The Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site has announced the story panel series “History on the Lawn,” featuring ten educational story panels on topics normally addressed in the site’s Commandant’s House tour and Navy Yard exhibits. These 2-feet-by-3-feet corrugated plastic panels feature photos and illustrations with accompanying text.
The ten panel topics include:
- “Explore Our Past” (introduction panel)
- “Commodore Isaac Chauncey”: During the War of 1812, the Sackets Harbor navy station grew to be the largest on Lake Ontario.
- “Commodore Josiah Tattnall”: In 1861, the Georgia native commandant resigned his post at the Yard to join the Confederate Navy. Ultimately, he commanded the ironclad flagship the CSS Virginia, formerly the USS Merrimack.
- “Frances Metcalf”: From 1906 to 1915 she was the only woman to care for a U.S. Navy station. Duties included watching over the gunnery and daily raising and lowering the Navy Yard flag.
- “USS New Orleans”: A ship-of-the-line begun in 1814 but never finished because the war ended.
- “USS Jefferson – Henry Eckford”: Scottish-born American shipbuilder, naval architect, industrial engineer and entrepreneur. Shipbuilding efforts surged at Sackets Harbor during the War of 1812 with this skilled architect leading the construction.
- “Amongs’t My Best Men” The story of African American men in the War of 1812.
- “Waste Over Time”: In 1860, life in the Commandant’s House meant very different means of personal hygiene and waste matter disposal.
- “A Modern Kitchen”: Looking at the Commandant’s House 1860 kitchen.
- “Servant’s Beds”: The Commandant’s House attic living quarters for the Tattnall family’s three female servants.
This season’s new portable panel series complements the site’s permanent interpretive panels that tell about Sackets Harbor in the War of 1812. Those year-round panels on metal pedestals sit alongside the battlefield’s history trail and dot the Navy Yard.
Recently, Battlefield site staff added to the portable “History on the Lawn” series with paper posters created by the Smithsonian Institution and National Portrait Gallery about the women’s suffrage movement. This new series, “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence,” traces the 19th amendment ratification.
Staff plan on displaying all the posters on the Navy Yard fence Mondays through Saturdays, weather permitting, until Columbus Day Weekend. After Labor Day Weekend site buildings will be open only Fridays and Saturdays 10 am to 4:45 pm through Columbus Day.
Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site is located at 504 W Main Street, Sackets Harbor.
Photo of Sackets Harbor Battlefield History on the Lawn provided.