Museums, Heritage & History >> Ridgeway Battlefield Site
Ridgeway Battlefield Site
Garrison Road (Highway 3)
905-871-1600 ext. 2431
Click Here for a video by TVCogeco -The Source overview of outdoor interpretive panels:
About the Ridgeway Battlefield
Outdoor interpretive panels on site share the story of the Fenian Raids in Fort Erie, from the reasons why, the local, provincial and international response and the outcome. Open year round.
The Ridgeway Battlefield site marks the location where Irish-American veterans of the U.S. Civil War fought Canadian forces in an attempt to gain Ireland's independence of England in June 1866.
The invading force of more than 1,300 met no resistance in crossing the Niagara River on June 1, but two battles were fought the next day. The Battle of Ridgeway was the first, followed by the Battle at the Fort Erie Docks.
A U.S. gunboat prevented reinforcements from crossing and and the invading force of Fenians retreated back to Buffalo.
Designated a national historic site, a commemorative cairn was erected on Highway 3, near Ridge Road, close to the battlefield. A house, which originally stood along Ridge Road is maintained by the Fort Erie Museum (see photo below).
The house on the Battlefield Site dates to 1822 when Zachariah Teal purchased it from John Silverthorn. In 1916 the Roadhouse family bought the house and donated it to the Bertie Historical Society in 1975. With assistance from the Ridgeway/Crystal Beach Lions Club, the house was moved to its present location and renovated.The Town of Fort Erie took over the operation in 1976.
Visitors wishing to learn more about the Battle of Ridgeway or the Fenian Raids can visit the Historical Museum, 402 Ridge Road. Items on exhibition include a unique series of period paintings which give a visual account of the Battle of Ridgeway. These original watercolours were painted by Alexander von Erichsen. They depict the events from planning stages to return of the wounded.
In June 1991, the fields surrounding the Battlefield Museum were the scene of a reenactment of the Battle of Ridgeway. Hundreds of living history volunteers from Canada and the United States recreated battles and encampments for more than 13,000 appreciative visitors.
On June 4, 2016, Ridgeway hosted a commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the battle.