2017 New York State Fair opening day visitors will be able to see a replica of the gunboat USS Philadelphia that carried General Benedict Arnold and his Continental Army troops in 1776 during the Revolutionary War rebuilt in just one day, Wednesday, August 23.
Erich Tichonuk, co-executive director of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT, will lead the assembly of the replica of the oldest surviving American fighting naval vessel. The original Philadelphia was discovered in Lake Champlain in 1935 and is now housed at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.
The shipbuilding demonstration is part of the new Path through Our Maritime History: Waterways of War exhibit coordinated by New York Sea Grant as part of the new NY Experience: Maritime History showcase, located next to the new retention pond, at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. The exhibit opens daily at 10 am.
Throughout the Fair, the exhibit will include the completed Philadelphia replica; daily wooden boat building demonstrations; a new Shipwreck Shack with a display on the proposed Great Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary project; a new Boating and Buoys Shack with information on current era boating; the 2017 New York Sea Grant Clean and Safe Boating educational vessel, an 18-foot made-in-NY pontoon with an electric motor; the Great Lakes Research Consortium 24-7 sensing buoy transmitting data; and Great Lakes Research Consortium in-water remotely operated vehicle demonstrations in the retention pond.
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Photo: USS Philadelphia Gunboat replica, courtesy New York Sea Grant.