Located on the banks of the Lower Niagara River, the Joseph Davis State Park’s diverse habitats enable visitors to enjoy the natural world. Wetlands, successional shrublands, fields, meadows, forest, and open waters attract an abundance of wildlife species. The park has a nature trail, as well as cross-country skiing/snowshoeing and snowmobiling trails. [Read more…] about Joseph Davis State Park’s Watchable Wildlife
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced a significant milestone for lake trout rehabilitation efforts in Lake Erie following the confirmed identification of wild fry collected by DEC’s Lake Erie Fisheries Research Unit this spring.
The discovery of wild lake trout fry is a historic restoration indicator for a population that was once plentiful, but collapsed due to overfishing, habitat degradation, and invasive species. [Read more…] about Lake Trout Breeding in Lake Erie After More Than 60 Years
For those impatiently waiting for the opening of the trout fishing season on April 1st, you might want to consider making a trip to one of New York’s Great Lakes tributaries, where the spring steelhead season is already in full swing. [Read more…] about Lake Erie Steelhead: Spring Fishing Forecast
Every September for the past 40 years, DEC Lake Erie Fisheries Research Unit has set gill nets to assess the warmwater fish community. The primary goal of the survey is to collect abundance and age structure information for Walleye, Yellow Perch, and Smallmouth Bass – the three most targeted fish species by anglers in New York’s portion of Lake Erie. [Read more…] about 2020 Lake Erie Fish Survey Reveals Some Interesting Finds
A nineteenth century invading army’s journey into battle had two options, by land or by water. In the winter of 1838 the patriot army, which sought to invade Canada from New York State and overthrow the British Crown, saw a third alternative – by ice.
With Lake Erie covered with ice, “a band of the invaders determined to make it an avenue of passage across to Canada at a point where discovery would be improbable,” according to Our County and Its People, A History of Erie County published in 1898. [Read more…] about The Patriot War: Republic of Canada
In The Heroic Age of Diving: America’s Underwater Pioneers and the Great Wrecks of Lake Erie (SUNY Press Excelsior Editions, 2016), Jerry Kuntz shares the fascinating stories of the pioneers of underwater invention and the brave divers who employed the new technologies as they raced with – and against – marine engineers to salvage the tragic wrecks of Lake Erie.
Beginning in 1837, some of the most brilliant engineers of America’s Industrial Revolution turned their attention to undersea technology. Inventors developed practical hard-helmet diving suits, as well as new designs of submarines, diving bells, floating cranes, and undersea explosives. These innovations were used to clear shipping lanes, harvest pearls, mine gold, and wage war. [Read more…] about The Heroic Age of Diving: America’s Underwater Pioneers
On December 18, 1867, the Buffalo and Erie Railroad’s eastbound New York Express derailed as it approached the high truss bridge over Big Sister Creek, just east of the small settlement of Angola, New York, on the shores of Lake Erie.
In a dramatic historical narrative, Charity Vogel tells the gripping, true-to-life story of the wreck and the characters involved in the tragic accident in The Angola Horror: The 1867 Train Wreck That Shocked the Nation and Transformed American Railroads (Cornell University Press, 2013). [Read more…] about The Angola Horror:The Train Wreck That Shocked the Nation
A new exhibit opening at the New York State Museum in Albany on Saturday, “Weather Event,” focuses on Charles E. Burchfield’s depictions of the weather south of Lake Erie, where the artist lived for most of his life. Individual weather events are examined through both an artistic, historic, and scientific lens.
Burchfield’s representations of weather, wind, skies and sounds are unique historical records of the environment near Lake Erie. In 1915, Burchfield made a series of sketches that show the changing weather and position of the sun over the course of several hours, which he called all-day sketches. Decades later, a 1950 journal entry recounts “The Day the Sun Disappeared over Western New York.” [Read more…] about Weather History Exhibit at NYS Museum
As the second summer of the War of 1812 was drawing to a close, the sea war with Britain that had enjoyed such notable success in its early months, had shifted from the open ocean to the Great Lakes. There were two reasons for this. Stunning victories by USS Constitution over HMS Guerriere, the United States over the Macedonian and Constitution against Java had shocked the British.
The Admiralty’s response to the American frigate victories was to use overwhelming numbers to control the seas. Orders were issued forbidding any more single ship engagements, and the British established blockade squadrons off the coast all the way to New Orleans. The British blockade on America had tightened, with 100 ships on station off the coast.
And, while it was possible for an American ship to run the blockade, especially during foul weather, naval supplies were being diverted to a different theater of war – the Great Lakes. [Read more…] about All Hands: The Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial
Alvin F. Oickle, author of Disaster on the Potomac, Disaster in Lawrence, and Disaster at Dawn, will be on hand at Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society on Thursday, May 19, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. to sign copies of his new book on a historic Lake Erie disaster.
On August 9, 1841, the steamship Erie, one of the most elegant and fastest sailing vessels between Buffalo and Chicago, departed, carrying 343 passengers. Many were Swiss and German immigrants, planning to start new lives in America’s heartland- most never made it. The Erie erupted in flames during the night, and, despite the heroic efforts of the crew of the Dewitt Clinton, 254 lives were lost.
As news of this disaster spread, internationally renowned artists and writers, including Horatio Alger Jr. and possibly James Fenimore Cooper, wrote about ‘John Maynard,’ a fictitious, heroic helmsman.