Truly getting her start in Erie, this city icon was built in Erie’s harbor nearly two centuries ago.
In her fourth reincarnation, this Erie starlet spends her summers touring the Great Lakes and the greater ocean blue, making appearances at docks and various Tall Ships festivals. She threw her biggest party of the year at the Erie Maritime Museum this past weekend.
Who’s who: The Flagship Niagara
Why care: The original brig was decisive in 1813 at the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.
Erie link: Today, the ship docks at the Erie Maritime Museum as a piece of “living history.”
Living History: The Niagara serves as non-profit educational program, offering sail training programs, designed to teach skills in leadership, communication, discipline, and teamwork. Programs run from day sails to full four-week programs aboard this tall ship.
Meet the crew: The brig sails with about 17 paid crewmembers and 20-24 volunteers at a time during the summer season.
A future for preserving history: Tall Ships festivals generally run every three years, perfect timing for Erie’s next festival: September 10, 2013 commemorates the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie.
Kind of a big deal: The Niagara sailed as the longest vessel in the Great Lakes United Tall Ships Challenge 2010 with a sparred (overall) length of 198 feet.
Tall Ships Challenge: The Flagship sailed in the Great Lakes United Tall Ships Challenge this summer, a race series organized by the American Sail Training Association. In Race 4, a stretch reaching from Sturgeon Bay Canal to Wind Point, Wisconsin, Niagara took first place in the Class A Division.
The Niagara also received special recognition with a Seamanship Award for helping German brig Roald Amundsen, presented “in the true spirit of seamanship.”
Race to Save the Lakes: This summer with Great Lakes United, the challenge series turned its focus to the environment in their Race to Save the Lakes. This challenge highlighted the importance of preserving both water quality and Great Lakes ecosystems, the world’s largest fresh water ecosystem.
Look at a photo gallery of members from Tall Ships Erie’s Green Zone watering a tree designated for the ceremonious combining of waters gathered for all five Great Lakes during the challenge this summer.
Tall Ships Erie: See photo galleries, watch videos, find your photo booth picture, and read more about Tall Ships Erie at GoErie’s Tall Ships Erie coverage.
Goodbye for now: This past week was my last at GoErie: I’ll be leaving the country soon to pursue a year of teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) abroad. I’ll be keeping a blog of my travels and experiences; check back for a link to my updates.