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The Battle of Lake Erie, 2013 Featured

The Battle of Lake Erie 2013, 200 years after the original, had the same result. “We have met the enemy and they are ours. Two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop,” said Commander Oliver Hazard Perry at 3 p.m. on Sept. 10, 1813, in the waters northwest of Put-in-Bay.

Monday’s re-enactment may not have been as historically significant as the original battle, but it resulted in less loss of life and was better attended. Peace with Canada and Britain was maintained, as it has been for two centuries.

Bert Rogers, Executive Director of Tall Ships America, marveled at the scale of the endeavor. “No one has ever done this before. It is the largest naval battle re-enactment in history.” 

Rogers praised the captains of the vessels for skillfully managing the choreography, especially with the shifting weather and winds and the extraordinary number of spectator vessels. “It was a long time being planned, since last November. The final planning was done at 7:00 last night.”

Though the tall ships have departed, the bicentennial celebration continues and on Sept. 10, the actual anniversary of the battle, the Niagara will return for a commemorative ceremony. 

For more information about the Tall Ships, go to www.tallshipsamerica.org.

Tall ships

With powerful, towering spar-limbs interwoven with intricate lines and rope-webs, draped with the grace and the business of cream-colored sails, the tall ships are awe-inspiring. They arrived at the docks at Put-in-Bay and Kelleys Island early last week, and at the Port Clinton docks at sunset on Thursday evening. Mainlanders and islanders, motorists and pedestrians and boaters were all drawn to the beaches and the docks. In their brief time with us, the tall ships became a part of the skyline and the shoreline. 

In addition to grace and elegance, the tall ships also brought history. The crews and guides and re-enactors told of life aboard ship before GPS and outboard engines and of naval warfare when it was up close and personal. 

The tall ships were like Christmas trees that enhance for a time, bring beauty and gifts, and then are gone.

Reenactment of the Battle of Lake Erie

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