Along the shores of Lake Erie.
Trip Start Mar 04, 2005
253Trip End Dec 31, 2014
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We would spend a very enjoyable day taking in some of the sights that this city has to offer. We started at the logical place, the Erie Maritime Museum. The reason this city is here after all is because of the Great Lake it shares a name with!
It seems our recent travels have been bringing us into contact with quite a bit of War of 1812 history. Erie would prove to be no different. It was here that President James Madison ordered the construction of a naval fleet in order to regain control of Lake Erie. Noted shipbuilders Daniel Dobbins of Erie and Noah Brown of New York led construction of four schooner-rigged gunboats and two brigs. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry arrived from Rhode Island to command the squadron. His fleet successfully fought the British in the historic Battle of Lake Erie. This battle would solidify the United States control of the Great Lakes.
The museum does a good job of explaining the battle and it's aftermath but the highlight is definitely the Brig. Niagara. This is a historically correct reconstruction of the tall ship that fought in this battle. Our visit occurred at the right time as the ship will be heading out for the summer in a few days. They do offer a day sail on her, but they are completely sold out for this year. Something to look into doing if we return here.
From the museum we would spend some time on Presque Isle. This peninsula of land juts out into Lake Erie and is visible from our campsite. Its first European occupants were French and the name translates into 'almost an island'. There is a beautiful paved bike path and a dozen different beaches, both on the lake and bay side of the peninsula. Done with touring the State Park we made a quick stop at Sara's Diner, a local institution, for an orange twist cone.
From there we were off to the races, literally. Presque Isle Casino and Downs has live horse racing from April to September. It's been a long time since we've been to the races and I think we had both forgotten how much we enjoyed it. With races going off about every 25 minutes and a minimum bet of $2 it is probably the least expensive gambling we've done in a long time!