Fort Erie’s Waverly Woods Area Must Also Be Saved For Its Historic Significance

The Area is also the Site of a Key War of 1812 battle. “Do developers think they can just dig up a cemetery (to those who fought here) and plant houses?”

A Commentary by Linda McKellar, a citizen activist and resident of Fort Erie, Ontario

Posted November 8th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

While citizens continue their efforts to save the Waverly Woods area for its significance as a green space and a home to wildlife, it is important to focus on the areas historic significant as well.

This Painting by E.C Watmough depicts the British storming the Northeast Bastion of Fort Erie, during their failed night assault on August 14, 1814.

The Waverly Woods area was the site of the bloodiest battle on Canadian soil in our history, the Siege of Fort Erie, in 1814. Sure the fort remains but more died here than at Lundy’s Lane, Queenston or Chippewa.

Some casualties from the 1814 battle were discovered in the area, at a place called Snake Hill in the late 1980s.

How many people, even locals, are aware of that fact?

Will the monument to these brave men from both sides of the border, now nameless and whose many graves are yet to be found, be a condo? These men – human beings – sons, husbands, and brothers – are very likely interred on this very spot according to historical documentation and previous finds.

Do developers think they can just dig up a cemetery and plant houses?

In 1987, graves were desecrated BY DEVELOPERS. How dare we repeat such a travesty all for money!! They tried to hide the bodies then and were caught in the act. It is a fact that Waverly was part of the battleground.

How many of the people who may end up living here will even be aware that they are very probably living on a mass grave? It should be designated as a National Historic Site. Would Americans allow houses on the Gettysburg battlefield? Would France allow a condo on Vimy Ridge? Where are our town’s representatives? Where are the Federal and Provincial Governments?

Anyone who has not visited the Fort Erie/Ridgeway/Crystal Beach area for a time would be appalled. Not a tree is left standing where the developers stake their greedy claims. Where do the animals go or even the “insignificant” pollinators that industries like the Niagara wine and fruit industries rely on? It’s a dreadful slippery slope.

With nature being destroyed all over the peninsula with wanton disregard, where is our government….the very government that rants about protecting the environment? Where are the citizens voices?

The citizens should be mad as hell. Voter turnout in this October’s municipal elections ….in the 40 percent of eligible voters across Niagara range. SHAME!

For a very real, visual example of what Linda McKellar, the author of this commentary, is discussing here, please watch the following video on the excavation of human remains and the repatriation of U.S. soliders from the Snake Hill/Vaveraly area of Fort Erie in the late 1980s –

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For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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