OGDENSBURG – This weekend, Van Rensselaer Point, also known as Lighthouse Point, will be inundated with re-enactors as the Presentation Fort Association hosts Presentation Fort Siege.
Formerly known as Founder’s Day Weekend, The Siege of Fort Presentation will take place Saturday and Sunday on the fort’s property at 22 Albany Ave. Doors open at 10 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. on Saturdays. They open at 10 a.m. and close at 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Admission is $5 for adults; $3 for those with military ID; and $2 for ages 6 to 16. Children 5 and under enter free.
The name change results from the association’s desire to focus on the French history of the fort’s ownership during the Seven Years’ War. During this war, Fort de la Présentation was on the direct path of the English who were going up the St. Lawrence River towards Montreal.
The weekend returns after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions on Canadian re-enactors.
“It has been a difficult two years with the pandemic. The Fort Association has been working hard during the COVID hiatus keeping the Abbe Picquet Trail open and improving the site,” said Fort President Barbara O’Keefe. “We are happy to bring back our reenactment with a fresh and new face. We are now highlighting our French heritage with “Le Siege de la Fort de La Presentation”, or “The Siege”, for short, our new living history event. The event will also include a battle narrated by Jim Reagen, a duel and period presentations.
The weekend will have French and Indian War re-enactment battles as well as French, British, Native and Seafarer encampments. There will be historical talks, demonstrations, exhibits, vendors and activities for children.
The event will also include an outdoor mass, presented by Reverend James Shurtleff of Notre Dame Church.
“The Fort Association is fortunate to now own the site of the original fort. We are pleased to announce that the 7.30am Mass on Sunday morning will be held where the floor of the Fort’s original chapel is found, discovered by an archaeological dig,” Ms O’Keefe said. “The mass will have parts read in French, English and Mohawk. This site was where the last Catholic mass was held over 260 years ago. Fort Chapel was the first Catholic church in upstate New York.
The Abbé Piquet footpath will be closed from Friday 4 p.m. to Sunday 4 p.m. for the event.