Snow and ice didn’t keep Gillian Davies, 17, of Euclid, Ohio, from driving to Erie this morning to help get the U.S. Brig Niagara shipshape for the Battle of Lake Erie bicentennial.
It did stop her from helping to remove the wooden frame that had held the ship’s winter coat.
The ship’s crew had hoped to remove the frame this morning but instead will wait for better weather. The ship’s canvas covering was removed Friday and had frozen on pallets overnight.
“The weather, unfortunately, isn’t cooperating,” said David Goldman, the ship’s third mate and engineer.
About 50 volunteers and crew instead brought the Niagara’s boats out of storage, stowed the canvas in their place, and performed other chores.
Davies, a high school senior, helped with the heavy lifting. She first saw the Niagara docked at Chicago’s Navy Pier in 2008, “fell in love” with it, and signed on for a two-week sail last summer.
“It was the coolest thing I’ve ever done,” she said.
Davies will sail as an apprentice aboard the Niagara this summer.
Today’s volunteer work session is one of several scheduled to get the Niagara ready for the battle’s bicentennial season.