Near Erie in Erie County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
And the Misery begins...
The citizens of Erie saluted Perry's men upon their victorious return to Presque Isle Bay, but the celebration was short-lived. The local courthouse was converted into a makeshift hospital for the severely wounded and Perry's remaining ships were anchored in Misery Bay—the small body of water in front of you. Perry's men lived on these ships throughout the harsh winter of 1813-14.
Winter Takes Its Toll
Called Little Bay before the battle, Misery Bay received its new name from the hardships that Perry's crew endured. The men lived in cramped quarters on the ships but often walked across the frozen bay to Erie for food and supplies. Constant exposure to the chilling blasts of the lake and general living conditions caused widespread sickness, and many men died.
A Graveyard of Ships
Several ships met their watery grave in this bay. After the war, the U.S. Navy sank both the Niagara and the Lawrence here in order to preserve the brigs for possible future use. Two of Barclay's ships, the Detroit and Queen Charlotte, were also sunk here.
The body of water to your left that is visible beyond the bridge is called Graveyard Pond. Legend has it that many of Perry's crewmen were buried there after the battle.
"I have enjoyed very bad health during this cruise and am reduced to a skeleton and will never cross this or any other lake again."
Dr. Usher Parsons, surgeon aboard the Lawrence at the Battle of Lake Erie, September 1813
The Fate of the Fleet
Of the 11 ships in the squadron, six were built at Erie—the schooners Ariel, Porcupine, Scorpion, and Tigress and the brigs Niagara and Lawrence. Perry obtained the brig Caledonia, schooners Amelia, Somers, and Ohio, and sloop Trippe from Black Rock, New York. Each ship experienced an interesting fate after the battle.
Raising the Niagara
These workmen helped to raise the Niagara from Misery Bay in 1913.
The Niagara was sunk in Misery Bay around 1822 and raised in 1913. A replica of the Niagara, Pennsylvania's flagship, sails from Erie's Maritime Museum.
The Lawrence was refitted after the battle and served during the remainder of the war. She was sunk in Misery Bay around 1822, raised in 1835 and sunk again, raised in 1875 and sunk near the city of Erie, raised in 1876, cut in two, and sent to Philadelphia for the centennial celebration.
The Ariel and Trippe were burned by the British at Black Rock.
The Porcupine was used as a merchant vessel in the Michigan area until about 1855, when she was allowed to sink.
The Scorpion and Tigress were captured by the British on Lake Huron in 1814.
The Caledonia was converted to a merchant vessel, and renamed the General Wayne.
The Amelia, found unseaworthy after arriving at Erie, was scuttled in Misery Bay in 1813.
The Somers and Ohio were captured by the British at Fort Erie in 1814.
Erected by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources.
Location. 42° 9.315′ N, 80° 5.375′ W. Marker is near Erie, Pennsylvania, in Erie County. Marker can be reached from Thompson Drive north of Fisher Drive, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Erie PA 16507, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Perry Monument: A Beacon of the Community (within shouting distance of this marker); Tribute to a Hero (within shouting distance of this marker); Son of the Sea (within shouting distance of this marker); From the Bay to the Battle (within shouting distance of this marker); Erie's Industrial Explosion (within shouting distance of this marker); Fishing on the Sweet Sea (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Preparing For Battle (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Erie.
Categories. • War of 1812 • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 16, 2019. This page originally submitted on April 16, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 31 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 16, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.