HMS General Hunter Shipwreck Exhibit at the Welland Museum

The recently-discovered hull of a War of 1812 shipwreck will be the centerpiece of a new virtual reality themed exhibit, set to dock at the Welland Museum.

On April 12 from 2-4 p.m., media are invited to a special preview of the HMS General Hunter Shipwreck Exhibit, which officially opens to the public on April 14.

“We are thrilled to have this prestigious and historical piece of our military past at the museum,” said Museum Manager Penny Morningstar. “The General Hunter played a very active role in the War of 1812 as part of the British/Canadian squadron on the Upper Great Lakes,” Morningstar said. “It was shipwrecked, with its remnants found half-buried in a beach during the last decade. Ultimately, what’s left of the General Hunter has made its way to our museum as a fascinating fighting relic from a turning-point in Canadian-American history.”

Prior to being shipwrecked, the brig took part in numerous engagements, including the capture of Detroit, before being lost to the U.S. Navy in the famous Battle of Lake Erie in 1813. After the war, the ship ended her days as a U.S. Army transport vessel when she came ashore in a violent Lake Huron gale on August 19, 1816.  The shipwreck was discovered on the beach in Southampton, Ontario, in 2001 and was fully excavated in 2004.

“The Welland Museum exhibit showcases quite a fascinating saga,” said Museum Chair Greg D’Amico.

“It tells the story of General Hunter’s actions in the War of 1812, the discovery of the wreck on the Southampton Beach by Lake Huron, the archaeological excavation of the hull and, after years of research, the identification of the hull as HMS General Hunter. The museum has never previously showcased an exhibit like this.”

The exhibit, which continues until the end of December, includes: virtual reality experiences with interactive 3D replicas of the exterior and interior of the ship; videos of the ship in action at the famous Battle of Lake Erie; interpretive panels covering the discovery, excavation and identification of HMS General Hunter; and a specially-constructed replica of the hull. The gallery will also feature a look at other shipwrecks on the Great Lakes.  The exhibit is on loan from the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre.

The official exhibition opening of the HMS General Hunter is April 14, 2018 at 1 p.m. All are welcome to the public opening where light refreshments will be served.


WHAT and WHERE: Media are invited to a special preview of the HMS General Hunter Shipwreck Exhibit at the Welland Museum, 140 King St., Welland. The museum phone number is 905-732-2215.

WHEN: Thursday, April 12 from 2-4 p.m.

PARKING: The museum offers free parking for all museum patrons in the attached parking lot. Please obtain your parking pass at reception.