During my recent vacation to the Thousand Islands, I happened to be driving through the village of Cape Vincent while on my way to see the Tibbets Point lighthouse (which you can learn all about here), and noticed that something was happening in the village square that was drawing quite a lot of excitement. And just my luck, on that particular afternoon, Cape Vincent was having its annual War of 1812 reenactment!
“The first record of the white man’s visit to this immediate vicinity was in 1615, five years prior to the memorable landing of the Pilgrims. Samuel de Champlain and his compatriots on their expedition to the Iroquois country reached Lake Ontario near Kingston, Ontario, Canada, thus bringing the expedition within the water limit of our town.
Early in 1655, French Missionary priests, Father Chaumonoit and Father Dablon were here as missionaries among the Onondaga Indians. History shows that both England and France were endeavoring to monopolize the Indian trade and to extend their influence with the native tribes. The French established a fort at Niagara and the English established a fort at Oswego. Both the French and English built trading posts, established missions and built homes in this area… During the War of 1812, declaration of war made it necessary to have armed forces at Cape Vincent, and there was no army post on the frontier in as much danger as Cape Vincent, since the enemy had a large force in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. At this time many inhabitants left for back settlements, but when the danger was over, many returned and the number of settlers steadily increased.” (source)