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On 8 August 1813, during the War of 1812, two American Armed Merchant Schooners, the USS HAMILTON & the USS SCOURGE, sank in a squall on Lake Ontario with the loss of fifty-three lives, the largest single loss of life by the United States Navy during the War of 1812. The story was told by James Fenimore Cooper in his biography, Ned Myers; or A Life Before the Mast, published in 1843.

The ships were discovered 160 years later, stricken off the USN Naval Vessel Register in 1979 and transferred to the Royal Ontario Museum and since 1980 have been owned and managed by the City of Hamilton.

The ships and their crews are commemorated since 1983 in a War of 1812 Naval Memorial Garden at Confederation Park, 680 Van Wagners Beach Road  (N 43° 14.914 W 079° 45.192).  In front of each of the 53 markers is another one inscribed “In Honor of Service in the War of 1812”, placed by an American organization called National Society United States Daughters of 1812 (NSUSD 1812) 

The city holds an annual Memorial Ceremony close to the date of the sinking each year.


Sunken Sunset Exhibit:

City of Hamilton Hamilton & Scourge page:

Hamilton Military Museum:

Hamilton & Scourge Naval Memorial Garden, Confederation Park:

Commemorative Headstones
In Hono(u)r of Service in the War of 1812