Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).
Fort Henry – Kingston, Ontario
Situated at the confluence of the eastern edge of lake Ontario and the beginning of the St. Lawrence river, during the war of 1812 against the Americans, the British military realized that a successful attack on the Royal Naval Dockyards at Kingston would have essentially handed the keys to the continent to the enemy.
High up on a hill overlooking Kingston harbour Fort Henry was built specifically to deter and/or defend against such an attack and ending up being the largest fortification in Canada west of Quebec.
Perhaps because of this, the Americans never did attack attack at Kingston.
Several decades after the war the Rideau Canal was completed. The Canal opened up new shipping options by connecting the St. Lawrence seaway to Ottawa. With this increased strategic importance, the Fort was further expanded. Though again, it was never actually attacked.
The fort was eventually abandoned by the British Military in 1870 and was home to Canadian troops until 1891, after which it was left empty until 1936, falling into a state of disrepair.
It was then restored and turned into a living history museum in 1938, and is still a major tourist attraction in the region today that is administered by Parks Canada and operated by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission.
Wearing authentic period uniforms the fort is staffed with guides and historical military interpreters to help give visitors can get a firsthand look at what life was like in a 19th century British/Canadian fortification.
During the summer month there’s a complete schedule of activities and demonstrations including historical reenactments of drills, marches, parades, and some rather loud artillery displays.
One thing that struck me during our visit was how hard life was for enlisted soldiers back then, and punishment for any form of impropriety or insubordination was harsh.
Since the fort was never attacked and no war prisoners were ever taken, the fort’s jail cells were used exclusively on ‘misbehaving’ British soldiers.
And as you can see, cells in the fort where you could be locked up for anywhere from a few days to a few months depending on your offence, well, they were not made for comfort.
As always, thank you for looking 🙂
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