Erik Nitsche: Fort Frederick/Ontario
Artist: Erik Nitsche
During the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain, the naval battles taking place on Lake Ontario were among the most important. For whoever controlled the waterways from the Great Lakes to the ocean would have the advantage of being able to easily bring supplies into the Great Lakes. The Canadian town of Kingston, Ontario was extremely important militarily because of the British naval shipyards located there. To protect this valuable resource, a fort was built on a peninsula jutting into Kingston Harbor called Point Frederick. Thus the fort was known as Fort Frederick. Fort Frederick was situated at a strategic location where the Great Lakes meet the St. Lawrence River and the Rideau Canal -- and thus was able to defend several waterways at once. While American forces did bombard Fort Frederick several times during the War of 1812, they did little damage to the fort. However, the mere presence of the fort encouraged many American ships to give the area a wide berth. As part of the fortifications, a large stone building called a Martello Tower was constructed in the mid 1800s at Fort Frederick. The Martello Tower was a two-story structure which held six cannons able to fire thirty-two pound shells. The Martello Tower can still be seen today at Fort Frederick ... one of the National Historic Parks of Canada.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover for the Canada 34¢ Fort Frederick stamp issued June 28, 1985.
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