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U.S.S. Michigan circa 1876

David Bennett

1991    Size   H: 26 in  W: 32 in  D: 2 in  

In a museum

Honduran Mahogany - USS Michigan was the first iron-hulled ship in the US Navy and was built here in Erie in 1843 to broker amity between the US and Canada during the Canadian rebellion. Its parts were fabricated in Pittsburgh, PA, during the last half of 1842, brought to Erie and assembled. When its builders attempted to launch this pioneer, steam man-of-war on December 5, 1843, the ship stuck on the ways 50 feet before reaching water. After many attempts to prod the ship into resuming her descent failed, the ship wrights retired for the night. Returning to the shipyard the next morning, they found the ways empty and the ship floating nearby. The Michigan had launched herself in the night. In 1905 it was renamed the USS Wolverine. The prow now resides in the Erie Maritime Museum.

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