New York is home to a lot of surprising things, including a relic of the war of 1812.
An upstate New York village that prides itself as the birthplace of the US Navy still houses one of the service’s oldest warship relics; the hull of a schooner that was the first of a series of American vessels to bear the name Ticonderoga.
The wooden remains of the ship are displayed in a long, open-sided shed near the Skenesborough Museum in Whitehall. The relics have been stored there since being recovered from Lake Champlain more than 50 years ago. Now, with the approach of the battle’s 200th anniversary at which the first Ticonderoga earned its fame, a maritime historian is wanting something done to preserve what’s left of the artifact’s integrity, according to Boston.com.
Senior adviser and special projects developer at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Arthur Cohn, states:
“It was recovered for all the right reasons but before we knew all the implications of a shipwreck and bringing it up into an air environment.”
Cohn suggests that the hull needs be stored in an enclosed, climate-controlled building with the vessel’s story taking center stage. However, the museum’s director said such a project would be cost-prohibitive for her organization and for Whitehall, a small village on the Vermont border, says FOX News. It is said that it “would take more money than anyone in the village of Whitehall could put together.”
The Ticonderoga was originally a merchant steamer before the US Navy bought it during construction. The Navy completed it as a schooner, mounted it with several heavy cannons and launched the vessel in May 1814.
On September 11 of that year, the Ticonderoga took part in the American fleet, defeating the British at the Battle of Plattsburgh on the lake’s northern end. The US victory stopped British from advancing farther into New York and ended their northern invasion efforts.
Other Navy warships have been named Ticonderoga, including a World War II aircraft carrier in the Pacific. New York has no plans to preserve the Ticonderoga, but local entities could request funds for such a project, according to Mark Peckham of the department of state parks.
Of the remains of that war, Peckham said, “This has survived better than most.”