By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – The Battle of Hoople’s Creek was re-enacted on the original battlefield where Canadian and American forces once collided two centuries ago during the War of 1812.
Along the shores of Hoople’s Creek in South Stormont, the bicentennial of the historic battle blasted off with over 50 re-enactment actors.
British Regulars and Stormont and Glengarry militiamen were among the soldiers portrayed who fought for Canada’s independence at Hoople’s Creek. As both sides blazed muskets, 150 wagons carrying supplies were evacuated from Cornwall, which was being occupied by American troops.
“These 300 militiamen played a very important role in the War of 1812, and it’s a role I don’t think has been publicized enough,” said SD&G Highlanders Col. Bill Shearing.
The re-enactment took place at Dickinson Island, along the Long Sault Parkway, where a crowd of over 75 braved brisk winds to be a part of a “key” battle that happened 200 years ago.
Hon. Lt. Col. Jim Brownell said that multiple event organizers chose the location for its accurate proximity to where troops originally fought. It was said that the cold winds and mild rain at the re-enactment were a far cry from the snow and sleet that soldiers originally braved on the actual day.
Two Chesterville spectators had family ties to the little-known skirmish, which they considered an action-packed retelling of a big moment in Canada’s rich history.
Ruth Szini, and her sister-in-law Florence Hoople, 71, were honoured guests who were pleased to see the historic milestone in all its blazing glory. Szini is a direct descendent of Henry Hoople, who the region is named after.
“It’s an experience to see your history come to life,” said Szini, 74. “We’re very humbled.”
After the event, spectators enjoyed a Commemorative Tea held in the South Stormont Municipal Building.