When you hear the name “Laura Secord,” you probably envision fine chocolates or even ice cream. Although Laura Secord is a famous confectionary producer out of Toronto, the name has more of a reputation behind it than many people are aware of. In fact, Laura Secord is an unsung Canadian heroine who earned worldwide acclaim and a renowned spot in Niagara-area history.
Laura Secord Homestead in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Born to a wealthy family in Massachusetts in the midst of the American Revolution, Laura Ingersoll’s father was a patriot who opposed Great Britain during the war. Following the war, Laura’s family suffered difficult financial times and eventually purchased cheap land across the border in Upper Canada.
Laura eventually met her husband, James Secord, and together, the couple earned a comfortable living. During the War of 1812, James became a sergeant with the 1st Lincoln Militia and was critically injured while on duty. Although Americans occupied the Canadian side of the Niagara River during the war (where the Secords lived), James’ condition gave them the opportunity to billet three American officers in their home.
During a dinner partner one evening for Colonel Boerstler, Laura and James overhead that the Americans were to move against Fitzgibbons at Beaver Dams. James could not leave due to his injury, so Laura set off to warn Lieutenant Fitzgibbons of the upcoming attack. Walking for nearly 18 hours in dangerous, American-occupied territory, Laura eventually found Fitzgibbons and was able to relay the Americans’ plan of attack.
Thanks to this information, the British forces and native allies were able to surprise the Americans, who then lost at Beaver Dams. If the battle had been won by the Americans, to this day, the entire Niagara region may be owned by our southern neighbors.
At the age of 85, Laura finally received recognition for the service she provided to her country by the Prince of Wales. She passed away 8 years later.
The Niagara region is rife with stories of bravery and patriotism, much like Laura Secord and the devotion she showed to her country during the War of 1812. This is why we love creating hand-crafted products that speak to our community’s legacy and capture excellent flavours and historical experiences.