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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

H.M.S. Tecumseth Centre opens at Discovery Harbour

Discovery Harbour costumed staff (left to right) Roch Robitaille, Jodi Edmunds, and Larry Ford preview the impressive new H.M.S. Tecumseth Centre at Discovery Harbour. 
(News Release)

PENETANGUISHENE -- The dynamic H.M.S. Tecumseth Centre will open to the public on Monday, August 19 at Discovery Harbour, offering visitors a world-class facility that showcases the original 1815 hull of H.M.S. Tecumseth.

As well, there are dynamic themed exhibits surrounding the history of the Penetanguishene Naval Establishment including its relationship to the War of 1812.

The original 1815 hull was pulled from Penetanguishene Bay in 1953 but has not had a climate controlled permanent home until now.  After stabilization and preparation, the 1815 hull of H.M.S. Tecumseth was carefully moved into its new home in June.
Final exhibits and building details were then completed and installed.  The hull move was also documented and can be viewed by visitors on a touchscreen in the new gallery.

The new exhibits in the H.M.S. Tecumseth Centre display numerous artifacts from the site’s 19th century history including the original 1815 clear-glass deck lights from H.M.S. Tecumseth plus a wide array of intriguing items including a powder flask, period coins, a brass platter stamped with the King’s mark, compasses, a carronade, a ship’s anchor, and even a rum bottle and flask.

Key historical personalities associated with the site’s history are also explored, including Naval Hydrographer Henry Bayfield, Captain Samuel Roberts, and Chief Tecumseh.  The new H.M.S. Tecumseth Centre offers a superb visitor experience and is a “must-see” highlight at Discovery Harbour.  The attraction and the H.M.S. Tecumseth Centre will also be open into September on a Thursday to Sunday schedule, September 5-8 and 12-15.

The exhibit was funded in part by the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, 1812 Commemoration Fund.  The Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport provided funding for the construction of the H.M.S. Tecumseth Centre, stabilization of the 1815 Tecumseth hull, and the permanent exhibit.  A grand (VIP) opening event for the Centre is scheduled for early next Spring, 2014.

“When opened, the new H.M.S. Tecumseth Centre will be unique in Canada and will truly serve as a dynamic visitor area to permanently showcase the site’s 19th century story and its ties with the history of Penetanguishene, the region, and other heritage sites throughout Ontario”, noted Jan Gray, General Manager of Huronia Historical Parks.   

The opening of the H.M.S. Tecumseth Centre is also an added new feature to the exciting regional TALL SHIPS ® 1812 Tour Event on August 24-25, supported by the Government of Ontario.  As part of the event, Discovery Harbour will welcome the American Tall Ships Lynx and Friends Good Will to the King’s Wharf for public touring. Over the weekend, great musicians including Canadian folk artists Tamarack, Ariko, Jill et les BĂ»cherons, Vince Therrien, and The Salty Sailor Singers will perform and delight crowds at Discovery Harbour.

 “Every season Discovery Harbour educates, enlightens and entertains residents and visitors alike about the rich heritage and history of our people and our province.  Our Government is proud to partner with Huronia Historical Parks and support marquee War of 1812 Bicentennial commemorations throughout Ontario like the TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour.  The opening of the new H.M.S. Tecumseth Centre will showcase the Penetanguishene Naval Establishment that played a critical role in the development of our nation while adding an innovative new attraction for generations of Ontarians to explore and experience.”
-Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

The best buy for the TALL SHIPS ® 1812 Tour Event is the “Passport” at $18.00 per person which allows on-board access to the Tall Ships at Discovery Harbour, the Port of Penetanguishene, and the Port of Midland on August 24-25.   Passports are now available for sale at the admissions areas of Discovery Harbour and Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, as well as the Midland Tourist Information Centre at Town Dock, the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre in Midland, Penetanguishene Town Hall, and the Penetanguishene Tourist Information Centre.

For further information visit hhp.on.ca, or call 705 526-7838.

Discovery Harbour is operated by Huronia Historical Parks,
and is an Attraction of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.


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