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Replica of a Canal Schooner commemorates War of 1812

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According to today’s Daily Mail, the Lois McClure, a replica 1862 canal schooner, will dock in Catskill today for afternoon stem-to-stern tours on its ‘1814: From War to Peace’ cruise. “The tour is part of a three-year War of 1812 Bicentennial commemoration by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vermont.” Its next stop is Kingston on August 8.

The project is the work of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum who wishes to “share the story of the military contest for Lake Champlain and Macdonough’s Victory on September 11, 1814.” Two centuries later stories about the importance of this historic corridor is delivered to many communities up and down the route. Please join the captain and crew of the Lois McClure for an informative and fun lesson in New York’s military history.

Besides the military history aspect of the cruise, there are programs on environmental stewardship and details about the historic canal system that, along with the Hudson River and Lakes Champlain and George, now form the corridor of portages and waterways the British used in an attempt to defeat us.

The path the schooner is taking is a historic one. The British came up the Hudson River in an attempt to divide the colonies and win the Revolutionary War. Then, in the War of 1812, they tried the reverse, sailing down Lake Champlain in another failed attempt that ended at the Battle of Plattsburgh on September 11, 1814. As Saratoga and Plattsburgh were, respectively, turning points in those wars, it is satisfying to remember as we approach the 13th anniversary of 9/11, the same route failed again as hijacked planes followed the Hudson River to strike the Twin Towers in Manhattan. We have not been defeated!

The replica schooner Lois McClure will be docked at the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston this Friday and Saturday. If you miss it in Catskill you can catch it there. Otherwise, go to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum website to see where else it will dock on its historic trip to New York City.

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