Press Release: September 16, 2013
Contact: Mike Bristol, Great Lakes Seaway Trail, 315-646-1000 x202
Great Lakes Seaway Trail Project Manager Lynette Lundy-Beck, 315-646-1000 x203
New War of 1812 Guide Invites Travelers to NY-PA Byways
Great Lakes Seaway Trail, NY-PA – Travelers interested in America’s War of 1812 history now have a new 72-page, richly-illustrated guidebook to lead them to historic sites in New York and Pennsylvania. Seaway Trail, Inc., Sackets Harbor, NY, has published Waterways of War: The War of 1812, A Traveler’s Guide to the War of 1812 Forts, Battlefields and Historic Sites along America’s Byways in New York and Pennsylvania by Steve Benson and Ron Toelke.
The book highlights sites on two federally-designated National Scenic Byways -- the 518-mile Great Lakes Seaway Trail along the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie in New York and Pennsylvania, and the 225-mile Lakes to Locks Passage along Lake Champlain and the Hudson River in New York.
‘History underpins a major economic tourism engine for New York State. This new guidebook from Seaway Trail, Inc. prompts consumer interest in visiting our fabulous heritage sites. New York’s National Scenic Byways create unique pathways for travelers to discover sites from one of the oldest (1797) homes in Plattsburgh to the storied War of 1812 battlefield in Sackets Harbor, well-kept forts in Oswego and Youngstown, and the Watervliet Arsenal,’ says New York State Senator Betty Little, chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation.
The Midwest Book Review says ‘Beautifully illustrated with full-color artwork and photography throughout, Waterways of War: The War of 1812 is a brief but enlightening traveler's guide to forts, battlefields, and historic sites in New York and Pennsylvania that are related to the War of 1812 (in which America battled Britain over grievances such as Britain's practice of forcibly drafting American sailors to serve in Britain's navy). Accessible to readers of all backgrounds, Waterways of War provides a basic overview of the war's history, and is peppered throughout with amazing true-life vignettes about assorted locations, memorials, and crucial battles. A timeline and a list of resources round out this informative and fascinating resource, ideal for armchair travelers, or as a sightseeing guidebook and souvenir for military history enthusiasts! Also highly recommended is Waterways of War: The French & Indian War (a companion title from Seaway Trail, Inc.).’
Sixteen community-specific chapters highlight historic 1812 sites in Erie, PA; and Buffalo, Lewiston, Youngstown, Rochester, Pultneyville, Sodus Point, Oswego, Sandy Creek, Sackets Harbor, Clayton, Alexandria Bay, Ogdensburg, Massena, Plattsburgh, Troy and Greenbush, NY.
‘The journey to open fields where battles were won and lost, to the waters where brigs and sloops of war volleyed cannon fire and created shipwrecks for today’s scuba divers, and to the cities that sprang up in a free and independent America is what byways are all about – unique it-only-happened-here experiences that must be enjoyed in person,’ said Great Lakes Seaway Trail President and CEO Mike Bristol.
‘Lakes to Locks Passage is pleased to partner with the Great Lakes Seaway Trail to foster public interest, knowledge and investigation into the rich history and heritage of New York’s byways. The routes the byways follow take travelers through regions that were and still are significant American landscapes,’ Lakes to Locks Passage Executive Director Janet Kennedy said.
Walter P. Rybka, senior captain of the U.S. Brig Niagara based at the Great Lakes Seaway Trail port of Erie, PA, wrote the introduction. Early chapters offer a 16-page overview of the war and the Great Lakes Seaway Trail and Lakes to Locks Passage byways.
Written in easy-to-read vignette style, Waterways of War: The War of 1812 includes many stories, e.g., a description of the real ‘Uncle Sam’ and the battle fireworks behind the The Star-Spangled Banner, plus a timeline, how-to tips for historic re-enactors, and a books and websites resource section.
Noted maritime artist Peter Rindlisbacher provided his painting of ‘The Oneida off Sackets Harbor’ for the cover. War of 1812 artifacts collector Robert Bodnoff contributed many of the historic images among 132 colorful illustrations and photos and 11 maps. The guidebook that retails for $14.95 is available at historic sites and through www.seawaytrail.com.
Seaway Trail, Inc. has just released the second printing of a companion book, Waterways of War: The Struggle for Empire 1754-1763, A Traveler’s Guide to the Forts and Battlefields along America’s Byways in New York and Pennsylvania.
Federal Highway Administration funding administered through the New York State Department of Transportation to Seaway Trail, Inc. supported the development of the heritage theme guidebooks and a series of War of 1812 and French and Indian War Great Lakes Seaway Trail ‘Outdoor Storyteller’ interpretive panels installed at historic sites along the byway.
For more information, contact Seaway Trail, Inc. at 315-646-1000 x203, www.seawaytrail.com.
Waterways of War: The War of 1812, A Traveler’s Guide to the War of 1812 Forts, Battlefields and Historic Sites along America’s Byways in New York and Pennsylvania is dedicated to the late Teresa Mitchell, the first President and CEO of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, for her visionary leadership that helped establish the byway as a major tourism destination and one of the leading National Scenic Byways in North America.
The book was edited by Nicholas Westbrook, Fort Ticonderoga Executive Director Emeritus, Vice Chair of the NYS French and Indian War 250th Anniversary Commemoration Committee.
Waterways of War: The War of 1812 includes mention of approximately 14 War of 1812 destination points in Canada.
Among those contributing information, images and assistance to the book project:
American Naval Records Society
Buffalo and Erie County, NY, Historical Society
Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau
Cayuga County, NY, Office of Tourism
Chautauqua County, NY, Visitors Bureau
Columbia County, NY, Historical Society
Erie County, PA, Maritime Museum
Fort La Presentation Association, Ogdensburg, NY
Fort Ontario State Historic Site, Oswego, NY
Greater Rochester, NY, Visitors Association
Hamilton Military Museum/Hamilton & Scourge National Historic Site, Hamilton, Ontario
Historic Palmyra, Palmyra, NY
Historic Sodus Point, Sodus Point, NY
Kent-Delord House Museum, Plattsburgh
Lakes to Locks Passage Executive Director Janet Kennedy
Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation
Niagara County Historian Catherine L. Emerson
Old Fort Niagara, Youngstown, NY
Orleans County, NY, Tourism Office
Oswego County, NY, Department of Promotion and Tourism
Plattsburgh City Historian John W. Krueger, Ph.D.
Potsdam Public Museum, Potsdam, NY
RiverBrink Art Museum, Queenston, Ontario
Robert McNamara/The Art of Wilderness
Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, Sackets Harbor, NY
St. Lawrence County, NY, Chamber of Commerce
The Button Monger
Thousand Islands International Tourism Council
Two Guys and a Camera
Wayne County, NY, Tourism Office