Sail On, O Ship of State: An Interview with Capt. Walter Rybka of the U.S. Brig Niagara

Summer 1992 marked the longest and most ambitious voyage of the historic United States Brig Niagara. Originally built for the fleet of Commo­dore Oliver Hazard Perry (1785-1819), the ship carried the twenty eight year old commandant to a decisive victory over the British during the bitter War of 1812 on September 10, 1813 (see “The Battle of Lake Erie: A Victory for Commodore Perry”...
read more

Bookshelf

Deep Water Sailors, Shallow Water Soldiers by Gerald T. Altoff The Perry Group, 1993 (203 pages, paper, $7.95) Subtitled Manning the United States Fleet on Lake Erie – 1813, this book exam­ines the composition of the crews of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s fleet that took part in one of the most signifi­cant naval encounters during the War of 1812. According to the author, these...
read more

Currents

Exciting Erie Before the arrival of white settlers, the southern shores of Lake Erie were inhabited by the Eriez Indians of Iroquois stock until they were virtually eliminated, by 1655, through war with the Seneca nation. A century later, the French, recognizing the military and trade advantages that Lake Erie and its waterways offered, found a harbor ideally suited for a fort, which they named...
read more

Currents

Hello, History! The former Chautauqua Lake Ice Company warehouse in Pittsburgh’s historic Strip District will come to life on Sunday, April 28 [1996], when it officially opens to the public as the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center. Renovated by the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, which has been protecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of the...
read more

Bookshelf

The Lincoln Highway by Brian A. Butko Stackpole Books, 1996 (321 pages, paper, $16.95) Established in 1913, the Lincoln Highway became the first automobile roadway to cross the United States. It stretched east from New York’s Tunes Square to San Francisco at a time when rural roads were little more than rutty wagon paths. The Lincoln Highway Association was organized “to procure the...
read more

Erie Maritime Museum

Discover Pennsylvania’s newest museum – and rediscover the Commonwealth’s exciting maritime history! With the U.S. Brig Niagara as its centerpiece, the Erie Maritime Museum examines the events leading to the War of 1812 and, specifically, the Battle of Lake Erie, during which Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry defeated the British while in command of the Niagara under the famous...
read more

Executive Director’s Message

For the first time in two decades, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) will open a new museum when the Erie Maritime Museum makes its grand debut in May. Planning for the museum began in 1986, but a suitable site was not secured until 1991. We needed not only a museum location but also a new berthing facility for the U.S. Brig Niagara. It was at this time that the Erie...
read more

Currents

Setting Sail One of Pennsylvania’s most exciting museums-and certainly its newest-will open its doors during the Memorial Day weekend (see “Executive Director’s Message” in the spring 1998 edition). The Erie Maritime Museum, with the U.S. Brig Niagara as its centerpiece, will join more than two dozen historic sites and museums along the well-traveled Pennsylvania Trail of...
read more

Erie Maritime Museum: A New Museum Opens a Window to History

Nearly two centuries ago, a newly built squadron of United States Navy warships set sail from the shores of Lake Erie to battle a contingent of the British Navy, the most formidable naval force in the world. The ensuing battle of the War of 1812 shocked the British admiralty and boosted the morale of the U.S. Navy and the entire nation. The legacy of this battle is graphically chronicled by the...
read more

Executive Director’s Message

Remembering the twentieth century has become a preoccupation bordering on obsession. As the lists of greatest moments and most important people grows daily, I am equally intrigued not only by what we choose to recall but the way in which we decide to commemorate the past. Over the past one hundred years Pennsylvanians have remembered their history by constructing a stunning array of statues,...
read more