The St. John River Society is commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 in New Brunswick.  The Society and its many partners along the St. John River are remembering the epic winter march of New Brunswick’s 104th Regiment of Foot and the story of the 600 men who marched from Fredericton, New Brunswick to Kingston, Ontario in the winter of 1813.  The St. John River Society is a non-profit organization that since 1992 has been committed to the appreciation and wise use of the natural and cultural heritage of the St. John River.

The St. John River Society is undertaking activities which will educate New Brunswickers and Canadians about this important event in our history and provide opportunities to engage in events which commemorate this moment in our shared history.   This march is one of the most significant ever undertaken in military history and was unique in the diversity found in the men on the march.  There were men from England, Scotland, French Canadians from Quebec, Acadians and Blacks all marching together.  The story is uniquely Canadian as these men had to first battle the elements on their way to war.  It snowed almost every day of the 53 day march and many nights temperatures dipped below -30 degrees Celsius.  The St. John River Society also remembers the legacy of these soldiers through their descendants.  Over 100 veterans settled in New Brunswick and their names still echo along the St. John River.

The St. John River Society along with its many partners has planned a number of community events for 2013 to celebrate and commemorate the Bicentennial of the epic winter march, and the imprint these events have left on New Brunswick.  Beginning on February 9th, 2013 with a community event in Saint John, New Brunswick, and culminating with a hand off to Les Voltigeurs de Québec on March 10th in Cabano, Quebec, The St. John River Society will re-create the spirit of this epic winter march.  The Society and its partners will hold events in eight communities along the river who each have a chapter in this famous story.  These events will include the building of a reproduction snow hut that the soldiers slept in on the 1813 march, a 5km community snowshoe march to commemorate the soldiers and outdoor family activities.

As winter passes to summer The St. John River Society will be launching a series of Military Heritage Family Picnics which will focus on the communities that were settled by and grew around the homes of soldiers who returned to the St. John River after the war ended.   Throughout 2013 The St. John River Society will also be supporting numerous wellness activities and encouraging New Brunswickers to get outside and enjoy New Brunswick’s history and the rich natural heritage of the St. John River.

The St. John River Society would like to thank the Government of Canada for funding this project, and its key project partners: The New Brunswick Provincial War of 1812 Committee, The Canadian Forces, The Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society at the University of New Brunswick, The New Brunswick Military History Museum, The New Brunswick Museum, and all of the participating communities and community groups along the river.

Copyright 2012
A Ginger Design