Archives for January 2013

Lakeport men discover 1876 schooner wreck in Lake Huron

bildePaul Schmitt, Dave Losiniski and Drew Losinksi are filling in Lake Huron’s blanks. The Lakeport men look for shipwrecks — and they’re going public with one of their latest discoveries.

The Charles H. Walker, a 136-foot, two-masted schooner, lies in about 35 feet of water about four miles east of Lakeport State Park. The men, said Schmitt, found the vessel in August 2010.

His meticulous research revealed the ship sank in rough seas on Sept. 26, 1876 — the year of the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia and about three months after the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana.

The Charles H. Walker was carrying a load of iron ore from L’Anse in the Upper Peninsula to the smelters of Pennsylvania, according to a story in the Port Huron Times.

“It’s still heaped on the cargo deck,” Schmitt said.

The crew members safely evacuated the ship. Its location was marked by its masts sticking above the surface, so in August 1877, a wrecking tug was reported to have salvaged some of its fittings and cargo.

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Lake Erie battle, 200 years later

Attention history buffs, those who love tall ships or a good battle re-enactment: From Aug. 29 through Sept. 2 the celebration and re-enactment of the historic battle of Lake Erie will take place near Put-in-Bay, Ohio.

It was here that 557 brave patriots, under the direction of U.S. Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, defeated the British. The battle in September 1813 played an important role in the history of the U.S.

Now, 200 years later, the area will come together to celebrate the victory.

The bicentennial celebration event began Sept. 8, 2012, with a concert by the Toledo Symphony and a harbor illumination. This yearlong celebration honors the 200 years of peace with Canada and Great Britain. The culmination of the events comes on Sept. 2 with the re-enactment of the battle.

Put-in-Bay was the turning point of the War of 1812. Not many school history lessons dwell on the importance of the battle. The celebration will not only be a great history lesson for the family, but a fun time. The area offers plenty of things to do and see.

Become a part of the celebration and sign on to be one of the crew. Stand in the footprints of the brave men who fought for our country, and be on board a tall ship during the re-enactment. If being on a ship is not your forte, be a part of the foot militia.

Event timeline

Aug. 29: Ships will reach port in Amherstburg, Kingsville, Leaminton, Port Clinton, Pelee Island, Put-in-Bay and Kelly’s Island. Tours and reception.

Aug. 30 through Sep. 2: Tall Ships Festival with entertainment, re-enactors, arts, crafts and food at each of the ports.

Sept. 1: Parade of boaters will be sailing around Put-in-Bay in conjunction with the Navy and Coast Guard. The Ohio State University Marching Band will perform. Fireworks.

Sept. 2: Re-enactment of the battle on the lake. Planned events will include national speakers, concerts, an International Freedom Celebration, entertainment, food, arts, crafts, ceremonies to honor the fallen and historical activities.