Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry took command of the American naval forces at Lake Erie in the spring of 1813. The famous battle with the British fleet began on September 10, when Perry raised a flag bearing the words Don t Give Up The Ship and sailed into action.
After three hours of murderous gunfire, Perry was forced to abandon his flagship, the Lawrence. In a daring move, he was rowed a half mile to the Niagara, from which he continued the attack. After the battle, Perry returned to the shattered Lawrence and penned a quick message to General Harrison, We have met the enemy and they are ours. This decisive victory at the Battle of Lake Erie ensured American control of the Great Lakes during the War of 1812.
Reconstruction of the brig Niagara was completed in 1990. Operated by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, she is the centerpiece of a new maritime museum in Erie, PA and serves as the Commonwealth s goodwill ambassador.
Model Expo' Niagara kit is a faithful representation of the reconstructed Niagara at the maritime museum in Erie, PA. Model design is based on research and plans for the 1990 reconstruction, provided by Melbourne Smith of the International Historical Watercraft Society in Annapolis MD. Laser cut basswood parts facilitate plank-on-bulkhead construction.
Individual basswood strips cover the hull, and we provide six filler blocks in our Model Expo Niagara to make the job easier. True-to-scale Britannia metal, brass and hardwood fittings assure scale accuracy. Eighteen cast metal carronades and two long guns duplicate the armament of the original vessel. Rigging material include over 600 blocks and deadeyes and four diameters of rigging line. Six sheets of detailed plans and 40 page illustrated instruction manual by Ben Lankford clarify every phase of construction. (Display base and brass pedestals not included.)