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      A look inside the historic Flagship Niagara

      It's all hands on deck, onboard the US Flagship Niagara. The ship hails from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and earlier this month, the historic ship made its way to the Upper Peninsula.

      Captain Wesley Heerssen has been at Niagara's helm for over a decade and has spent that time educating people on the ship's place in history.

      "Our mission is to preserve the story of the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812 and that happened in September of 1813," said Heerssen. "The ship is an exact replica of the one built in 1813, and it takes 46 crew members for it to sail all across the Great Lakes and as far north as Canada."

      Only a small number of the Niagara crew are professional staff. The rest of the current crew are seasonal apprentices, volunteers, and college students.

      A team of scientists are also onboard conducting oceanographic experiments, testing for plastics in the Great Lakes.

      Despite the crew's diversity, all able-bodies must tackle 200 lines of rope to hoist 15 sails that keep the 300-ton ship moving.

      "These sailing ships are a perfect laboratory for teaching teamwork and camaraderie, the importance of getting along within the community of the ship," Heerssen said.

      Cliffs Natural Resources paid for the Niagara to sail into Marquette with great fanfare, a symbolic tribute for the centennial anniversary of the Upper Harbor Ore Dock.

      "The boat is fantastic, very big, very historical," said Jennifer Huetter, a spokeswoman for Cliffs. "I think it's very true to the year of 1812, so it's very neat to see the crew working on the ship. They're even allowing us to get our hands dirty, so we're able to be a part of that as well."

      Andrew Burdick, 12, was one of several kids invited by Cliffs for the day-sail, and judging by his beaming smile, he didn't mind when the crew put him to work.

      "I've been on fishing boats, that's mostly it," said Burdick. "It's an awesome ride, I thought."

      The flagship Niagara is currently sailing from Detroit to Ohio where it's sure to kick up a wave of attention.ã??