During the war of 1812 Canada’s most famous heroine, Laura Secord, lived in this house in Queenston. Her husband James joined the British militia and was seriously wounded by American troops, but Laura rescued him and brought him home.
American troops occupied parts of the Niagara Peninsula and, by June 1813, three of their officers were billeted at the Secord home. Laura overheard the officers plan an attack on British Lieutenant James Fitzgibbon at the DeCew House outpost, 30 kilometres away.
James was not strong enough yet, so Laura set out on a dangerous mission on the morning of June 22, 1813 to warn Fitzgibbon. Her adventure included avoiding the enemy, finding her way through uncharted bush, and surviving the rugged escarpment terrain.
After 18 gruelling hours, Laura completed her incredible journey and warned Fitzgibbon of the planned attack. Laura’s courageous efforts paid off, and the advancing American force was ambushed and defeated before they got to DeCew House.
The Secord House was restored in 1972 and remains a memorial to this exceptional act of patriotism. Friends of Laura Secord plan to celebrate the 200th anniversary this year by establishing an interpretive trail and an annual Laura Secord Commemorative Walk on June 22.
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John De Boer lives in Kitchener and enjoys daytripping off the beaten path.