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OHASSTA Nov 2014 final

Journal of the Ontario History and Social Science Teachers' Association I also believe the story is more important than the skills. I hear all the hooting and hollering, I hear you calling me 'an old fool', a 'classroom dinosaur', etc. I have a short response but the words are not exactly literary. I fear that attempts to make us all the same have a cult-like ring. Of course, I could be wrong. It would not be the first time. So, here we go with a story. There is a ship, the Scourge, resting ghost-like on the bottom of Lake Ontario not far from the most densely-populated part of Canada. It sank mysteriously on the night of August 8, 1813, and was forgotten until in 1973, St. Catharines dentist Dan Nelson read an old naval log book. On that fateful night in 1813, Captain Yeo noted the becalmed location of his fleet and the US enemy fleet. "Light breezes variable, very warm weather. At 5 o'clock the 40 mile creek bore SSW distance about 8 miles, wind southerly. Saw the enemy squadron bearing E by S about four or five leagues, " With side scan sonar the Scourge was found, almost perfectly preserved on the empty lake bottom. Dan Nelson never got the credit he deserved for this discovery of the Scourge and the Hamilton. Images of the Scourge are ghostly. Her masthead standing guard in the blackness. Enough to raise the hackles on the back of your neck. The masthead is a carved replica of Horatio Nelson, victor of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Nelson's image is still there, almost perfect. Why is a British masthead bolted to an American naval ship in the war of 1812 when Britain was the enemy? The masthead of the Scourge Questions like this make the grave of the Scourge fascinating. The Scourge was built in Niagara on the Lake in 1811 as a cargo schooner, not a warship. The Scourge was captured by an American naval ship and converted into an American warship of sorts by strapping down a dozen heavy iron cannons onto her deck: four six-pounders and six four-pounders, along with all their gear. Heavy stuff, it does seem likely that the cannons helped her along to the bottom of the lake. One of the cannons of the Scourge that didn't roll around The story of the Scourge is intertwined with the story of one man, Ned Myers. Without Ned, we would know little about that fateful night of August 8, 1813. He was one of the few survivors of the sinking of the Scourge in 1813 when a rogue wave sent the armed schooner to the bottom of Lake Ontario where it now sits as one of our National Heritage sites, like the Edmund Fitzgerald and the recently found Franklin flagship. You will never see these ships. They are located in watery graveyards. Most of Ned's crewmates are strewn around the brooding wreck in the darkness 300 feet down. Ned was just a kid really when she went down. He awoke and sensed that something was wrong. So dark he could not see across the gun deck. "Rain coming, I think," he told his friend Tom, also awake. "I'm going to slip down and get a nip of whisky." When he returned topside with the bottle, all hell broke loose. The stillness of the black night was suddenly charged with flashes of lightning, torrential rain and a death wave from nowhere. The Scourge tilted over, way over. Water rushed in the open hatches. Many crew members were pinned beneath the rolling cannons that were strapped down haphazardly. His friends were sleeping cheek to jowl below deck and had no chance to get through the hatch when the water poured in, the hatch not big enough for two men to get through. RAPPORT FALL 2014 17 RAPPORT FALL 201417

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