SACKETS HARBOR — The village’s maritime history will be on full display this weekend with the arrival of a touring canal schooner commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812.
The schooner, Lois McClure, has been traveling since May from its home at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Basin Harbor, Vt. The 88-foot-long, 14½-foot-wide schooner is modeled after ones that would have been made in 1862 to transport cargo through canals.
“What you’re looking at is an 18-wheeler without the wheels,” said Arthur B. Cohn, co-founder of the museum.
The schooner and its 12-person crew, including Mr. Cohn, arrived in the village Tuesday from Kingston, Ontario.
Mr. Cohn said he felt the war largely has been forgotten, and the bicentennial is a good opportunity to reflect on the struggle and its legacy.
“It’s something you really have to put your arms around to understand, and now’s the time to do that,” Mr. Cohn said.
He praised the community for its knowledge and enthusiasm about its place in the conflict’s history.
Mr. Cohn last had been in the village in 1988, when he was a member of a team of researchers looking into the wreckage of the USS Jefferson, which sank near the village shoreline. He said he had been looking forward to returning since he and his crew began planning for the trip, saying he kept strong memories of the village and its residents.
“To come back and walk the same streets is fantastic,” Mr. Cohn said.
Mr. Cohn will make a presentation about his research at 10 a.m. Saturday at the village gazebo, West Main Street. The boat will be open for free tours to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The boat then will travel to Oswego for Labor Day weekend. More information about the schooner and its tour can be found at www.lcmm.org.