By Patrick Oldendorf - Journal Star
A replica of Christopher Columbus' famous ship will be dropping anchor in Peoria next month.
The Nina has stopped in Chillicothe and Peoria several times in the last 15 years, but this year the wooden, sea-going vessel is back - this time with its sister ship, the Pinta.
The replica ships will dock from July 9 to July 12 at the RiverPlex landing adjacent to the Spirit of Peoria.
"Little children love scrambling around the ships, and school-aged children study Columbus and his ships," said A.J. Sanger, a spokesman for the Columbus Fund. "Older people can appreciate and admire the work that went into building (the ships) ... and think about how small (it was) for men to go to sea in."
The Nina was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools in Bahia, Brazil, in 1992, the 500th anniversary of Columbus' entry into the new world. Archaeology magazine dubbed it "The most historically correct Columbus replica ever built."
The boat is 93 1/2 feet long and about 52 feet tall and was featured in the film "1492."