Annual Appeal 2013 is Underway
The Shipwreck Society announces that the 2013 Annual Appeal is now underway! Each December, we send out letters to our membership with a simple return envelope, asking members to consider a tax-deductible donation at the end of the year. The Shipwreck Society is a 501 c (3) non-profit corporation, and all contributions are deductible as provided by law.
Please consider our recent progress and accomplishments in 2013:
Moved the historic 1923 U.S. Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat House back on-site
Opened a temporary exhibit gallery, featuring Fitzgerald: Snapshots in Time for 2013
Expanded our Educational Outreach Program
Installed two generators to provide essential emergency power on-site
Considerably increased hours at sea for the R.V. David Boyd
Much work remains to be done, particularly in rehabilitation of the Motor Lifeboat House, and rehabilitation of the U.S. Navy Radio Station Building, which is presently used as our video theatre.
Please watch your mail for your annual contribution request. Alternatively, you may simply click here right now to make your donation online.
Thank you for your support of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society. If you have questions, please call Sean Ley, Development Officer, at 800-635-1742 business hours eastern time.
Great things are happening, and more great things are ahead for the Shipwreck Society!
Remembering the Great Storm of 1913
One hundred years ago this month, what came to be known as the Great Storm of 1913 started its four day surge over the Great Lakes. Composed of two storm fronts, these separate weather systems converged over the (still) relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes resulting in hurricane force winds and blinding snow storms. Intermittent lulls in the storm led many ship captains to believe that the "big blow" was over, and many headed back out into the lakes only to be caught out when the snow and wind blasts returned. After the storm had blown itself out, the Lake Carriers Association reported, "No lake master can recall in all his experience a storm of such unprecedented violence with such rapid changes in the direction of the wind and gusts of such fearful speed..."
When the storm subsided, over 250 sailors had perished and 19 ships had been destroyed.
Northern Michigan CBS affiliate TV 9&10 News has created a three-part documentary to commemorate the storm and its aftermath. See http://www.9and10news.com/story/23896072/great-storm-of-1913-nightmare-on-the-great-lakes for more information.
TV 9&10 Feature Story chronicles the Motor Lifeboat House Move...
The move of the historic Motor Lifeboat House back to Whitefish Point has now been told through TV 9&10, the Northern Michigan CBS television news station. To view, click on link below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVnrq2-_8rA&feature=youtu.be
Annual Fitzgerald Memorial Ceremony, Sunday, November 10 at 7:00 pm
The public is invited to attend the Shipwreck Museum's Annual Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Ceremony, to be held in the museum gallery on Sunday, November 10, beginning at 7 pm.
Each year, on the anniversary of the loss of this most famous of Great Lakes Shipwrecks, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum conducts a respectful commemorative ceremony that includes the Call to the Last Watch, where the ship's bell is rung at this time each year 29 times for each sailor aboard, with a 30th ring for all who have lost their lives on the Great Lakes.
This year's program will be provided by Jim Spurr, President of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, with a new presentation given recently at the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History Conference at Mackinac Island.
The Shipwreck Museum, Video Theatre, Temporary Exhibit Gallery and Shipwreck Coast Museum Store will be open Sunday afternoon from 1 to 5 pm, admission by donation; admission is free to the 7 pm ceremony.
Refreshments will follow the ceremony; please call the Shipwreck Society at 800-635-1742 with questions.
Successful Move of 1923 USCG Motor Lifeboat House
The morning of Tuesday, September 24, 2013, brought sunny skies and perfect conditions for the move of the1923 USCG Motor Lifeboat House back to Whitefish Point. A small crowd gathered to watch and by early afternoon, the historic structure was traveling up Whitefish Point Road and to a new location, situated between the Shipwreck Society's administrative building and the historic USCG Rescue Station Crew's Quarters. While not returned to its exact original location, which is now under water, the structure is back to its original site. Please consider a visit to Whitefish Point and the Shipwreck Museum in 2014 as the restoration of this unique building will get underway next summer. In order to raise funds for its restoration, the Shipwreck Society is hosting the 3rd Annual Whitefish Point: Run for the Light, 5K/10K run-walk this Saturday, October 5, 2013. Please visit the events section of this website for more information or see Active.com to register online. See you there!
Historic Motor Lifeboat House Move Scheduled for Tuesday, September 24, 2013, at 1:00 pm
The 1923 U.S. Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat House will be moved from its present location near the Whitefish Point Harbor of Refuge back to the Whitefish Point Light Station on Tuesday, September 24, between the hours of 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm. Please note that access to and from the Whitefish Point Light Station will be restricted at that time due to the moving of this building along Whitefish Point Road. Visitors to the site should plan accordingly next Tuesday.
The public is welcome to observe the move but all persons are asked to remain at least 500 feet away from the building at all times. Please note that the news media is expected to record the move and we ask those present to allow cameramen priorty access.
Foundation for Motor Lifeboat House Under Construction
One of the more long-awaited and exciting projects at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is happening right now! As of Tuesday morning, September 17, the foundation for the Motor Lifeboat House is nearing completion. This historic building is due to be returned to the Whitefish Point Light Station on September 24. Progress will be documented on our Home Page as often as possible. Funding for this project has been generously provided in part by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Capital Improvement Program. The Motor Lifeboat House will be developed into a theatre and lecture hall facility, under the guidance of the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office.
Ship Ride Raffle Raises $8,700 for Motor Lifeboat House Restoration
On Saturday, August 31, at the Shipwreck Society's Annual Fish Boil, three winning tickets were drawn from a special glass container by Doug Smith of Cadillac, Michigan. The winners are:
Sue Welch, California
Jack Doyle, Minnesota
Diane Noneman, Michigan
Sue and Jack will each bring one person with them for an all-inclusive ride on one of Interlake Steamship Company's Great Lakes Bulk Carrier, at a time to be determined during the 2014 shipping season. Diane has won an overnight stay in the Crews Quarters Building, and the opportunity to act as an alternate for the ship ride if either Sue or Jack cannot attend. We sincerely thank Interlake Steamship for this generous donation, and also sincerely thank all those who purchased raffle tickets for this event! Watch for further enjoyable fundraisers in the future brought to you by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society.
U.S. Senator Carl Levin Visits Shipwreck Museum
Left to right: Bruce Lynn, Executive Director, Senator Carl Levin, Sean Ley, Development Officer
On Friday, August 16, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum was honored to receive U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D - Michigan) for a visit. The Senator said that the purpose of his visit was to enjoy the day and tour the site he had heard about for a long time. The Senator and his staff were instrumental in securing the 2012 Patent Amendment that allows work under the Human Use and Natural Resources Management Plan to proceed
Shipwreck Society Receives Presentation from United States Congressman Dan Benishek
Left to right: Bruce Lynn, Executive Director; Sean Ley, Development Officer; and Congressman Dan Benishek.
On Friday, August 16, U.S. Congressman Dan Benishek (R - MI District 1) visited the Shipwreck Society at the Weather Bureau Building in Sault Sainte Marie. The Congressman presented a signed copy of our 2012 Patent Amendment to Bruce Lynn, Executive Director, and Sean Ley, Development Officer. This federal document is signed by Congressman John Boehner, Speaker of the House; President of the Senate Pro Tempore in June of 2012, the late Senator Daniel Inouye; and the President of the United States, Barack Obama.
We sincerely thank Congressman Benishek, Senator Carl Levin, and their staffs for their extensive work to see this bill (S.404) through to its completion.
Unpublished Photographs of the Edmund Fitzgerald highlight new exhibit in 2013
The S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald was launched on June 7, 1958 at the Great Lakes Engineering Works shipyard at River Rouge, Michigan. For seventeen years, "Big Fitz" was a common sight traveling the upper Great Lakes and passing through the Soo Locks. Many amateur photographers captured this now famous vessel on film and have since shared their images with the Shipwreck Society. These photographs will provide the basis for a new temporary exhibit, S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald: Snapshots in Time.
Scheduled to open in early June 2013, the exhibit illuminates a number of areas of the ship and many of the photos were taken by individuals who traveled as a guest on the ill-fated vessel. Please join us and see this new exhibit! Call 800-635-1742 for more information.
Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs
The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) has supported the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum for many years through a series of cultural grant programs that are designed to promote appreciation of and education in the Fine Arts in Michigan. The Shipwreck Museum is a current recipient of a Program for Operational Support Award for 2013.
A portion of funds received from MCACA come from the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information on cultural programs, please visit http://www.michiganadvantage.org/Arts/.
The Shipwreck Museum Maritime Speaker Series, along with other special events, will continue this summer! A preliminary calendar of events is listed• read more