The Hamilton and Scourge were merchant vessels built before the war in Oswego, New York and Niagara respectively and designed to carry cargo for the Lake Ontario trade. Both ships were acquired by the United States Navy and re-fit as warships. This involved adding cannons, more sails and other small changes. Both ships were sunk on August 8, 1813 during a sudden storm on Lake Ontario. Now resting in approximately 300 feet of water on the bottom of the lake they remain remarkably well preserved after 200 years. The vessels were discovered in 1973, became a National Historic Site of Canada in 1976 and have been owned and managed by the City of Hamilton since 1980. Five official underwater surveys captured the photographic and sonar imagery that forms the basis of the tour
We invite you to click on the links to explore the two ships, learn about their histories and the items found on the wrecks.