Thursday, September 5, 2013

Perry 200 and Tall Ships

This weekend Thursday-Sunday is the culmination of our Perry 200 yearlong celebration of Oliver Hazard Perry's victories in the War of 1812 and Erie's part in it.

The major naval battle of the War of 1812, the Battle of Lake Erie, took place at Put-in-Bay, Ohio located 160 miles from us at the far west end of Lake Erie. It took place on September 10, 1813 and was a major defeat for the British Navy. In the winter of 1813-14, Perry's fleet stayed here in Erie and suffered greatly through a terrible winter in a place in Presque Isle Bay named Misery Bay because of that experience. Because of the cramped and unsanitary conditions of living on board, many men died of smallpox and other diseases. Most were buried in what is called Graveyard Pond.

This week we took a trip out to Presque Isle, all the way to the Perry Monument, Misery Bay and Graveyard Pond. Today 200 years later and in the waning days of summer, the area is beautiful with no sign, except historical markers and monuments, of the carnage of other times.

The view of Erie from Presque Isle near Misery Bay. The 10 Tall Ships that will be here this weekend will dock along the areas seen here.

This may be a young heron perched on some wood near the entrance to Misery Bay.

These two shots were actually taken at Graveyard Pond. The sunbathing turtles in the lower photo are a famous part of the pontoon boat tours available free throughout the summer.