Lois McClure to port in Herkimer, Montgomery counties

By Rob Juteau
 Sep 10, 2012
Frankfort, N.Y. —

Anniversaries provide special moments to focus attention on historic events.
To mark the bicentennial of the War of 1812, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s schooner Lois McClure is on a tour of Canada, New York and Vermont to share stories relating to the political, environmental and cultural stage of the cross-border conflict that ushered in 200 years of peace.
The schooner, which measures 88-feet long from stem to stern, will be in port in Herkimer and Montgomery counties this week and next as it continues its journey to its homeport in Vergennes, Vt.
The Lois McClure will be in port at the Frankfort Marina on Thursday, Sept. 13, from 3 to 6 p.m.; the Little Falls Canal Harbor at Rotary Park on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 12 to 5 p.m.; Lock 15 in Fort Plain on Tuesday, Sept. 18, from 3 to 6 p.m.; Riverfront Park in Canajoharie on Thursday, Sept. 20, from 3 to 6 p.m.; and at Riverlink Park in Amsterdam on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“The bicentennial of the War of 1812 provides an opportunity to explore this important chapter in the history of our region, and of the world,” said Lake Champlain Maritime Museum founder Art Cohn in a news release. “This will be our most ambitious schooner journey ever, visiting ports around the Lake Champlain Basin, in Canada, the Great Lakes and the Erie Canal, traveling through mid-October.”
Visitors will be able to board the authentic replica of an 1862 canal boat, built by Lake Champlain Maritime Museum shipwrights and volunteers on the Burlington, Vt., waterfront, free of charge.
“When we have an opportunity to host an extraordinary vessel like the Lois McClure, it affords a rare opportunity for people to step aboard and back through time,” said Howard Milstein, chairman of the state Thruway Authority and state Canal Corporation in a news release.
Frankfort Mayor Frank Moracco last week said he hopes village residents, particularly students and families with young children, take advantage of the opportunity to board the schooner.
“Our community is proud to have been selected to host the Lois McClure and her crew,” he said.
As part of the festivities at the Frankfort Marina on Sept. 13, Moracco said the village is planning to issue a proclamation recognizing Hiram Cronk, the last surviving veteran of the War of 1812. The longtime Oneida County resident was born in Frankfort in 1800 and died on May 5, 1905.
Cronk joined the U.S. Army on Aug. 4, 1814, when he was 14 years old. He served in the 157th New York Regiment and was assigned as a drummer boy in the naval station at Sackets Harbor, the scene of two battles, in 1812 and 1813. He was 12 years old when the War of 1812 began.
“I encourage residents to take advantage of the opportunity to go to the marina on Sept. 13 and see the schooner and learn more about the War of 1812,” said Moracco.
For information, visit http://www.lcmm.org and click on “Schooner Lois McClure.”

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