Early Lake Erie Water Craft

Early Lake Erie Water Craft (HM1M5L)

Location: Buffalo, NY 14203 Erie County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 50.046', W 78° 51.289'

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The Industrial Heritage Trail

The first full-sized sailing ship to sail Lake Erie and the uppper Great Lakes was Le Griffon, built by French Explorer Robert de La Salle in 1679. Previous sailing ships were confined to Lake Ontario due to the natural barrier of Niagara Falls. The 70-foot Le Griffon was built on Cayuga Creek at the Niagara River, above Niagara Falls. La Salle and Father Louis Hennepin set out on Le Griffon's maiden voyage on August 7, 1679 with a crew of 32, sailing across Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan through unchartered waters that only canoes had previously explored. Le Griffon, the first sailing vessel on Lake Erie. In September, La Salle landed near Green Bay, Wisconsin, to meet with a group of traders that he had sent ahead the previous year. The traders had collected a large quantity of furs in anticipation of his arrival. La Salle decided to stay behind to further explore Lake Michigan, and sent Le Griffon back to Niagara to deliver the furs. Le Griffon departed on its return trip on September 18, 1679 with a crew of six, but was never heard from again, assumed lost in a violent lake storm.
Commercial steam boating began in the Hudson River with Robert Fulton's Clermont in 1807, but it would be over ten years before a steam driven ship traveled the upper Great Lakes. The small sailing vessels in use at the time were adequate to serve the small settlements along the lakes, and the early steamboats were limited for use in the relatively calm river waters. The first steamboat to travel Lake Erie was built in the Village of Black Rock in 1818, at the mouth of Scajaquada Creek. The Walk-in-the-Water offered passenger and freight service from Buffalo to Detroit, with stops in Cleveland and Erie, serving for four years until it ran aground in Buffalo in October 31, 1821, after a violent lake storm. The engine was able to be salvaged and re-used in another ship. The Great Lakes Steamboat Walk-in-the-Water, 1818. Image Source: Samuel Ward, American Steam Vessels, 1895.
HM NumberHM1M5L
Placed ByThe Industrial Heritage Committee, Inc
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, July 24th, 2015 at 10:03am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17T E 675323 N 4744624
Decimal Degrees42.83410000, -78.85481667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 50.046', W 78° 51.289'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 50' 2.76" N, 78° 51' 17.34" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)716
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1744 Fuhrmann Boulevard, Buffalo NY 14203, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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