Presque Isle Bay is one of the best natural harbors on the Great Lakes. Being nearly surrounded by land with only a narrow channel connecting the Bay and Lake Erie. It provides shelter from the frequent storms rising up on the lake, which due to its lack of depth causes severe weather without much warning.

A lone sailboat on the Bay

The Bicentenial Tower on Dobbins Landing
Erie resident, Daniel Dobbins, convinced President James Madison and his cabinet of the need for warships on Lake Erie and of the ideal conditions at Presque Isle Bay to build those ships. Shipbuilding began in Erie in September 1812.

The upper left photo is the Erie Transmodal Building, which houses offices for the different transportation companies operating in Erie County. The "eyesore" in the other three photos is the home of the U.S. Border Patrol. I suppose, it's design intention is to mimic the waves of the lake.


"We have met the enemy and they are ours, two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop." - Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry in a message to General William Henry Harrison after defeating the British Naval Force in the Battle of Lake Erie.

Historical Marker

The Restored Brig Niagara
Perry's original flagship was the Lawrence, which was severly damaged by the British during the battle. So Perry and a few crewmen took a small rowboat through heavy cannon fire to the Niagara where he raised his personal battle flag with the immortal words of his friend, Captain James Lawrence, "Don't give up the ship!"
Perry's victory marked the frist time in history that a fleet controlled by the British had been captured by an opponent. Keep in mind at the time Great Britain was the most powerful Naval Force in the world.

The Niagara and another Tall Ship in Harbor

The Niagara's dockmate
Of Perry's eleven ships six were built in Erie, four Schooners and the two Brigs, Lawrence and Niagara. Problems arose immediately as the Brigs drafted too much water to leave the bay. Only four feet of water covered the sandbar separating the bay from the lake.
Noah (Ayuh, that's his name) Brown, a New York shipbuilder, who was in charge of the project, foresaw the problem and had constructed barges, called "camels", which were sunk under the brigs and refloated to lift the Lawrence and Niagara over the sandbar. Once in the lake the brigs were reloaded with supplies and weaponry.

The Niagara

The other Tall SHip

Brigadier General Strong Vincent
General Vincent was a hero during the Civil War. He was mortally wounded defending his position on Little Roundtop during the Battle of Gettysburg. One of the high schools in Erie, Strong Vincent, is named after him.

These frogs are all over town. A few years back it was fish. Local artists are given a choice of forms, and may do what they will with them. I don't know what the first is named, nor the significance of the 80, but the tall guy is "Frogzilla". At the end of the promotion the frogs will be sold at auction with proceeds going to charity.
If you've seen the pages on my trip around the world, you will know, this is not a local thing. I think, it was in Prague where I saw the cows. And at least one other place in my travels.

The Erie Maritime Museum the Niagara is behind

Beautiful, serene Presque Isle Bay

Music is "Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay"

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