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Ridgeway Battlefield National Historic Site of Canada

Garrison Rd. (Highway 3), Ridgeway, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1921/05/21

Historic Sites and Monuments Board plaque; Parks Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Board plaque
Battle of Ridgeway; Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1946-35-1
Desperate Charge of the Fenians, under Col. O'Neil
No Image

Other Name(s)

Ridgeway Battlefield National Historic Site of Canada
Ridgeway Battlefield
Champ de bataille de Ridgeway
Battle of Ridgeway
La bataille de Ridgeway
Lime Ridge
Crête Lime
Battle of Ridgeway
La bataille de Ridgeway

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/03/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Ridgeway Battlefield National Historic Site of Canada is located within a four-hectare parcel of parkland in the small community of Ridgeway in southwestern Ontario, approximately five kilometres west of the Town of Fort Erie. The site consists of the 1866 battlefield, which now includes privately owned rural agricultural properties. There are no known in situ remains of the battle. Official recognition refers to the approximate limits of the 1866 battlefield.

Heritage Value

Ridgeway Battlefield was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1921 because:
- the Queen’s Own Rifles, 13th Hamilton Battalion, Caledonia and York Rifle Companies of Haldimand fought here, in defence of their country, against Fenian raiders, on 22 June 1866.

The Battle of Ridgeway was fought between the Canadian Volunteer Militia and about 500 to 800 Fenian invaders on 2 June 1866, just north of what was then the town of Ridgeway. Skirmishing began between the Militia and the Fenians near the intersection of Ridge Road and Garrison Road, but most of the fighting occurred on or near Lime Ridge, an elevated terrain that ran almost parallel to Ridge Road. The Canadian Volunteer Militia, led by Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Booker initially made a strong stance against the Fenian invaders led by Colonel John O’Neil. Although the Militia outnumbered the Fenians, they were unable to repel the invaders due to lack of experience and training, and supply issues. After a valiant stand, the Canadian Volunteer Militia was forced to retreat to the nearby village of Stevensville. The Fenian raiders returned to the United States the following day, fearful of Militia reinforcements being sent from Chippawa, near Niagara Falls.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, October 2008; Plaque Text, May 1929.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- its location in the small community of Ridgeway, approximately five kilometres west of the Town of Fort Erie, Ontario;
- its setting within an open landscape near Lime Ridge, an elevated terrain that ran parallel to Ridge Road;
- the integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archaeological remains which may be found within the site in their original placement and extent;
- the relationship between the site and the Canada-United States border at the Niagara River;
- viewscapes from Lime Ridge to the intersection of Ridge Road and Bertie Road where the main battlefield was located.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1921/05/21

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1866/01/01 to 1866/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Defence
Battle Site

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

504

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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