Discovering the History and Beauty of the Erie Maritime Museum

Welcome to the Erie Maritime Museum, a hidden gem in the heart of Pennsylvania. This museum is dedicated to the rich maritime history of Erie, a city situated on the shore of Lake Erie. It offers visitors the chance to explore the beauty of the lake, discover the stories of the sailors and ships that plied its waters, and learn about the local industries that depended upon it. Whether you are a history buff, an art lover, or simply someone who loves being by the water, the Erie Maritime Museum has something to offer you.

Erie Maritime Museum

Founded in 1998, the Erie Maritime Museum is situated on Presque Isle Bay in Erie, Pennsylvania. This museum is not just a regular museum but a place where you can learn about the maritime history of the Great Lakes region of North America. The museum has a wide range of exhibits that showcase the importance of the waterways connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.

Location and History

The Erie Maritime Museum is situated on the shore of Presque Isle Bay on Lake Erie. The museum stands as a landmark of the Erie Maritime Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organization that maintains and restores historical American watercraft, equipment and artefacts. The museum is dedicated to preserving the history of both Lake Erie and the Great Lakes region.

The museum is located on Dobbins Landing, a beautiful location that overlooks Presque Isle Bay. The bay is home to historic sailing ships, including the USS Niagara, a major attraction of the museum. There you can see the ship, up close, and learn about its history.

Highlighted Exhibits

The Erie Maritime Museum showcases more than 200 years of maritime history. With several exhibits that focus on the naval history of the Great Lakes, the museum presents a fascinating insight into Erie’s contribution to the development of nautical navigation.

The U.S. Brig Niagara is the highlight of the museum, which played a significant role in the War of 1812. The ship is open to visitors and you can climb aboard to explore its decks and learn about the battle of Lake Erie. The staff and volunteers are on hand to provide information and you can delve into the history of the 1812 war with interactive exhibits that will captivate both adults and children alike.

As well as the USS Niagara, the Erie Maritime Museum is also home to the artifacts that were recovered from the Andrea Doria. The famous wreck site is where a passenger ship collided with a freighter in the Atlantic Ocean in 1956. This exhibit allows visitors to see and understand what it was like to be a passenger aboard the ship, learn about the tragedy that occurred and the measures taken for the rescue.

Events and Activities

The Erie Maritime Museum offers a range of events and activities that are held throughout the year. From children’s programs that offer fun and educational activities to summer boat tours, there is something for everyone that visits the museum.

Programs feature Pirate Tales, Erie and the War of 1812, and Shipbuilding. Visitors can enjoy tours of the brig and schooner, listen to tales of pirates and ghosts, and learn about the history of Erie. During the summer months, visitors can take part in a boat tour of Presque Isle Bay; aboard the two-deck, 115-passenger Victorian-style paddlewheel boat, the Lady Kate.

If you are interested in maritime history, then Erie Maritime Museum is a must-visit location. With its exhibits, interactive displays and hands-on programs, it provides an insight into the history of Great Lakes trade and naval defence.

Unique Features of the Erie Maritime Museum

At the Erie Maritime Museum, visitors are treated to an immersive experience that showcases the region’s rich maritime history. Boasting an impressive collection of watercraft, a shipyard dedicated to the restoration of historic vessels, and a strong connection to the local community, the museum is a must-visit destination for history and boat enthusiasts alike.

Watercraft Collection

The Erie Maritime Museum’s watercraft collection is a sight to behold. From the nimble Star Class sailboats to elegant wooden runabouts, visitors can explore a variety of boats that are displayed with pride. Each boat is unique and comes with its own fascinating story that offers an insight into the area’s maritime history. Whether you’re a boat enthusiast or just curious about the region’s seafaring past, the watercraft collection at the Erie Maritime Museum is sure to delight you.

One of the most notable boats on display is the US Brig Niagara, a replica of the flagship that played a critical role in the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813. Visitors can explore the decks of this storied vessel and imagine what it must have been like to sail into battle over two hundred years ago.


The Erie Maritime Museum’s shipyard is a testament to the ongoing restoration of historic vessels. The museum’s team of skilled craftsmen is dedicated to preserving and restoring boats that are a vital part of the region’s cultural heritage. Visitors can witness firsthand the care and attention that goes into boat restoration as they get up close and personal with boats in various stages of rejuvenation.

One of the most interesting restoration projects currently underway is the restoration of the lifeboat from the Edmund Fitzgerald. This legendary vessel became famous after sinking in Lake Superior during a fierce storm in 1975. The lifeboat is just one of the many fascinating historic boats being restored at the Erie Maritime Museum’s shipyard.

Connection to Erie’s Community

The Erie Maritime Museum has a strong connection to the town of Erie and the local community. The museum is deeply committed to preserving the region’s maritime history and celebrating the enduring legacy of the people who lived and worked on the Great Lakes. Moreover, the museum supports the local economy by contributing to local tourism and creating jobs.

One of the ways the museum helps to enrich the local community is through education. By offering programs and workshops, the museum provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about the region’s maritime history and the importance of preserving it for future generations. In doing so, the Erie Maritime Museum is playing a vital role in keeping the legacy of the Great Lakes alive.

In conclusion, the Erie Maritime Museum is a fascinating destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in boats, history, or just want to learn more about the town of Erie and the local community, the museum is a must-visit place. With its impressive watercraft collection, active shipyard, and strong connection to the community, the Erie Maritime Museum is a proud ambassador of the Great Lakes and the region’s maritime history.

Discover the History and Beauty of the Erie Maritime Museum

The Erie Maritime Museum is a treasure trove of fascinating historical artifacts and exhibits, located in the enchanting city of Erie, Pennsylvania. This museum was built to display various ships and maritime history of the U.S. Also, the museum is famously known for the Niagara Flagship. The Niagara ship played a pivotal role in the War of 1812, and it was reconstructed in the 1980s to its original glory. The museum is the perfect destination for history buffs, ship enthusiasts, and anyone who appreciates the beauty of maritime history.

If you plan to visit the Erie Maritime Museum, there are a few key things you need to know to make the most of your experience. Below, we’ve put together a guide to help you plan your visit to the Erie Maritime Museum.

Admission and Hours

The admission price for adults who want to explore the museum is $12, seniors above the age of 65 get in for $10, while kids from 3-11 years of age pay $7. Military personnel (active duty, veteran, and retired) and their families receive free admission upon providing relevant identification. When you purchase a ticket, you also gain access to the U.S. Brig Niagara, a beautiful sailing ship, which is docked behind the museum.

The museum is open from Monday to Saturday between 9 am – 5 pm and 12 pm – 5 pm on Sundays. Note that during July and August, they remain open until 8 pm on Thursdays and Fridays. Please check with the museum regarding closures and admission prices during the holiday period.

Getting There

You can easily reach the Erie Maritime Museum by bus, car, or boat. Because the museum is located near the water, it is easy to get to by boat if you happen to have one. For those traveling by car, there is paid parking available adjacent to the museum. The museum also offers visitors the option to park for longer periods if they decide to go on a sailing tour.

If you are visiting Erie, you may choose to check out other local attractions such as the Erie zoo, Erie Art Museum, and Presque Isle state park, which are all nearby. Additionally, the Erie Maritime Museum offers you the option to take a self-guided walking tour of the docks surrounding the museum.

Visitor Tips

When you visit the Erie Maritime Museum, there are several ways you can enhance your experience.

If you are interested in detailed information about the Niagara ship, guided tours of the vessel are available. The tours are highly informative, and the knowledgeable guides take you back in history to the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie, which the ship played an essential role in.

The museum hosts special events throughout the year. These events include boat tours, educational lectures, and Festival of the Moving Image, which is a collage of short films submitted by filmmakers. Keep an eye out for upcoming events on their website.

If you want to take home a souvenir, the gift shop in the museum offers Erie Maritime Museum related items. These items include items such as books, posters, and other items related to ships and maritime history.

Address the weather conditions while packing for your visit. During the colder months, the museum offers indoor heating, but it’s a good idea to pack additional warm clothes. Additionally, please remember that the maritime museum is located near the water, so it can get windy. You should also bring comfortable shoes, especially if you intend to explore the decks of the Niagara ship.

A Must-Visit for History and Ship Enthusiasts:

The Erie Maritime Museum is a must-visit place for people interested in maritime history and who want to experience different ships. The museum not only offers an exciting look into the past but also a unique experience in the present.

Whether you’re a history buff, a ship enthusiast, or someone who loves scenic waterfront views, the Erie Maritime Museum is well worth a visit. With admission prices that won’t break the bank and flexible opening hours, it’s an accessible destination that will appeal to a wide range of visitors.

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