Summer Appeal 2017

Posted on July 12th, 2017

The Shipwreck Society is pleased to announce the 2017 Summer Appeal!

This is one of two appeals conducted each year by the Society, to ask our members and friends for contributions related to Capital Improvement work at the Shipwreck Museum site, Whitefish Point Light Station, Whitefish Point, Michigan. The site has been on the National Register of Historic Sites since 1973.

Members will received a hardcopy appeal packet in their US Mail. However, those wishing to contribute to this important fundraiser may do so by visiting our 2017 Summer Appeals Donation page.

Projects that need funding in 2017 include:

Please be aware that this request comes in addition to the 2017 Annual Appeal which will launch this coming November.   Summer Appeal gifts for operational purposes are also welcome.

Motor Lifeboat House Rehabilitation

A brand-new capital project for 2017 is construction of an Exhibit Deck for seasonal outdoor display of the 36-foot USCG Motor Lifeboat.  Located at the north end of the now-restored Motor Lifeboat house, the Motor Lifeboat will be stored inside during the off-season, on the original rail system used by the Coast Guard – and quite possibly pulled in by the original Wisconsin winch engine still inside the building.


Motor Lifeboat Rehabilitation

Our Type TR USCG 36-foot Motor Lifeboat is currently undergoing active restoration at Mertaugh Boat Works of Hessel, MI.  The Shipwreck Society plans to coordinate its completion with construction of the Exhibit Deck at the north end of the Motor Lifeboat House.

Lightkeepers Quarters Exterior Restoration

Lightkeepers quarters 1This historic 156-year old building is undergoing deck replacement, new painting, and roof repair this summer of 2017.  Work continues on replacement of each of its 26 window frames, sills, and muntins.  Restoration is also taking place with deck railings, spindles, and steps.  Funds are still needed to assist with continuous historic preservation.

White Shoal Lens New Rotational Bearing

White shoal lens 1Our members are likely aware that the spectacular White Shoal Lens Exhibit – the same lens that was used in the famous White Shoal Lighthouse at the top of Lake Michigan from 1910 to 1982 – actually rotated in the museum gallery until 2000, when it was necessary to remove the mercury from the lens that had allowed it to rotate since its construction in Paris in 1910.  This project continues, to fabricate a specially made steel bearing assembly, so that this 2nd Order Lens – the largest ever used on the Great Lakes – can again rotate and light the Museum Gallery with its beacon.

White shoal lens 2

Underwater Research Activities


All systems on the Shipwreck Society’s R.V. David Boyd are fully operational and serviceable.  This summer, the Society plans to carry forth an expedition to the Keweenaw Peninsula to continue a search for the most famous of historic shipwrecks on Lake Superior: Two brand-new WWI Minesweepers lost in a storm on November 24, 1918, on their way to France from the Canada Car Company of Fort William, Ontario.


The Mission of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society is to:

Preserve lights and stations which warned mariners of the  dangers inherent,
Honor those who were aboard and who bravely attempted rescue, and
Discover, document, and interpret vessels which instead took the deep

Administrative: US Weather Bureau Building 400 W. Portage Avenue, Sault Ste Marie, MI 49783 906-635-1742 Toll Free Phone: 800-635-1742
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum - Whitefish Point 18335 N. Whitefish Point Road, Paradise, MI 49768 888-492-3747 Contact Us