Historic gunboat to be moved this week

Posted: 08/04/2011 in all marine news

Amanda Smith – 

The historic 1812 British Navy gunboat that has been residing at St. Lawrence National Park in Mallorytown Landing is being moved to its new home in Prescott on Thursday.

The gunner has resided in a specially constructed boathouse at the park for 40 years. The move of this boat will add an important component to Fort Wellington’s historic site. The display will illustrate the significant role the St. Lawrence River and these British gun boats played during the War of 1812.

“It’s in excellent condition for a 200 year-old boat,” said Elizabeth Pilon, visitor experience project manager. “It’s been a long-term goal to move the boat to Fort Wellington. It will be a centrepiece to the fort.”

The move is part of a project that has taken two years to co-ordinate and involves Parks Canada engineers, conservation staff, St. Lawrence Islands staff, project staff, the Parks Canada underwater archaeology department and the movers.

“It’s a real team effort,” said Pilon of the move. “It is very exciting to see this happening. It’s about preserving and presenting the boat to more visitors.”

The gunner will be housed in a new 649-square-metre visitors’ centre at Fort Wellington, with the bow of the boat looking out towards the St. Lawrence River.

The 16.5-metre gunner was lifted by airbag system to raise it the required two feet to complete the move. The wall of the boathouse was removed Tuesday morning.

The boat was encased in a protective shell to prevent any damage to the gunner during the move by outside elements.

Full story…

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