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IIt basically started with a simple question.  Does anyone know anything about an old fort on the Beach?  It is relatively easy to find out information about the military presence at Burlington Heights.  It would be totally logical to have military at the old Outlet from the Bay to Lake Ontario if for no other reason than to be aware of approaching military forces.  Initially there was confusion as to whether there was one or two forts over the years.  It was believed that there was some installation at the Outlet during the War of 1812 and then there is some memory of a fort at the Canal that was built to replace the Outlet as a navigable entrance to the Bay.

Armed with some paperwork available a group of us started trying to sort out the forts and where the old Outlet was.  Finding the paperwork was the problem.  My husband and I took a driving trip down the Niagara Peninsula.  He wasn't aware of Fort Mississauga so we headed there.  That is where I found a seal on a drawing of the Fort that gave me the clue to look for drawings of the Fort at the  Canal.  Surveyor General of Fortifications.  From there it started to come together.  At this point it became a personnel effort.

In their time both forts were within the Township of Saltfleet.  With the changing of county lines between Wentworth and Halton today both of them would be in Halton.

The following is what I worked on to piece it all together.  This is my theory of how history happened.  Some may disagree and that is alright.  If anyone wishes to add to this information I would be more than willing to show more work on this subject.


Click any picture to see full size
 
This is an Admiralty map showing the fortifications at the Outlet in 1815.  It notes that there was a blockhouse, battery, oven for heating cannonballs, a navigational mast light and a wooden swing bridge.
 
There is no reference as to where this drawing comes from, however, it is in a similar timeframe to the one just above.  The Admiralty map would have been interested in it's military presence and doesn't show the building detail that this one does.  Following documents will verify the presence of the majority of what is on this drawing.
 
This drawing of Joseph Brant's plot is here to show that the southern boundary of his grant was the north side of the original outlet on the Beach.  If  the exact end of Brant's land grant can be found and referenced to something present today then we will be very close to the site of the old outlet.
 
I recently became "keeper" of the Killman Research Library.  At this point I have 84  2" or 3" binders completely full of research covering the  American Revolution to a few years after the War of 1812.  Thinking I might find something on the Outlet Fortification I started hunting.  Second binder, labeled "misc War Claims", gave me these following references to the Outlet.  Brief descriptions not verbatim.  Please read document.

This is the first page of William Bates claim for losses.  Says he supplied Garrison at outlet with candles.
 
Second page of William Bates claim.  Says militia took auger and lost it.
 
Richard Hatt owned the Storehouses at the Outlet at this time.  This testimony of John Brant and the next three support his claim.  John Brant says he saw the troops taking boards and roof off of Hatt's storehouse and burning them.
 
Capt. John Chisholm further supports the claims of Richard Hatt.  He says that by cutting some of the larger posts on the Storehouse it blew down in the wind.  The troops burnt the rest.  Chisholm then attempted to build the Block House and Artillery while the troops occupied the Store as a barracks.  Several barrels of potash were also destroyed.
 
Testimony of William Bates saying the troops cut of several posts and braces and the Storehouse blew down.  Saw the troops burning up the rest.  Says 8 or 9 barrels of potash destroyed and that the troops occupied the other Storehouse.
 
Testimony of Asahel Davis of Nelson basically same description as those above.
 
The drawing shows the old outlet within Brant's Pond.
 
This is a postcard I had of Brant's Pond
 

I took the postcard, inverted it, and placed the drawing over it to try to get an idea of where the outlet would have been.  I marked the outlet with red lines so they would stand out.  It seems to put the outlet about where the old Powerhouse was.  This was an exercise with  a picture and a hand drawn map and NOT intended to imply it is totally accurate.
 
This is Lady Simcoe's drawing from 1796 of the outlet.  Probably the only visual representation of it.  In all my research I've found nothing else that gives any real idea of what it looked like.  Thank you Lady Simcoe.
 
This page describes the beach and Mr. Francis Hall's opinions of where a canal should be placed.  It talks about using the outlet.
 
Here is a Report Commissioners of Burlington Bay Canal 1824.  Much discussion of options including the outlet or north or south of it.
 
Report of the Canal in 1843 because of the condition of the canal.  Again discusses options including old outlet.
 
This page refers to a petition of John Chisholm and William Kerr.  Kerr says he bought 3 acres in 1816 (likely Hatt's property) at the outlet.  Moving the canal about 1/2 south of the old outlet has hurt them as the business was to move goods at the outlet.

Another record mentions the outlet was 66 chains from the canal.  With a chain being 33' that is 2,178'.  Half a mile is 2640' so that's closer than other references that mention 1 mile from canal to outlet.  Unfortunately they don't say from which design of the canal, which side of the canal or the middle of the canal.
 
This report by Allan McNab concludes that Chisholm should get some remuneration for his loses at the outlet.
 
Township report describing the need for a canal and merits and problems of the outlet.
 
This is titled "Memoir on the Defense of Canada".  It discusses the need for fortification on the Niagara Peninsula and lists the benefits of putting at least a permanent redoubt at the outlet on the Beach.
 
This page is interesting in that it describes the difficulty of filling in the old outlet.
 
This diagram shows the 3 gun battery erected in 1861 on the north side of the canal.  This is the second fortification on the Beach.  It notes no guns mounted and no magazine.  It does however show the direction the guns should be pointed in.  The cart may be in front of the horse at this point.
 
Augustus Jones' 1875 survey shows the "Old Fort" on the north side of the canal.  I have seen one reference to the Burlington Barracks at the outlet.  I contacted the webmaster of that site and he was unable to locate his source for the name.  Being Burlington Bay it is logical that Burlington Barracks would adequately identify the fortification.  This can't be verified at present.  By 1861 we were aware we should be vigilante but with not getting to the point of mounting the guns I guess naming the fort wasn't important either.
 

This is the Volunteer Review.  In the article under Wellington Square is announces that the Burlington Militia will prepare to man the fort at the canal.
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