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Fort Henry

Kingston, Ontario, Canada

July 21, 2009

This mini vacation was a two night, three day visit to Kingston, Ontario, Canada.  My friends Sue and Jack Cranney joined me for this weekend of sightseeing.

First stop on Saturday morning was at downtown Kingston.  We had all day to sightsee as the Military Tattoo was an evening performance. Above is the old train station which is now a visitor station and gift shop.

This violinist was playing for tips.

The downtown Kingston fountain.  A comfy spot for visitors to sit and rest.

The same area was host to a Saturday Market.

There were stalls with clothing, fresh produce and maple syrup products.

Beautiful flowers were for sale.

Standing in front of Canadian Pacific locomotive number 1095.  It was sitting on the track behind the visitors center.

 

Kingston's City Hall

A Lake Ontario harbor scene.

Another Harbor view!

This was is neat fountain in the park next to the visitor's center.

After spending time at the downtown area of Kingston. we drove a few blocks to visit the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes.

A Great Lake's Buoy greeted us at the entrance to the Museum.

Docked next to the Museum was the retired Coast Guard Ice Breaker Boat.  It was a neat adjunct to the Museum in that you could rent a room and stay on the boat.

On of the several interesting visual displays inside the museum.

A land locked ships wheel display!

Near the gang way to enter the Ice Breaker.

The Ice Breaker's Bridge.

From the stern of the Ice Breaker you see this wind mill farm which is generating electricity.

Now on to the evening's entertainment at Fort Henry.

Located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada on a point of land near the mouth of the Cataraqui River where it flows into the St. Lawrence River at the upper end of the Thousand Islands. The original fort was constructed during the War of 1812. The British anticipated an attack on Point Henry due to its proximity to the Royal Navy Dockyards at the site of the present-day Royal Military College of Canada at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. The loss of this vital trading route would have cut off Kingston from eastern Canada.

The present Fort Henry was constructed between 1832 and 1837. It was constructed to protect the Lake Ontario end of the Rideau Canal. A system of defensive works was planned but cost overruns in the construction of canal limited the fortifications to four Martello towers and the fort. The British Army withdrew in 1870, shortly after Canadian Confederation. It was then garrisoned by Canadian troops until 1891. The fort was then abandoned and fell into disrepair. Under the leadership of Ronald L. Way, restorations took place and the fort was reopened as a living history museum on the 1st of August 1938.

Fort Henry from the air! 

Jack and Sue Cranney waiting to enter the fort.

A system of more elaborate defensive works was planned but cost overruns in the construction of the canal limited the fortifications to four Martello towers and the fort itself. At the time, these fortifications were the strongest defenses in Canada west of Quebec City. Among the historic regiments that garrisoned the fort were the Black Watch, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and the Royal Welch Fusiliers. Neither the original nor the second Fort Henry was ever attacked.

The British Army withdrew in 1870 shortly after Canadian Confederation. Canadian troops then garrisoned the fort until 1891. The fort witnessed the founding of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, one of the first units in the Canadian Army, whose B battery was based at the fort. As relations with the United States continued to improve, the need for defences along the border ceased. During the First World War Fort Henry served as a facility for holding Ukrainian detainees. Abandoned by the military, the fort fell into disrepair. In the 1930s, under the leadership of Ronald L. Way, restorations took place as part of a government work program during the Great Depression. "Old Fort Henry" became a living museum with the introduction of the Fort Henry Guard, and was opened on August 1, 1938. During the Second World War, the fort served as a prisoner-of-war camp for German Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine personnel.

Special 2009 events include the Fort Henry Tattoo which salutes the bicentennial of Flight in
Canada. Some featured guest bands include: the Band of the Royal
Hamilton Light Infantry, US Naval Ceremonial Drill Team, the Lorne
Scots Pipes and Drums, the Pipes and Drums of Argyll and Sutherland
Highlanders of Canada, the Fort Henry Drums and more. An exciting
fireworks finale is the backdrop of the mass band finale.
 

Rehearsal time!

Looking over the rampart toward downtown Kingston.

 Pipers on the drill ground preparing for the evenings performance.

The Officers quarters dining room.  We had a delightful dinner as part of out evening at the tattoo.

The Fort's Parade Ground.  This is the site of the evening's program.

Here come some pipers,  the Tattoo will start soon.

Any moment now!

The 2009 Military Tattoo salutes the bicentennial of Flight in
Canada. Some featured guest bands include: the Band of the Royal
Hamilton Light Infantry, US Naval Ceremonial Drill Team, the Lorne
Scots Pipes and Drums, the Pipes and Drums of Argyll and Sutherland
Highlanders of Canada, the Fort Henry Drums and more. An exciting
fireworks finale was to be the backdrop of the massed band finale.  Unfortunately, the rain caused the massed bands to not appear.

The Town Crier announcing by proclamation the begining of the Tattoo.

The color guard and band arriving on the Parade Ground.  The Tattoo has started!

 

Another band marches in.

The National Anthems of Canada and the United States were played by the assembled bands.

Dismissal from the opening ceremony.

Pipers were the first group to perform on the Parade Ground.

The marched and played beautifully!

Oh! Darn it started to rain!  But that did not stop this group of High Land Dancers.

Being true troupers they kept on performing.

Pipers performing in the rain.

 

Another Band arrives in the rain.

 

In spite of the rain this band's marching skill was excellent!

Their performance is over.  It was a well done performance!

US Navy Drill Team

There precision drill was conducted without background music.

Another band of Pipers in colorful kilts. 

Massed pipers playing in the rain!

Fire works tell us that the Tattoo is ending early because of the rain.

It was a great show!

The following photos of Fort Henry were taken

 during my first visit to the Fort in late July 2008.

A sentry guard the Fort's entrance gate.

Looking at Lake Ontario from the ramparts.

A view of downtown Kingston.

The exit portal to the river from the Fort.

Barracks built into the rampart of the Fort.

The passage way to the entrance of the Parade Ground.

The gate to the entrance of the Parade Ground.

During the summer season college students are employed as soldiers who serve as interpreters of the fort.  Here are two teams of gunners competing in a rapid fire competition.

One of the soldier interpreter's lead the fort's mascot to the barracks.

A cannon deployed on the parade Ground.

Nothing can be added to this photo!

Officers quarters on the upper level, offices for the Fort company on the lower level.

One of the Fort's kitchen's on display.

A last glimpse of the fort and the Canadian national flag.