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Ruth Redmond UE, a "Unique Canadian Patriot": the Tradition of Red Geraniums on Lundy's Lane.

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Celebration 2012--the City of Niagara Falls' first event leading up to the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 was held on 15 November 2008 at the Americana Conference Resort and Spa in support of the Lundy's Lane Battlefield Legacy Project "making our mark for the benefit of future generations." Ruth Redmond UE was honoured at these celebrations.

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Ruth was a proud United Empire Loyalist, a descendant of Daniel Walker UE and member of Colonel John Butler (Niagara) Branch. Born on 22 August 1902 in Holleford, Ontario, she came to Niagara Falls to teach at Stamford Collegiate in 1926 and lived there until her death in 1999.

Ruth recognized the significance of the Battle of Lundy's Lane in shaping our Canadian destiny and identity. She believed passionately that the site should be preserved and never used for commercial purposes. Described as a "Unique Canadian Patriot' she was determined to create a tribute to "Her Boys," those soldiers who died during one of the bloodiest battles in Canadian history.

The Lundy's Lane Battlefield is located in a largely commercial district of Niagara Falls just east of the intersection of Lundy's Lane and Drummond Road. Ruth bought her first battlefield property in 1954 and when various levels of government failed to protect the battlefield lands from urban development she purchased five more properties over the years to save the Lundy's Lane Battlefield. She lovingly transformed the properties into gardens called "Redmond Heights" planting hundreds of red geraniums. Ruth won many Trillium Awards over the years for the beautiful gardens she created.

On 25 June 1996, wanting to ensure that the lands she preserved from developers would be kept for future generations, Ruth donated them in their entirety (approximately three acres) to the City of Niagara Falls fulfilling her dream of an historic park as a lasting remembrance of the Battle of Lundy's Lane. The Battle Ground Hotel Museum was a part of her gift.

On the bright, sunny morning of Easter Monday 1999, Ruth passed away peacefully at her beloved home atop "Redmond Heights." She was 96 years old. The previous evening a four part documentary film, War of 1812 had premiered on TV Ontario. Ruth appears in the film's epilogue, speaking wistfully of the death of remembrance for "the boys" who died at Lundy's Lane. Her passing, next morning, struck a chord across the nation. It was noted nationally in the media, with coverage in the CBC's The National, McLean's Magazine and the National Post.

Volunteers helped Ruth plant geraniums. Now you too can join the tradition by planting red geraniums in your gardens and at Branch Memorial sites in remembrance of the many Loyalists and their sons who fought in the War of 1812.

Submitted by Beverly Craig UE with thanks to the Niagara Falls Board of Museums, City of Niagara Falls War of 1812 Bicentennial Task Force for the information and the photo.

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Publication:The Loyalist Gazette
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Sep 22, 2009
Words:487
Previous Article:The portrait of Sarah Hay.
Next Article:November 11th 1813: the Battle of Crysler's Farm.
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