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  Brig Niagara (Flagship Niagara League) - Tall Ship

Brig Niagara | Flagship Niagara League
Tall ship Niagara passes the Lorain lighthouse
Photograph by Rona Proudfoot from Lorain, Ohio. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Brig Niagara | Flagship Niagara League
The US Brig Niagara on Presque Isle Bay in Erie.
Photograph by Melissa Dale from Meadville, PA. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)


US Brig Niagara, also known as the Flagship Niagara, is a wooden brig first launched in 1913. The two-masts carry a total of over1,100 square metres of sail. She is now owned by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and operated by Flagship Niagara League. Her home port is Erie, Pennsylvania where she is usually docked at the Erie Maritime Museum. Niagara is used for voyage programs, day sails, School education programs, and corporate team-building events.

Niagara sails on three week voyage programs to the Great Lakes, for up to 20 participants. She also sails on day trips from her home port of Erie.

The Niagara was built at Presque Isle, Erie in Pennsylvania and was launched in 1813. She was one of a fleet of gunships built to protect the Lake Erie coastline from a British attack, and took in the Battle of Lake Eyrie in September 1813 when nine United States Navy ships defeated and captured six British Royal Navy ships. Niagara was sunk in 1820 when the Presque Isle naval station was closed. To mark the centennial of the Battle of Erie in 1913, the Niagara was raised and partially restored. Ownership of the ship was transferred to the USS Niagara Foundation who commenced restoration, but funding ran out in 1938 with the restoration still unfinished. The Pennsylvania Historical Commission (now the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission) took over the restoration work, and the hull was rebuilt allowing the ship to be launched in 1943 without masts and rigging. It was not until 1963 (the 150 year anniversary of the Battle of Erie) that the ship was fitted with rigging and cannons. Niagara was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The Flagship Niagara League was established in 1981 to convert the Niagara from a static museum display to a working sailing ship. The ship had to be practically rebuilt with new materials to make the Niagara seaworthy again.

Ship Summary
Operator:Flagship Niagara League
Gross Tonnage:162
Length:33.7 m
Width:9.8 m
Crew:18 plus 24 volunteers