canada Village’s Travelling Tiltons show provided added comic relief through song and wit.
A feature of this year’s event, sombre but much appreciated by those attending, was a Sunday morning paying of respect to the memory of the late Robin Morris, who was a leader in bringing the early history of Eastern Ontario to the public through living history. He was an enthusiastic historical reenactor, founding member of The Canadian Fencibles, and devoted friend (and Friend) of the Crysler’s Farm Battlefield Memorial. A brief memorial was led by Robin’s old friend Bob Irvine. The memorial ended, with the aid of Robin’s friends and fellow gunners, with the spreading of his ashes in the most fitting way possible over his beloved Saint Lawrence River.
No account of the weekend would be complete without thanks to the staff of Upper Canada Village and the St. Lawrence Parks commission. The logistic and staff support they provided did much to make the event the success it was.