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Battle of Beaver Dams National Historic Site of Canada

Davis Road, Thorold, Ontario, L2V, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1921/05/21

General view of the Battle of Beaver Dams, showing the plaque, 1989.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1989.
General view
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Other Name(s)

Battle of Beaver Dams National Historic Site of Canada
Battle of Beaver Dams
Bataille de Beaver Dams
Battle of Beechwoods
Bataille de Beechwoods

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/11/25

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Battle of Beaver Dams National Historic Site of Canada is a large open industrial landscape including part of the Welland Canal on the east side of the City of Thorold, Ontario. Located south of the Niagara escarpment, it was the site of a decisive British victory during the War of 1812, between Iroquois and American forces. The site encompasses a variety of properties including urban residential property in Thorold, parts of the Welland Canal, a cemetery, and industrial land. Official recognition refers to the site on its legal lots.

Heritage Value

The Battle of Beaver Dams was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1921 because:
- warned by Laura Secord and an Iroquois scout, a force of Iroquois from Caughnawaga and the Grand River defeated an attacking American force near Beaver Dams on 24 June 1813;
- the American defeat left the British in control of the Niagara area for the remainder of 1813.

The Battle of Beaver Dams, which occurred on June 24 1813, was a crucial battle during the War of 1812. Following their defeat at Stoney Creek, the Americans sent a force under Lieutenant-Colonel Charles G. Boerstler from Fort George to destroy a British advanced post at Beaver Dams. A force of about 600 infantry and cavalry left Fort George for American-controlled Queenston so as not to reveal the true destination of their mission. At Queenston, Laura Secord, the wife of a wounded Loyalist, overheard the American plans and journeyed, with an Iroquois scout, to warn the British of the pending attack. Forewarned, a combined force of Iroquois from Caughnawaga and the Grand River, led by Captains Dominique Ducharme and William Kerr, ambushed the American force and compelled them to surrender to British Lieutenant James Fitzgibbon of the regular British Army. After their defeat, the Americans left the British in control of the Niagara area for the remainder of 1813.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, 1966; 1970; 1975; 2007.

Character-Defining Elements

The key elements that contribute to the heritage character of this site include:
- its location at the east end of Thorold, Ontario;
- the open industrial and rural character of the landscape that includes parts of the Welland Canal;
- the integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archaeological remains which may be found within the site in their original placement and extent;
- viewscapes from the battlefield across the Welland Canal.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1813/06/24 to 1813/06/24

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Military and Defence

Function - Category and Type


Commemorative Monument


Battle Site

Architect / Designer




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




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