Hamilton Civic Museums

Hamilton & Scourge National Historic Site

All Hamilton Civic Museums, except Whitehern Historic House & Garden and the Hamilton Children’s Museum, are open to the public offering modified programming. Admission tickets must be obtained in advance online (see "Buy Online" link) and are non-refundable and non-transferable. Visitors reserving tickets through the Library Pass program are required to present their admission ticket and library card upon arrival. Guests must adhere to social distancing guidelines and the use of facemasks is required. High-touch areas are frequently disinfected and hand sanitizer is available throughout your visit.

All sites are accepting venue rental bookings based on availability and in compliance with current Provincial social distancing and other COVID-19 related guidelines at the time. Tourism Industry Association of Ontario's SafeTravels Stamp

Hamilton Civic Museums have been awarded a #SafeTravels Stamp, which is recognized globally for adopting proper, standardized health and hygiene protocols.


The Hamilton and Scourge were initially named the Diana and the Lord Nelson respectively, before the War of 1812. They 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. 

Long before the sinking of the Titanic, the Hamilton and the Scourge, capsized in Lake Ontario in 1813. Today, these unique shipwrecks are the only complete 1812 warships in the world and rest under 300 feet of water. Using first-hand accounts and sonar technology, these wrecks have been found and investigated.

360° Virtual TourEnjoy a 360° virtual tour of the Hamilton & Scourge Warships

Test your knowledge of Hamilton with our Hamilton Civic Museums’ Crossword


Event Listings

The City of Hamilton's Role

Legislation Protecting the Wrecks

The City of Hamilton Act, 1979, enabled the City to pass by-laws relating to all aspects of the study, raising, display and restoration of the Hamilton and Scourge as well as their artifacts.

Ownership
Ownership was still with the United States Navy until 1978 when it was transferred to the City of Hamilton by Congress through the Royal Ontario Museum. The City of Hamilton stepped in and assumed title to the wrecks at that time largely due to the enthusiasm of the then Mayor John A. MacDonald and Alderman William M. McCulloch.