Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wilderness Battleship...

Last night's lecture by Tim Abel of the Jefferson County Historical Society in New York provided a fascinating glimpse into the extraordinary efforts made over the Winter of 1814 to build warships at Storr's Harbour (near the much better known Sacket's Harbour). His title refers to the challenges of building major warships in, what in those days, was a sparsely populated wilderness territory lacking any industrial base or indigenous labour force. He brought his subject to life with good humoured asides on the ambiguous attitudes of local Americans, who regarded cross-border smuggling, even in wartime, as a reasonable pursuit. For Canadians, and especially Kingstonians, who are often focused on our local naval history, this was a wonderful insight into affairs across the Lake. Many thanks to the Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation for sponsoring this excellent lecture.

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