History of the Laura Secord Homestead
This was the humble home of famous Canadian heroine Laura Secord.
In October of 1812, the Americans came to Queenston and ransacked the town. It was during this battle, the first attack at Queenston when the famed General Isaac Brock died.
Laura’s husband James Secord, a militia man, was one of those who carried the famed General’s body away from the violence.
The Americans took many homes, including the Laura Secord Homestead.
She lived here from 1803 till 1835, right through the years of the War of 1812. This home is where her famous hike begin, up the hill to warn the British soldiers began.
The Journey – –
She became part of the violence in June of 1813 when a group of American troops came to the Secord Homestead. Given food and shelter for the night, they were being served by Laura as the men discussed battle plans.
A surprise attack on the British at Beaver Dams. It was after the Battle of Queenston Heights, James badly injured. Laura was their only hope.
She walked from her house to what is now called the Decou House Monument. A horrible journey on a extremely humid day. Through exhaustion, pain and danger she fell upon a First Nations camp and begged to see the commander.
Taken over as a command post by British Lieutenant James FitzGibbon. He would be stationed here when a woman, stranger to the soldiers showed up in June of 1813.
With the American soldier camped out in her home at Queenston, Secord over heard them planning another attack on FitzGibbon at Beaver Dams (now location of the Decou Monument).
The British had only 46 men to stave off 500 Americans. With Secord’s warning, they were able to gain the support of 300 Kahnawake natives and 100 Mohawks to ambush the advancing Americans.
See a Google Map of Laura Secord’s journey. Over 20 kilometres of rough terrain, would take over 4 hours today on nice paved sidewalks and roads.
After the War of 1812, Laura lived a very long life. Receiving no acknowledgement for her bravery, the Secord family struggled financially for many years. Made worse with the dead of her husband James in 1841.
Not until 1860 did England finally pay her the respect she deserved. The Prince of Wales honoured her for the effort and upon returning to England sent back the only money she’d get for the now famous walk. Exactly 100 pounds.
In 1971, the Laura Secord Chocolate Company purchased the homestead and restored it. They gifted it to Niagara Parks in 1998.
Ghosts of War
Historical tour guides in the house have heard voices. Whispering, echoing sounds mostly from the second floor bedroom. It’s also upstairs where many have seen woman inside one of the bedrooms standing by the bed.
James’s Pain – –
After the battle of Queenston Heights, Laura’s husband James Secord was allowed to live and heal inside the now captured house. In the master bedroom, Laura was one of those who tended to James’s wounds.
Denied any medical assistance, the pain must have been unbearable. Extreme emotion such as this would leave residual energy on a place. It’s true, as in this room witnesses have heard the cries of a man in extreme pain.
The Americans are back! – –
A visitor was looking around the second floor. It started with some rustling from downstairs, then louder as the guest stopped. Crashing, items being thrown around, smashing glass all hear. Like people were tearing the apart the house.
The visitor slowly walked down the stairs. Leaned over carefully to look into the kitchen, expecting damage but instead everything was fine. A clean, perfectly organized room inside an empty house.
Take a tour of the Laura Secord Homestead – –
Get details through the Niagara Parks website