LEGEND OF THE LAKE, NEW DISCOVERY EDITIO (Quarry Heritage Books)

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9781894997171: LEGEND OF THE LAKE, NEW DISCOVERY EDITIO (Quarry Heritage Books)
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On Halloween 1780, near Fort Niagara, the worst shipwreck in the history of Lake Ontario occurred. The 22-gun brig-sloop Ontario, built at the Carleton Island shipyard near present-day Kingston to defend British North America against the revolutionary forces of George Washington, foundered in a violent storm. The largest vessel on the Great Lakes up to that time, she measured 226 tons burthen and stretched 124 feet, including bowsprit. Of her crew, only six bodies were ever found, but in May 2008, the wreck of Ontario was located by Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville, two engineers from Rochester, New York. She lies in deep water, almost intact, with both masts in place. In her wreckage lie the remains of at least 88 men, women, and children. The loss of Ontario seriously reduced the deterrent value of the British squadron, especially since the next largest vessel, Haldimand, was in poor repair and out of action. So the secret of her foundering was kept. To this day, many of the books on lake shipwrecks are wildly inaccurate in their accounts of Ontario. Legend of the Lake is the story of the building, launching, foundering, and discovery of Ontario, reconstructed from archival documents, including British Admiralty plans for the ship, upon which renowned maritime architectural draughtman John W. McKay has based his scale drawings of Ontario. These drawings will be of special interest to model builders. The book also features full-color paintings of Ontario by renowned marine artists Peter Rindlishbacher and Robert Averill. Of special interest to maritime historians is a full description of the techniques and materials used in building the ship, as well as a list of shipwrights employed on Carleton Island. For the social historian, the book presents a picture of daily life at Fort Haldimand on Carleton Island and on board a lake vessel. For the military historian, the book provides a description of Ontario's armament and accounts of the various regiments involved in dockyard defense and conducting raids into northern New York. And for all readers, Legend of the Lake is a captivating tale of high adventure and mystery.

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About the Author:

Brit Smith is a retired lawyer and military officer who lives on the St. Lawrence River near Kingston, Ontario. He has spent decades researching the history of the Ontario and searching for the wreck.

Celebrated marine draughtman John McKay is the author of books on the Bounty and the Victory.

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