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Founder’s Day celebration to include children’s day


OGDENSBURG - There will be something special for children this year at the Founder’s Day Weekend re-enactment and colonial trade fair at Lighthouse Point.

The Founder’s Day Committee has declared July 22 children’s day. Children 12 and under, accompanied by an adult, will be admitted free to the fair.

Sunday’s main event will be Native-American storyteller James Bruchac, who will share the legends and lore of the Adirondack and his Abenaki ancestors with children.

“Thanks to a grant from Stewart’s Shops, funding Mr. Bruchac’s Sunday-afternoon program, we can open our gate free to a range of children for whom we’d have had to charge admission,” Founder’s Day Committee Chair Timothy Cryderman said. “We hope families will take advantage of Sunday’s savings, so their children can also join in the kid’s military muster and drill, and take in the re-enactors battling on the river and on land.

“Any adult with this article in hand, a copy or from the newspaper, will get $1 off the admission fee,” Mr. Cryderman said.

Other changes are in store for Founder’s Day Weekend, also. Both mornings, gunfire will echo across the mouth of the Oswegatchie River as bateaux and historic boats re-fight the August 1760 Battle of the Thousand Islands, which took place off Fort de La Présentation.

“This is a change the bateaumen wanted in order to give the public a good show on the water and in the afternoon when they form a naval brigade in the land-based re-enactment of the last battle of the French and Indian War,” Mr. Cryderman said. “We have other changes to enrich the visitors’ experience in the colonial trade fair aspect of the weekend.”

A new flush of color will be an active display of 18th-century quilting. The Sisters of Perpetual Needling from Bishop’s Mills, Ont. demonstrate quilting, predominantly of petticoats and jumps—a comfortable woman’s garment of the time without the tight boning found in stays.

Also from Ontario and new to Founder’s Day Weekend will be the Wroughten Monger exhibiting hand-forged iron tools, a tribute to the blacksmith’s art, and the Doran Bay Model Ship Museum, one of the largest private collections of model ships in the world.

“An expanded display of navy artifacts is returning as part of the colorful navy camp,” Mr. Cryderman said. “From the navy camp northward along Lighthouse Point, the French and English military camps will parallel the shore in rows of white tents, and the camp kitchens under canvas with their open cooking fires will line the water’s edge.”

For more than a decade, the Fort La Présentation Association has sponsored Founder’s Day Weekend to promote Ogdensburg’s French colonial history from the 1749 founding of the fort to the last battle of the French and Indian War in 1760. For more information, visit

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