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Line Span | by Annette LeDuff
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Line Span

The Flagship Niagara docked at Port Detroit during US Navy Week.


Flagship of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Flagship Niagara is also a major museum “exhibit” when in homeport. The Niagara in Erie, Pennsylvania, is a reproduction of the relief flagship of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry in a major naval battle of the War of 1812. On September 10, 1813, nine small ships – six of them, including Niagara, constructed in Erie – defeated a British squadron of six vessels in the Battle of Lake Erie. A pivotal event in the War of 1812, it secured the Northwest Territory, opened supply lines and lifted the nation’s morale.


The Flagship Niagara is a two-masted, square-rigged sailing vessel. In 1813 she had a crew of 155 men who manned her sails, 18 carronades and 2 long guns. Today’s Niagara sails with a crew of 40 (16 professional, 24 volunteer), and carries two 32-pounder carronades. Original 1813 timbers, which were recovered from the 1913 and 1933 reconstructions, are incorporated into her construction.

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Taken on September 9, 2012