River Raisin Battlefield
River Raisin Battlefield Park
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The River Raisin National Battlefield
Park Visitor Center
The River Raisin National Battlefield Park Visitor Center became a part of the National Park family in October 2010. The visitor center began operation in July 1990 through a co-operative effort between the Monroe County Historical Commission and the Monroe County Historical Society. In early 1991 the Visitors Center expanded with the building addition and exhibit renovation project. As part of this project new dioramas, two life sized vignettes, and a fiber optic map presentation explaining the battle were installed. The new additions have enabled the Visitors Center to fulfill its mission of interpreting the Battles and Massacre at the River Raisin and War of 1812 in the Old Northwest Territory.
The centerpiece of the Visitors Center is a fourteen minute fiber optic map presentation. The use of fiber optics is a recent advance in museum interpretation. On two wall-size maps the story of the River Raisin Battles is retold as colorfully lighted American, British, Canadian, and Native American forces take position and maneuver around the map.
The exciting narrative, together with the action on the maps, give the visitor an excellent understanding of how the Battle of the River Raisin was fought.
In the west wing, a collection of original military firearms and accoutrements, and an additional diorama accompany the fiber optic map.
In the Centers east wing hand crafted miniature dioramas can be seen that depict scenes from the River Raisin Massacre, the Battles of Lake Erie, and the Battle of the Thames.
In the main gallery, full-scale vignettes bring to life the American and British troops as they might have appeared at dawn on January 22, 1813, just before the battle. The life-like figures, include Kentucky militiamen, US Regular Infantry, British infantry and artillerymen, a sailor from the Canadian Provincial Marine, and a Native American warrior.
The military events of January 18 - 23 of 1813, occurred over an area about five miles long and a half mile wide; More than eighteen historical markers within this area relating to the War of 1812 are denoted with this special logo.
Each January, on the anniversary date of the battle, a memorial service is held on the battlefield. This event commemorates the service of the Americans, French, British, Canadians, and Native Americans who fought at the River Raisin. During this service, uniformed living historians representing the soldiers of the War of 1812, place a wreath on the ground that was the scene of the heaviest fighting and fire ceremonial salutes in honor of those who fell here.
The River Raisin National Battlefield Park Visitor Center will have regular hours starting in the Spring of 2011. The grounds are open year around. The building is open in January for the commemoration (see events page for details).
The River Raisin Battlefield Visitors Center 1403 is located 1/4 mile west of I-75 at exit 14 (Elm Avenue), Monroe Michigan.
River Raisin Battlefield
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