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The Wilson's & their Tavern

Charles Wilson arrived in Upper Canada from the United States in 1788. With him were his wife Debora and their five children. Mr Wilson purchased a large piece of property from Francis Ellsworth, who was once a member of Butler's Rangers and the first land owner at Fallsview.

Wilson opened his tavern around 1795, and died around 1812. His wife Debora took over after that, during the war the widow Wilson declared herself a neutral, she provided food, drink and lodging to both the British and the Americans. She also furnished both with information. Her tavern remained open all during the war and was one of the few buildings that was not destroyed by the American army.

Following the War of 1812 Mrs. Wilson submitted a war losses claim to the government. Apparently her character comes into question here? Did the Canadian authorities distrust her declaration of neutrality? Or was it that she was born in the United States? Or maybe it was the way she conducted business at the tavern? Because on the cover of her war losses application some official wrote these words "Reputed Character, destroyed and infamous".

This information is from a newspaper article by Sherman Zavitz, Mr Zavitz is the official historian for the City of Niagara falls Ontario, Canada and the historian for the Niagara Parks Commission.