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The US Brig Niagara or the Flagship Niagara[a], is a wooden-hulled brig[b] that served as the relief flagship for Oliver Hazard Perry in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. It is one of last remaining ships from the War of 1812. The Niagara is usually docked behind the Erie Maritime Museum in downtown Erie in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania as an outdoor exhibit for the museum, but travels the Great Lakes during the summer, serving as an ambassador of Pennsylvania when not docked. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and was designated the official state ship of Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1988. The Niagara was constructed from 1812 to 1813 to protect the vulnerable American coastline on Lake Erie from the British and played a pivotal role in the battle for the lake. Along with most of warships that served in the war, the Niagara was sunk for preservation on Presque Isle in 1820. Raised in 1913, it was rebuilt for the centennial of the Battle of Lake Erie. After deteriorating, restoration of the Niagara was started again in the 1930s, but was hampered by the lack of funds caused by the Great Depression and remained uncompleted until 1963. A more extensive restoration was carried out in 1988 in which much of the original ship was largely destroyed. The incorporation of new materials and modern equipment makes it ambiguous as to whether it is or is not a replica.
USS Niagara 1813 SERIES
September 14th, 2012
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