The Applewood Manor was completed in 1912 by Army Captain John Adams Perry. Captain Perry lived in the home until his death in 1936. He was the descendant of a long line of heroic military figures who played important roles in our country’s history. One of those was the Congressional medal of honor recipient, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. He was born in Rhode Island in 1785 into a family already with a history of accomplished navy men.
By the age of fourteen, Hazard was a commissioned midshipman on his father’s ship. By age 27 he was a seasoned commissioned Army lieutenant. The United States placed the young Lieutenant in command the U.S. forces on Lake Erie. It was the beginning of the War of 1812. Hazard Perry traveled to Erie, Pennsylvania where he commissioned carpenters to build a fleet of ships. Within a year, he had nine ships. And had assembled a force of about five hundred men to serve under him.
In September, 1813, Perry confronted the British fleet controlling the Great Lakes. The British expected an easy victory over the untested Americans. On September 10, 1813, the Battle of Lake Erie took place. Early in the battle, the British destroyed of the two ships Perry had brought into the battle. Perry transferred the disabled ship’s flag to his second ship, the Niagara, and turned the battle. Heavy cannon fire had render the British unable to effectively fight the Niagara which rammed the British lead ship and its sailors fought on with rifles. Eventually the British lowered their flag and surrendered to Lieutenant Perry gaining control of the Great Lakes for this country.
Oliver Hazard Perry in a communication sent to General William Henry Harrison wrote, “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.” After the War of 1812, Perry received the medal of honor from the United States Congress. Hazard Perry continued with his military service rising in rank and commanding ships in the Mediterranean and the West Indies. Unfortunately, while in the West Indies, he contracted yellow fever and died in 1819, still in his thirties.