The USS Niagara

Friday, 1 July 2022 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Tall ships, Yacht of the Month
Reading Time:  5 minutes

USS Niagara in Quebec City, Canada © Cephas/cc-by-sa-4.0

USS Niagara in Quebec City, Canada © Cephas/cc-by-sa-4.0

USS Niagara, commonly called the US Brig Niagara or the Flagship Niagara, is a wooden-hulled snow-brig that served as the relief flagship for Oliver Hazard Perry in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. As the ship is certified for sail training by the United States Coast Guard, she is also designated SSV Niagara. Niagara is usually docked behind the Erie Maritime Museum in downtown Erie in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania as an outdoor exhibit for the museum. She also often travels the Great Lakes during the summer, serving as an ambassador of Pennsylvania when not docked. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and was designated the official state ship of Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1988.

Niagara was constructed from 1812 to 1813 to protect the vulnerable American coastline on Lake Erie from the British and played a pivotal role in the battle for the lake. Along with most warships that served in the war, Niagara was sunk for preservation on Presque Isle in 1820. Raised in 1913, it was rebuilt for the centennial of the Battle of Lake Erie. After deteriorating, the restoration of Niagara was started again in the 1930s, but was hampered by the lack of funds caused by the Great Depression and remained uncompleted until 1963. A more extensive restoration was carried out in 1988 in which much of the original ship was largely destroyed. The incorporation of new materials and modern equipment makes it ambiguous as to whether it is or is not a replica.

USS Niagara off of South Bass Island on Lake Erie © flickr.com - Lance Woodworth/cc-by-2.0 Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay runs alongside the USS Niagara © U.S. Coast Guard - Seaman Jim Connor USS Niagara at the Redpath Toronto Waterfront Festival 2010 © flickr.com - Redpath Sugar/cc-by-2.0 USS Niagara fires a salute following a wreath laying ceremony honoring those who fought and died in the Battle of Lake Erie © U.S. Coast Guard - Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher M. Yaw USS Niagara in Quebec City, Canada © Cephas/cc-by-sa-4.0 USS Niagara off of Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie © flickr.com - Lance Woodworth/cc-by-2.0
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USS Niagara fires a salute following a wreath laying ceremony honoring those who fought and died in the Battle of Lake Erie © U.S. Coast Guard - Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher M. Yaw
In 1981, the Flagship Niagara League was formed with intent of reconstructing Niagara so that it would be a working ship, instead of an “outdoor museum piece”. The League was eventually incorporated as a non-profit organization associated with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Melbourne Smith, builder of the schooner Pride of Baltimore, was hired in 1986 by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to head the reconstruction. The decay of Niagara was so bad that it was dismantled and ultimately destroyed, with various timbers salvaged and used in non-structural areas of the ship. The destruction of the old ship and use of new wood often leads Niagara to be considered a replica. While the first Niagara was built hurriedly, the new Niagara was built out of properly seasoned and preserved yellow pine and Douglas fir. The new Niagara was launched on 10 September 1988, but was not completed until 18 July 1990 when its sea trials were held. The Pennsylvania General Assembly designated Niagara as the official flagship of Pennsylvania on 29 April 1988 and described its purpose as being a “sailing ambassador for Pennsylvania”. In March 2008, the yellow pine mainmast was replaced with one of Douglas fir.

The United States Coast Guard certified Niagara as a Sailing School Vessel in August 2005. For safety reasons, Niagara was equipped with modern equipment such as auxiliary diesel engines, lifeboats, radar, LORAN and radio. In 2009, the Flagship Niagara League assumed day-to-day management of Niagara after a decision by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to cut $250,000 to fill a budget deficit. As part of the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie, Niagara took part in a reenactment of the battle on 2 September 2013 in Put-In-Bay along with 16 other tall ships.

Read more on Flagship Niagara and Wikipedia USS Niagara. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Johns Hopkins University & Medicine - Coronavirus Resource Center - Global Passport Power Rank - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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