Posted: Aug 2, 2012
Parks Canada is marking the bicentennial of the War of 1812 with a travelling tent exhibit that has made its way to New Brunswick.
Yesterday, 1812 on Tour was in Moncton and today the educational exhibit comes to the Carleton Martello Tower in Saint John.
Robert Roe, the manager of 1812 on Tour, says it features Maj.-Gen. Sir Isaac Brock, Native War Chief Tecumseh, Lt.-Col. Charles de Salaberry and Laura Secord will all be on display until Friday
“We have up to five tents, and what we focus on particularly in our tents are four heroes, and these are the heroes that you’re going to be seeing in television ads, you’ll be seeing these heroes in pocket change — they’re going to show up on $2 coins,” Roe said.
Martello Tower is plugged full of barrels that would have held explosives nearly 200 years ago.
“The tower wasn’t even finished being built once the War of 1812 ended,” said Patricia Dickeson, who has worked at the national historic site for 11 years.
Construction on the two-storey circular stone reinforcement began in 1813.
Protecting Saint John was a priority for the British.
The St. John River was a strategic transportation route to the interior of the colony, and the only option in the winter when the Saint Lawrence froze over.
Roe says he has met thousands of people from all around the world on the tour.
“It is, again, very satisfying to be able to talk to these people and essentially brag about our history,” Roe said.
Following the Saint John visit, the exhibit heads to the St. Andrews Blockhouse National Historic Site, then to Quebec.
The exhibit runs for three years and will travel the entire country.