The Hamilton & Scourge National Historic Site

The Hamilton and Scourge were initially named the Diana and the Lord Nelson respectively, before the War of 1812. The two vessels were merchant schooners; the Lord Nelson was originally a British ship and the Diana was American. The Lord Nelson was built at Niagara, Upper Canada, and was launched on May 1, 1811. The Diana was built in Oswego, New York, and was launched in 1809.

The Hamilton and Scourge were not large specialized war vessels; instead, they were simple merchant ships that were pressed into service for the American Navy just prior to the War of 1812. When pressed into service for the American Navy, the 76-ton Hamilton was armed with eight 18-pound carronades and one 12-pound long gun on a pivot mount, while the 45-ton Scourge was armed with four 6-pound cannons and four 4-pound cannons.

Both vessels foundered in Lake Ontario during a sudden squall just after midnight on August 8, 1813. Today, these vessels rest under 300 feet of water.

War of 1812 Bicentennial - Pathways to Peace
The 2012-2014 Bicentennial of the War of 1812 will mark the 200th anniversary of significant military activity in Hamilton. The City of Hamilton will mark the War of 1812 Bicentennial with commemorative events and activities. Visit this site often for event information.  


Life on the Lake in 1812

Lost in the Storm

Underwater archaeology

Inside the Dive

Preservation and Protection

Contact Us

Site Map


Virtual History - Visit the Hamilton Civic Museums to learn more about upcoming special events and exhibitions.

Support provided by the Government of Canada - The archaeology of this site was made possible by the generous support of Parks Canada.

Visiting Ontario - When you plan your trip to Hamilton Civic Museums, see what else Ontario has to offer.