One of Put-in-Bay’s most popular annual events is the Island Wide Yard Sale. This year it is being held on May 18th. The Yard sale can offer all types of items for every type of buyer. Some sellers offer household items, garden tools, toys, and clothing. Steve and Alina Nemec specialize in Put-in-Bay memorabilia and artifacts. This year, to coincide with the Bicentennial Celebration, Steve and Alina will be offering a large selection of 1913 Centennial Celebration commemorative items in addition to other island collectibles at their table. A couple of the most unique items they will have are two walking sticks made from a timber that was part of Commodore Perry’s Flagship, the Lawrence. The Lawrence did not have the same good fortune to be reconstructed as her sister ship, the Niagara.
Both ships were scuttled in Misery Bay near Erie, PA, to preserve them. The Lawrence was purchased at auction in 1825 by Benjamin H. Brown of Rochester, NY. In 1836 George Miles bought the Lawrence and planned to use it as a merchant’s vessel. The Lawrence was raised and inspected. It was determined the hull was in too poor of condition so it was returned to the bottom of Misery Bay.
In September of 1875, her remains were again raised by Leander Dobbins and Thomas J. Veirs. What was left of the Lawrence
was then cut into sections, loaded onto flatbed rail cars and transported to Philadelphia, PA. The ship was put on display at the U.S.
Centennial International Exhibition of 1876, celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the United States. At this time, the idea of celebrating the ship was turning the wood into something. A small portion of the wood was sold to be made into souvenirs. During the exhibition, the building caught fi re and what had remained of the Lawrence was completely destroyed. For this reason, relics from the Lawrence are extremely rare.
Some of the other 1913 Centennial Celebration of the Battle of Lake Erie items Steve and Alina will have for sale at the yard sale include souvenir china, sterling silver spoons, programs, ruby red glass, a “War of 1812” brand coffee jar and felt pennants. Whether you go to buy or browse this yard sale at 819 Mitchell Road, is a wonderful place to start your shopping on Island Wide Yard Sale Day and it will be time well spent.