Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Vermilion anchor

A grand anchor sits outside the Inland Seas Maritime Museum, Vermilion, Ohio. It is a beautiful object: historical, craftsmanship, aesthetic. It is art, most publicly displayed near the western end of the south shore of Lake Erie. Compare this with the FREE stamp some miles to the east. The latter is modern sculpture, but it is not real; it is realistic, it is many times larger model of a small piece of office supply. The anchor supra served real usage for its form. The Cleveland Monument was never meant to be used. It could be, if the letters were inked. It would have to be then lifted by crane to leave an impression, or one could press the paper against it; which would be far more easy and practical, but not the normal pattern of usage of the genuine object.

This anchor is a form of the traditional fisherman's or admiralty pattern. The cross arm, the stock, is a barrel. It is four staves bound by four iron hoops. Its fat center is bored to hold the shank. A shackle with chain is at one end, at the other is a rounded crown arm with a pair of flukes, and peas.

Vermilion is a small town that sits in two counties, Erie to the west, and Lorain to the east. The French translated the name of an indian river, that was dubbed for the red clay on its banks.

Now in the second half of the 17th century, the French had this are as part of Huronia. Huronia was the area about the Great Lakes where the French had indian missions. The Indians about this area included the Shawnee, Chippewas, Ottawas, Wyandottes, Huron, and of course, the Erie. The first Masses in Ohio were said here. Overall, this area was little visited by the French, and little recorded. Vermilion might have been, one day, a first provincial capital of an Erie province. This was lost on the Plains of Abraham.

During the American War for Independence, the generals Benedict Arnold, and William Tryon burned some eight towns in Connecticut in 1779 and '81. In 1792 the Connecticut Assembly granted a portion of its Western Reserve to these fire-sufferers. These lands were called the Fire Lands. Vermilion is on its eastern point. Most of the territory has become the Ohio counties of Huron and Erie.

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