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Lawrence Tech canoe leads Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary flotilla

Release Date: October 2, 2008



WHAT: A Lawrence Technological University team that canoed from Detroit to Pittsburgh by canoe in 2005 is returning to lead the Port of Pittsburgh Commission's Three Rivers 250th Flotilla Cruise. Event organizers wanted a replica canoe with paddlers in historic costumes to lead the flotilla, and the Lawrence Tech team had built a 24-foot-long replica of the type of birch-bark canoe used by fur traders in the 1700s.

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 4, 9:30-11 a.m. The team and the replica canoe will be a Point State Park for several hours after the flotilla ends.

WHERE:  Downtown Pittsburgh at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers.

WHO: A group of Lawrence Tech students - now alumni - and professors commemorated another historic event from the French and Indian War by retracing a 500-mile trip by canoe that included a 14-mile portage from Lake Erie to a tributary of the Allegheny River. The Lawrence Tech group followed the route taken by French forces from the fort in Detroit to fight in the 1755 Battle of the Monongahela where the French and their Indian allies defeated forces led by British General Edward Braddock. The Lawrence Tech students utilized engineering software and modern materials to recreate a modern replica of the "canot du nord" that the French used to control the Great Lakes region. (See attachments.) For information, contact faculty advisor Andy Gerhart at (248) 982-6648.

WHY: Pittsburgh is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the arrival in 1758 of British General John Forbes, Col. George Washington and their British and colonial troops, who took possession of French Fort Duquesne at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers. They constructed Fort Pitt and started the settlement of Pittsburgh that became known as the "Gateway to the West." To kick off a two-month celebration, the Port of Pittsburgh Commission has organized a flotilla as a symbolic reenactment of the arrival of British and colonial troops that led to the founding of the city.

Lawrence Technological University,, offers over 80 undergraduate, master's and doctoral degree programs in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management. Founded in 1932, the 4,500-student, private university pioneered evening classes 75 years ago, and today has a growing number of weekend and online programs. Lawrence Tech's 102-acre campus is in Southfield, with education centers in Lansing, Livonia, Clinton Township, Traverse City and Petoskey. Lawrence Tech also offers programs with partner universities in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.