From a wooden ship hull found buried on a Lake Huron beach, comes a Canadian nautical showcase with a virtual reality experience.

The HMS General Hunter was a Royal Navy brig involved in numerous actions during the War of 1812, including the vital capture of Detroit. In 1813, during the famous Battle of Lake Erie, General Hunter and the other five vessels in the British/Canadian Upper Lakes Squadron were all captured by the U.S. Navy.

After the war, General Hunter became a U.S. Army transport ship and ended her days when she was pushed ashore in a fierce Lake Huron gale in August 1816. In 2001, frame-tips from General Hunter’s hull were discovered pushing up through the sand on a beach at present-day Southampton, Ontario. Over the course of three years, the hull of the ship was archaeologically excavated and documented then reburied in the stable environment of the wet sand beach. A major HMS General Hunter exhibit was opened at the Bruce County Museum in Southampton in 2012 and central elements of that exhibit are now on loan to the Welland Museum as part of the new exhibit.

The Welland Museum is set to tell the HMS General Hunter story through the rest of this year. The exhibit combines the archaeological material from the wreck itself, with new augmented reality and virtual reality experiences that include 3D replicas of the ship and videos of it in action.

The exhibit also includes an important section of two other famous War of 1812 shipwrecks, Hamilton and Scourge, which still sit upright 300 feet (92 metres) deep on the bottom of Lake Ontario off Port Dalhousie.  More information about Hamilton and Scourge can be found by following this link: http://1812tour.hamilton.ca/