Fort Henry : Kingston’s Guard

Fort Henry Address – – 1 Fort Henry Drive, Kingston, Ontario, Canada – MAP

History

Located at Point Henry, Fort Henry was built by the British during the War of 1812.  Fearing Americans would target the Point because it would cut off trade along the St. Lawrence River between the north and south.  Kingston stands in the middle.

 

Old Postcard -- Looking at the main square of Fort Henry, Kingston
Old Postcard — Looking at the main square of Fort Henry, Kingston

The present buildings at Fort Henry were rebuilt in 1832.  Larger than the original structure which stood as advanced options were created just in case the Americans attacked again.  Some more updates done in the 1930’s (at the same time as Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake)

Ghosts

Many soldiers once stationed at Fort Henry have never left.

One soldier was John ‘Gunner’ Smith, a rifleman who lived and worked at Fort Henry.  He died when his gun malfunctioned, firing back at him. Smith is seen in the ‘Dry Ditch’ as you walk through the main gates.  This is a space between the main wall and the fort wall.  Gunner is lying on the dirt injured and screaming for help.

The Wandering Ghost is an unknown soldier that doesn’t confine to one area.  He’s been seen in many places around the fort.  The employees only see him for afar, never close enough to identify.

 

Nils Von Schoultz – – 
Nils Von Schoultz was a Finnish-born nationalist who became involved in the Rebellion of 1837 in Upper Canada.

Nils von Schoultz – – main ghost of Fort Henry hanged here in 1838

A travelling fighter, he’d see action in Poland fighting the Russians.  Then to France, which sent him to north Africa.  After this he settled down with a Scottish woman named Ann Campbell.  Settling in Sweden, he’d become an inventor, which took him to Britain to sell his new red dye.

This led him to the United States where he got into salt processing in Upstate New York, which led him to getting involved with the Rebellion.  A group of politicians and solders wanting to free Canada from British rule, like what was done in the United States.

Ann Campbell - - wife of von Schoultz
Ann Campbell – – wife of von Schoultz

Schoultz and his crew of about 200 soldiers tried an attack starting at Prescott (located just north of Kingston).  They made it to the outskirts of Kingston before being cornered by British militia.  Schoultz and crew held up, but after long were firing bolts, door hinges and nails.  They gave up.

John A Macdonald – – von Schoultz lawyer

He was full of regret during trial, and almost won over the court with the help of his young lawyer, a man named John A Macdonald (who’d later become Canada’s first Prime Minister).  Schoultz explained his life, said he was caught up in the passion and misunderstood the desires of Canadians.

It didn’t work, and Von Schoultz was hanged at Fort Henry in 1838.  Proving his regret, part of the man’s fortune was given to the families of British militia killed in the battle.  Another part to help build the original Regiopolis College in Kingston.

Today, Nils Von Schoultz remains a vigilante soldier, haunting the “Commanders Room 3”.  He moves objects about and is said to cause entering visitors to feel faint.