September 23, 2014

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Sails hoisted for bicentennial hurrah


STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

The US Brig Niagara enters the Lorain harbor at the mouth of the Black River. 

LORAIN — Four white sails glide across Lorain’s blue sky.

White foam erupts around the stern as waves break all around the wood frame.

The U.S. Brig Niagara, a tall ship from Erie, Pa., sailed into Lorain harbor Friday afternoon so its deck can be overrun by residents hoping to catch a glimpse of history.

The ship will be available for tours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the city’s “A Taste of History” celebration, which is the kickoff event for the Black River Bicentennial celebration that will start next weekend in honor of Lorain’s first settlement. But before all the bicentennial hoopla, “A Taste of History” will tantalize taste buds with drink and food today at Black River Landing.

“A Taste of History” also will feature tours of the Lorain Lighthouse, a wine tasting featuring five Ohio wineries and an antique show sponsored by the Black River Historical Society.

Celebration schedule
• 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Fourth annual antique show, Antiques on the River, $3 per person.
• 1 to 5 p.m. — Wine tasting, featuring five Ohio wineries, $10 for five samples.
• 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Tours of the tall ship, US Brig Niagara.
• 6 to 8 p.m. — Colin Dussault band

Music by the Colin Dussault blues band will provide a melodic nightcap to the festivities from 6 to 8 p.m.

The celebration is in honor of Lorain’s first settlement, when Nathan Perry, the area’s first permanent settler, established a trading post at the mouth of the Black River in 1807. It was from that small commercial enterprise that a city of 68,000 grew.

A community of pioneers built a settlement around a little green acre of land, originally known as “Public Square.” It was from the north corner of this little square that a town was plotted in 1834. The bicentennial celebration will take place in that square, now known as Veterans Park, on Aug. 25 and 26.

Contact Adam Wright at 653-6257 or awright@chroniclet.com.