Hilltop History: A Fort Henry Podcast

Fort Henry podcast brandingMeet the magnificent people who make history come alive at Fort Henry National Historic Site. Hear untold stories, learn something new and dive into Kingston's and Canada's rich history with your hosts JJ and Al.

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Season 1

Episode 1 - Behind the Limestone

High on a hill overlooking the first capital of Canada stands a magnificent 19th-century British military fortification. Fort Henry’s limestone walls hold incredible tales and a long, intriguing history. Welcome to Hilltop History where our hosts JJ and Al take you on a journey through time. Polish your boots, shine your buttons and let's begin!

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Episode 2 - Bringing the Boom!

Ready, aim, FIRE! Black powder smoke billows out from the massive guns on the ramparts overlooking Lake Ontario. Learn how a collection of nineteenth-century historic weapons still work today and who's behind the explosive BOOM at Fort Henry.

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Episode 3 - Exertion & Desertion

Discipline within the ranks has been the foundation of Fort Henry's garrisoned units – from the British Army in the nineteenth century to the Guard of today. Hear all about what it takes to become a Fort Henry Guard - the pride, friendships, and the commitment to the past with drills, training and dedication!

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Episode 4 - A Pound Of Bread A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

Discover aspects of nutrition and health of Fort Henry’s garrisoned soldiers of the past and present-day Fort Henry Guard. Join JJ and Al as they uncover riveting details of life in the 1800s and how drastically things have changed.

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Episode 5 - To The Beat Of The Drums

As the echoes of the drums are heard, Fort Henry comes alive with the sound of the Fort Henry Guard Drums marching their way into the parade square! In this episode, JJ and Al chat with Drum Major Micheal Valiquette as he dives into the importance of music in the British Army as well as the greatness of it today!

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Episode 6 - Firepower!

The smell of black powder and the roar of the guns firing at Fort Henry is quintessential Kingston. Meet Artillery Lieutenant Erika Kelly as she talks about all things artillery and details how the young women and men of the Fort Henry Guard learn how to safely fire guns from the 1860s.

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Episode 7 - The Coat of the Goat

Have you met David the Goat? He's one of the most important members of the Fort Henry Guard as he acts as their regimental mascot. David is a white Saanen goat who commemorates Fort Henry’s association with the 23rd Regiment of Foot, known as the Royal Welch Fusiliers, who served at Fort Henry from 1842-1843. Join JJ & Al as they sit down with Goat Major Brynne Ferguson and hear how special David is to Fort Henry.

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Episode 8 – Working Women

As a Victorian British fortification, Fort Henry was a military centre garrisoned by male British soldiers – but what about the women living at the Fort? In this episode, we chat with Domestic Interpreter Hailey Leslie and discover the integral role that women played in keeping the garrison running smoothly and the pivotal role they play in the Guard of today.

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Bonus Episode - Military Melodies

Tune into this special bonus episode featuring the talented Fort Henry Guard Chamber Choir! You'll get to hear hymns and military songs by Nick Lennox, Anthony Pacheco, Ethan Krause and Colin Watts. In addition to the amazing acapella songs, JJ and Al sit down with Nick Lennox who shares the joys of musical performance!

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Season 2

Episode 10 - A Curator’s Curiosities

How do you preserve heritage, animate history, and care for artifacts that are over a hundred years old? Join co-host Alex McLean, Curator & Program Support Officer, as he delves into his important work at Fort Henry National Historic Site.

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Episode 11 - Transforming The Fort

From a magical land to a waterfront concert, there's more than meets the eye at Fort Henry. Co-host JJ dives deep into how this national historic site is transformed into distinct experiences and explains what it takes to host special events at such a unique site.

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Episode 12 - The First Fort

The Fort Henry that stands today was built in the 1830s. But did you know that it wasn’t the original fortification located on Point Henry? Tune in with JJ and Al as they welcome Ron Ridley, a locally proclaimed Fort Henry expert and retired Curator.

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Episode 13 - Love and Rivalry

Who would have thought two rivals would end up... getting married! In today's episode, we speak with Dan and Justine Lord, former Fort Henry Guard, about life, love, and rivalry. Al shares some special news, don't miss it!

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