Winning the Second Battle of Lake Erie
By David R. Miller, Associate Editor
Photo by Rob Luscombe
For as long as anyone can remember, American military forces have always fought in faraway locales, but the echo of cannons defending against invading armies and navies can still be heard today. The sound resonates in the boundaries that define our nation and in the abundance of natural resources found within. These lines did not simply appear on a map and they were often drawn in blood. Such was the case in 1813, when Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry defeated the Great Britain’s Royal Navy in the Battle of Lake Erie, thereby ensuring American control of the lake. This significant battle, along with the lasting peace between Britain, Canada and the United States, was commemorated with the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, a National Park Service site in Putin-Bay, Ohio. Substantially completed in 1915, the 352-foot structure is the world’s largest Doric column and the third tallest national monument in the United States.
A massive structural preservation effort is currently underway to restore the monument. The work is being contracted to the National Park Service through their Denver Service Center and was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Key members of the team that is currently fighting the Second Battle of Lake Erie to restore this iconic structure include general contractor The Christman Company, Lansing; architect Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Northbrook, IL; stone rehabilitation contractor Booms Stone Co., Redford; waterproofing and sheet metal contractor C.A.S.S. Sheetmetal Specialists, Detroit; MI and scaffolding contractor Universal Builders Supply (UBS), New Rochelle, NY.