On April 29th, 1813, a British naval unit attached and burned the wharfs at Frenchtown and two nearby packet boats. They then went to the plantation of Frisby Henderson seeking directions to Elkton, the county seat. Their purpose, to burn it to the ground as American forces had done to several Canadian towns the year before.
Frisby refused to betray Elkton’s location. The marines then turned to a 20 year old slave woman, Hetty Boulden and told her if she would take them to Elkton, they would give her more money than she could imagine. This courageous young woman then took the British Marines, not to Elkton, but to the confluence of the Big and Little Elk Creeks where they stared straight into the guns of Forts Hollingsworth and Defiance. Although the British would try at least twice more to take the town, ultimately, they were unsuccessful. Elkton was saved.
On Friday and Saturday, April 26th and 27th, the Historic Elk Landing Foundation presents, “The Battle of Elk Landing, a Bicentennial Celebration.” That weekend, through the magic of living history theatre, Ms. Boulden will return to us to tell her story on the 200th anniversary of its occurrence. She will interact with visitors in the very location of Fort Hollingsworth which defended Elkton so well. She, along with two other living history characters: Mary Hollingsworth, the matriarch of the Hollingsworth family in 1813, and Judge Thomas Jefferson Sample, who gave us so many details of the events 2 centuries ago, will take visitors back in time and tell, in their own words, their stories which impacted Elkton, Cecil County, and the region.
Friday evening will feature 2 candle light tours including the living history theatre and an encampment of Cecil Militia. The first will begin at 6, the second at 7:30. Admission is $5 for persons 12 years old and older and $3 for persons under 12 years of age.
The “Battle of Elk Landing, a Bicentennial Celebration” will continue on Saturday at 10 a.m. when the Elk Landing grounds will open for tours of the houses that were on site during the 1813 battle, an explanation and tour of the newly discovered Fort Hollingsworth, a military encampment, examples of life in 1813 presented by the Heritage Troupe, and 2 more performances of the living history presentation: the first at 11 a.m. and the second at 2 p.m. Admission for the day, including one tour, is $5 for persons 12 years old and older. Persons under 12 are $3. Refreshments will be available at cost.
Reservations for the individual living history tours are required as group tour sizes are limited. Reservations can be made by calling and leaving a voice message at 410-620-6400. Please include your name, the number of tickets requested by age, the day and time of the tour requested, and a call back phone number.
See our web site at http://www.elklanding.org for more information on the War of 1812 at Elk Landing and directions. Like us on Facebook for updates in April.