Founder’s Day Weekend, Ogdensburg
Reliving the 1760 Battle of the Thousand Islands and Commemorating the French & Indian War
Third Weekend in July
Visitors step into history to find something new and different each Founder’s Day Weekend.
Ogdensburg’s French colonial history lives in sound, color and excitement on Lighthouse Point, as this annual event on the St. Lawrence River dazzles with bright uniforms, rumbles with musket and artillery fire, and rings with music.
Military and civilian re-enactors from Canada and the U.S. raise canvas-tent communities: English and French soldiers patrol their sections; women recreate the domestic scene; children play; and crafts and trades flourish. All wear the common clothes of more than 250 years ago.
Bleachers have been added to improve the view of the land battles, now on a new field where the troops maneuver in full view. Before each battle, an historian in period uniform recounts the events leading to the Battle of the Thousand Islands.
Find out more on Facebook and visit fort1749.org for a current schedule and more information on other events sponsored by the Fort La Présentation Association.
Founder’s Day Weekend is also the annual, unofficial kick-off to the Ogdensburg International Seaway Festival.
Fort La Présentation was founded in 1749 by Abbé Francois Picquet as a missionary fort to convert the Iroquois Confederacy to Catholicism and bring them to the side of France, as that nation prepared for war with Great Britain. By 1755 more than 3,000 Onondagas, Senecas and other Iroquois joined the side of France. By 1759, Fort Levis was constructed on Chimney Island to prevent a British attack up the St. Lawrence River at Montreal and Quebec. Then in 1760, for five days and nights, 300 French soldiers at Fort Levis fought off 10,000 Anglo-American troops. The battle -- the last physical battle of the War -- ultimately was lost but did delay the British move toward Montreal.
Founder’s Day commemorates the Fort's place in history. Fort La Présentation was held by the French, then the British and the U.S. It was renamed Fort Oswegatchie, and was also used during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.