|Amherstburg is full of history and today we visited Fort Malden. Fort Malden preserves the remnants of the second British fort built at this location. The first, known as Fort Amherstburg, was established here, near the mouth of the Detroit River, in 1796. It was a centre of British operations during the war of 1812 and was destroyed by the British when they were forced to retreat from the Detroit River frontier in September, 1813. The present dimensions of the fort can be attributed to the American Army, which occupied the ruins of Fort Amherstburg from October 1813 until July of 1815.
The outbreak of the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion meant a renaissance for Fort Malden. British troops were rushed back to the fort to repel attacks by rebels and American sympathizers. Between 1883 and 1840 the fort was almost completely rebuilt to provide accommodation for the expanded garrison. The end of the Rebellion and improved relations with the United States, as a result of the Webster-Ashburton treaty of 1842, meant less need for a large military presence in the Detroit River area. After the departure of the regulars, enrolled Pensioners (retired soldiers) were brought in to maintain the fort and farm the land of the surrounding military reserve.
It was not until Canada West acquired the fort grounds and opened the Lunatic Asylum in 1859 that new construction began. Existing fort structures were renovated to house the patients and staff. With the closing of the asylum in 1875 the buildings and grounds of the fort were used as a lumber yard and planning mill. Since then the government has restored it as a Fort and it is now a museum.
They have a very good museum onsite with lots of artifacts from that era of when it was Fort Malden. We found it very interesting and well worth seeing.
We left Fort Malden and went for a walk along the Detroit River Heritage Parkway. It is a beautiful park which had lots of flowers and beautiful view of the Detroit River. We found a cute little coffee shop along the walkway where we sat and had some nice hot tea as it was a bit cool today. There were lots of the locals coming and going while we were at the café it was neat talking to them about the area. It also seemed to be the only place in town that we were able to get Wifi. When we asked the owner of the café why no one in town had Wifi she said “it’s a beautiful town but a bit anal” we took this to mean slow in catching onto new ideas like having Wifi in coffee shops. We will certainly go back and have coffee there again.
We came back to the park and had a really nice swim a bit on the cold side but quite refreshing. Brian did a great BBQ tonight and we got caught up on some cleaning. We were just sitting enjoying a relaxing evening and the power has just gone out don’t know why but I’m sure it will be on soon or maybe it will just be an early evening.