Wasaga under Siege – “A War of 1812 Experience” Nancy Island Historic Site, Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada July 23rd, 24th, 25th/2010
Lt. Miller Worsley of the British Royal Navy was in a tight situation and he knew it. From his position at the mouth of the Nottawasaga River looking out onto Georgian Bay, he could see the sails of three warships approaching. They were not flying the British Union Jack, but the Stars and Stripes of the infant republic to the south. It was August 13th, 1814 and Great Britain had been at war with the United States for two years.
From the narrow strip of land on which Worsley lay, the Nottawasaga River curved behind him running almost parallel to the lakeshore for about four miles, a piece of waterfront, which to future generations would become a popular tourist destination.
But now it was war and Worley's main concern was the schooner Nancy which sat anchored in the river behind him, her masts concealed by the trees. She was his to command along with 21 seamen of the Royal Navy, 23 Indians and 9 French Canadian Voyageurs. This was Nottawasaga Landing an important British supply post. It was guarded only by one crudely built blockhouse on the inland side of the river and was the only means of defence which stood between the Americans and the Nancy, if she was to be discovered.
The American ships Niagara, Tigress and Scorpion, under the command of Captain A. Sinclair had sailed to the mouth of the Nottawasaga River and dropped anchor. They believed the Nancy whom they were seeking, was still on route from Fort Michilimackinac. Perhaps the Nancy and her crew would escape the Americans after all……
Wasaga under Siege “A War of 1812 Experience” hosted by Nancy Island Historic Site and the Town of Wasaga Beach will feature authentic War of 1812 tactics, historical battles, marine assault landings, artillery, and much more. A professional public address announcer will narrate each battle event as a series of fictional and historical battle scenarios will be presented to the public over a three day period. The Grand Encampment at Nancy Island Historic Site will feature over 400 re-enactors opening their living history encampments to the public along with 19th century merchants, artisans, period cooking, musket and cannon demonstrations and period entertainment featuring, Tamarack, Caber Toss, The Zoom Daddy's, Dr. Quimby‟s Medicine Show, Laura Secord, Shaymus the Storyteller, Sutler Cyrus, War of 1812 Surgeon, On-gwe-ho-way and Backroads.
"The sandy beach and the modern attractions that surround it have overshadowed Wasaga Beaches rich history for such a long time, that only a small percentage of visitors and residents actually know that a War of 1812 battle was fought here. Wasaga under Siege “A War of 1812 Experience” is an annual large scale re-enactment that will help bring to live this important historical event in Wasaga Beaches‟ history. Battles and activities will no longer be restricted to the Historic Site of Nancy Island as all battle events will take place off the island in various beach park locations throughout Wasaga Beach. The battles taking place off Nancy Island will bring more awareness of our rich history to our visitors and residents as well as bringing more exposure and visitation to Nancy Island Historic Site itself.” - Town of Wasaga Beach