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US Brig Niagara

U.S. Brig Niagara

On September 10, 1813, nine small ships, including Niagara, defeated a British squadron of six vessels in the Battle of Lake Erie. A pivotal event in the War of 1812, it led to regaining Detroit, lost at the war’s outset, and lifted the nation’s morale.

The U.S. Brig Niagara is a two-masted, square-rigged sailing vessel, 198 feet sparred length, 118 feet tall. The current Niagara, the third reconstruction of the original vessel, was launched in Erie in 1988, the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie. Niagara sails the Great Lakes, preserving and interpreting the story of the Battle of Lake Erie, and acting as an ambassador in her capacity as the flagship of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As a Sailing School Vessel, her crew of  professionals and trainees actively preserve the skills of square-rig seamanship.

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Schooner Madeline

The Madeline is a reconstruction of a mid-19th- century schooner, typical of the trading schooners that once sailed the upper Great Lakes. She has a sparred length of 92 feet. The original Madeline was once the first EuroAmerican School in the Grand Traverse region and for a short time served as a lightship in the Straits of Mackinac. Launched in 1990, the modern Madeline was built over period of five years using traditional methods and materials. From her homeport, Traverse City, Michigan, she has sailed with her volunteer crew on all five Great Lakes, visiting over 60 ports with dockside tours and historical interpretation. Madeline is the State of Michigan’s official tall ship, and she is designated as the City of Traverse City’s goodwill ambassador.

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Appledore IV

Appledore IV

The schooner Appledore IV is owned and operated by BaySail, a 501(C) 3 non-profit corporation. Appledore IV was launched in 1989. The schooner has a sparred length of 85 feet and is based out of Bay City, Michigan.

Tall ship adventures aboard the Appledore IV further BaySail’s mission: “To foster environmental stewardship of the Saginaw Bay watershed and the Great Lakes ecosystem and to provide personal development opportunities for learners of all ages through shipboard and land based educational experiences.”

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Lettie G. Howard

Lettie G. Howard

Lettie G. Howard is owned by the South Street Seaport Museum and is operated as a programmatic collaboration between the South Street Seaport Museum and the Flagship Niagara League.

Lettie is a 125-foot, two-masted gaff topsail fishing schooner built in 1893 in Essex, Massachusetts.  She arrived at South Street Seaport Museum in 1968, and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989.  In 1994, after an extensive two-year rebuild that restored her to her original appearance, she was certified as a Sailing School Vessel by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Lettie G. Howard has joined Niagara in Erie to enhance the visitor experience at the Erie Maritime Museum while ultimately expanding the Flagship Niagara League’s existing sail training program.  During the 2018 sailing season, Lettie will be offering a variety of sailing opportunities for the Erie community.

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