Stoney Creek (Hamilton), Ontario | Addresses - 77 King St W - MAP

BATTLEFIELD HOUSE

Its ghost witnessed the battle to save Canada

The War of 1812. A massive part of our history and the only reason we're Canadian today.

The reason why? That's what happened in Stoney Creek.

A Big Upset

It's the only war fought on Canadian soil and why the British stayed in North America. Historical remnants are found all over Southern Ontario to this day.

Niagara was the gateway to British Upper Canada and targeted most. If forces fell in Niagara, the empire would fall with it. This is why the great General, Isaac Brock was stationed at Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

And if you think we won it easily, call your high school history teacher now. Tell them they did a bad job.

The Brits lost big --
Brock died in battle at Queenston Heights, not far from the then capital of Niagara (now Niagara-on-the-Lake).


American forces took control of the region. They knew the Brits were losing, beaten, wounded. The chase on as British forces retreated to Burlington Heights (where Hamilton Cemetery is today).

The Americans marched after them to put an early end to this war.

They made camp on the Gage family farm (now Battlefield House in Stoney Creek). The Gage family tied up in the basement as soldiers set up a secure station.

A 19-year-old boy named Billy Green watched everything from a nearby hill. He would get secret information from his brother-in-law and rode, arriving in Burlington Heights at 11 pm. They marched soon after.

A surprise night attack gave the Brits the most pivotal victory in the War of 1812.

If Stoney Creek didn't happen. If the British were attacked at Burlington Heights. They would have lost. The gateway to Ontario would have fallen, and Canada would be very different today.

Mary Jones Gage

She was the widow of a loyalist officer who died fighting in the American Revolution. Nothing left for her in America, Mary moved on with her kids James and Elizabeth.

Rowing a canoe up the old waterway to Canada and settling some land in Saltfleet (now Stoney Creek).

Augusta Street and Gage --
One of the reasons Mary came to this region was to join her brother, Augustus Jones.

He's best known as a surveyor and is credited for map record of everything from Fort Erie to the head of Lake Ontario. This includes Hamilton.

The city would name a street after him - called Augusta.

A new home --
She built a home and farm in Stoney Creek, running things until her son James was of age.

Mary Jones Gage died in 1839 at almost 100 years old.

She was buried in First United Church Cemetery (once at King St E & Wellington St N, now First Place Apts)... key phrase, was buried.

Mary's still at home

The antiques --
Employees were stressed by the disappearance of priceless antiques randomly within Battlefield House.

An item careful setup in a room, on a table, inside a cabinet. Tour groups might first notice an odd empty space. "Was something here?", dreaded words perplexing many tour guides.

They'd search the house. The item nowhere to be found. Day after day racking their minds for any clue. Then on the eve of insanity, the priceless artefact reappears in a peculiar place.

Over and over it happens until the staff got wise.

They know it's Mary moving antiques because only her things transport.

The cold psychic --
A local psychic toured the house. Going in cold, she asked to roam quietly and without historical instruction.

Random energies attacked her senses. This includes...

  • a force of "sheer violence" in a front bedroom
    on the second floor
  • children playing; not a surprise in a place
    once occupied by 16 kids
  • and outside, the expected high energy of the lands

What stood out the most was an active spirit.

The psychic described her as "strong willed" and restlessly roaming the house as if she owned it.

Why Mary is restless

Grave robbing happened. In the 1800's, fresh corpses fetched high price by local medical schools when human dissection was outlawed.

Which is stated desperately as closure for what happened to the body of Mary Jones Gage in 1969.

Not the 1800's, and she wasn't fresh.

Mary was dead for over 130 years when First United Church burned down in Hamilton in September of 1969 due to an electrical fire.

Battlefield House, First United Church, Hamilton

The land was sold off for development, eventually slated for First Place Apartments. The final task before building... move the cemetery.

Carefully planned. A plot with plaque setup in Hamilton's Woodland Cemetery. Over a few days, the workers would transport coffins and stones.

No one could have planned that half way through, the workers would arrive one morning to find Mary was gone.

Both her coffin and headstone, stolen in the middle of the night.

To this very day no closure has been given. Nobody but the strange, twisted thief knows what happened to the body of Mary Jones Gage.

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Battlefield House, Stoney Creek (Hamilton), Ontario, Canada