War of 1812 Gallery

Location: Niagara Falls History Museum

A gallery dedicated to the history of the War of 1812 and the impact of the War on the citizens of Niagara Falls. In the spring of 1812, war broke out between the United States and Britain. The conflict was focused on the British North American colonies, notably along the border between Upper Canada and the Northeast United States. From the onset of the War, Niagara Falls was involved in the American invasion into the peninsula and was the scene of the Battle of Chippawa and the Battle of Lundy’s Lane.

The collections of the Niagara Falls Museums contain many important artifacts related to the War of 1812. Explore the history that changed a nation in vivid colour, with images, artifacts, videos and hands-on experiences meant to put you in the action.

Date Ongoing

1812 hat and coat

1812 muskets

War of 1812 display case showing redcoat and musket

This Militia coatee belonged to James Thompson. During the War of 1812, Thompson served as an Ensign of the 2nd Flank Company (also known as Hamilton's Company) of the 2nd Lincoln Militia. His company served at Queenston Heights, Frenchman's Creek, Fort Niagara, Black Rock and Fort Schlosser. Thompson fought and was wounded at the Battle of Lundy's Lane. After the war he was promoted to lieutenant of the Lincoln Militia and later a captain of the First Battalion of the Welland Militia.

The Thompson family were United Empire Loyalists who settled in Niagara during the American Revolution and built the Whirlpool Farm, located along River Road. The Whirlpool Farm was torn down by Ontario Hydro when the Queenston Generating Station was built in 1917.
This coat was conserved by the Canadian Conservation Institute in Ottawa and took a total of 430 hours to clean and repair the fabric and epaulet, buttons and lace.
Laura Secord's bonnet
This mid-19th century bonnet belonged to Laura Secord during her later years living in Chippawa, now part of Niagara Falls. Niagara civilians were greatly affected by the conflict in the border region. During the war Laura’s husband was wounded in battle, her home was occupied and she felt compelled to make a risky journey to warn the British of the threat of attack for which she is now recognized as a wartime hero.
Various small metal objects
Lundy’s Lane battlefield is the site of the bloodiest battle of the War of 1812. Battlefield discoveries include cloth fragments, part of a boot sole, small tools and other soldier’s belongings.

Battlefield tourism lured entrepreneurs who erected viewing towers and offered amenities. Today the Battle of Lundy’s Lane is commemorated through a legacy of monuments and ceremony.

General Scott Tower brochure