Sackets Harbor in Jefferson County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Sackets Harbor Shipbuilding
A Race for Naval Superiority
—Maritime Heritage —
During the War of 1812 Sackets Harbor was the most active naval station in the United States. The U.S. and British navies were engaged in a shipbuilding competition for control of lake Ontario. Tremendous effort and money was spent, but in the end the two navies never met in a major battle on this lake.
Henry Eckford was a shipbuilding genius. Under Eckford's leadership craftsmen built at a feverish pace. He designed the ships, organized the labor force, procured the materials and supervised the work required to launch a major warship in about 35 days. Eckford completed eight warships at Sackets harbor, the most at any location during the War of 1812, and had them ready for the decisive battle that never came.
The Frigate Superior
Launched: May 1, 1814
Length: 195 feet
Sides Pierced for 64 Guns
Construction Time: 80 Days
Crew: 500 Officers, Seamen and Marines
The largest U.S. Navy warship in service during the War of 1812.
A Frantic Shipbuilding Schedule
- Oneida (pre-existing)
- Nine Schooners Purchased
- Asp, Lady of the Lake
- Sylph, General Pike
- Julia, Growler
- Superior, Mohawk
- New Orleans, Chippewa, Plattsburg (under construction)
Shipyard to Boneyard
At war's end the great shipbuilding effort ceased. The incomplete 106 gun Ship-of-the-Line New Orleans sat on the stocks until 1883 and most of the other warships were covered with a board roof to try and preserve them. By 1825 only the New Orleans remained intact, the others had decayed and sank. Some, including the Superior, were later demolished, some were refitted for commercial use, while the Jefferson's remains are still buried in the mud beneath the marina to this day.
Erected by Great Lakes Seaway Trail.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway marker series.
Location. 43° 56.905′ N, 76° 7.339′ W. Marker is in Sackets Harbor, New York, in Jefferson County. Marker is on West Main Street (County Route 62) near Bayard Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. This historical marker is located in the downtown business area, across the street from the Sackets Harbor Visitor Center, on the grounds of the Market Square Park, very near the downtown waterfront. Marker is in this post office area: Sackets Harbor NY 13685, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Sackets Harbor (within shouting distance of this marker); Dedicated to the Men and Women (within shouting distance of this marker); Union Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Sackett Mansion (within shouting distance of this marker); Sackets Harbor - Fall 1814 (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); The British Withdrawal (about 800 feet away); Fort Tompkins (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fort Virginia (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sackets Harbor.
Categories. • War of 1812 • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 29, 2014, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 292 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on July 30, 2014, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.