Special Report: Building a Dream - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Special Report: Building a Dream

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We are now just a few days away from the Perry 200 parade, highlighting Erie's role in the War of 1812. But 5 of the 9 ships in Perry's fleet were actually built or outfitted in Buffalo, New York. And that community is now building a replica of one of those ships, hoping to sail it with the Flagship Niagara later this year.

 Fifty volunteers are working at the Buffalo Maritime Center, constructing the replica of the USS Trippe.

Volunteer John Montague said, "It is going to float and go through the water exactly like a boat of that era would. So in that sense you are getting an authentic feeling as you ride on the boat and it responds to the wind and so forth."

 The work began with a donated mahogany hull. Workers are now busy shaping and attaching cedar planks to the outside. Other workers are busy inside, working to build a replica of a ship that was a key to Perry's victory in the Battle of Lake Erie.

 Project Coordinator Kevin McCarthy said, "It was a vital craft. It was certainly valuable because of it's stealth and speed and that contributed a lot to the success of the battle."

 The ship carried messages and supplies. But perhaps the most important role was as a platform for sharpshooters."

 The project still needs a lot of donations to buy sails, rigging, the cannon and other items.

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