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"The Salvager: The Life of Captain John Reid on the Great Lakes"

by Mary Francis Doner

 

This long-out-of-print book has been revived for a new generation. First published in 1958, “The Salvager” is both a narrative history of Great Lakes shipping disasters of 1880–1950 and the life story of Captain Thomas Reid, who operated one of the region’s largest salvage companies of that era. Climb aboard as the master salvager works the wrecks of the William C. Moreland, Manitoulin, Francis Widlar, the fire-ravaged Noronic and more. However this is not just a story of ships and sailors. Included are the thoughts of those left behind on shore waiting for their loved ones. Highly recommended. University of Minnesota Press. $21.95.

https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/the-salvager


"Sailing into History: Great Lakes Bulk Carriers of the Twentieth Century and the Crews Who Sailed Them"

by Frank Boles

 

The Great Lakes enjoy a vast transportation network that supports a massive shipping industry. In this volume, seamanship, cargo, competition, cooperation, technology, engineering, business, unions, government decisions and international agreements all come together to create a story of unrivaled interest about Great Lakes ships and the crews that sailed them in the 20th century. The story begins in iron and coal mines with the movement of the raw ingredients of industrial America across docks into ever larger ships using increasingly complicated tools and technology. The shipping industry was an expensive challenge, as it required huge investments, caused bitter labor disputes, and needed direct government intervention to remake the lakes to accommodate the ships. It also demanded one of the most integrated international systems of regulation and navigation in the world to sail a ship from Duluth to upstate New York. Michigan State University Press. $39.95

http://msupress.org/books/book/?id=50-1D0-3FB1#.WQlH8cm1uV4


"Boats Built At Toledo, Ohio"

by Matthew Weisman

 

Historian Matthew Weisman has released this latest in a series of volumes exploring Ohio's historic ship building scene. This 150-page, exhaustively researched, illustrated book, which encompasses schooners and steamers, includes vessels built at Monroe, Michigan. $25 (includes postage).

Available from the author at mweisman@windstream.net


 


"Torn In Two: The Sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell and One Man's Survival on the Open Sea,"

by Michael Schumacher

 

Dennis Hale, the sole survivor of the 1966 sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell, has written two excellent accounts of his horrific experience, so you might think there'd be no improving on his first-person story. However Schumacher's book is compelling, an essential companion piece to Hale's works. It tells a bigger story, going beyond the shipwreck itself by detailing the fight to find survivors, the search for and discovery of the wreckage and the U.S. Coast Guard hearings into what happened. Hale's story is woven throughout, as it should be, with his books cited as essential source material.

 

200 pages, $25.95, University of Minnesota Press, www.upress.umn.edu
 


"The Inland Steel Fleet 1911-1998"

 

by Raymond A. Bawal, Jr.

 

For nearly 90 years, lake freighters belonging to the Inland Steel fleet transported the raw materials necessary for the manufacture of steel at their owner’s industrial complex at Indiana Harbor, Indiana. This volume traces the history of the fleet from formation, through an era of expansion that included the construction of two groundbreaking vessels and the rebuilding of its older units, to its demise following the sale of the Inland Steel Company in 1998. The book chronicles the careers of each of the 10 vessels that served in this fleet over its history.

 

103 pages, $19.95. Order from www.inlandexpressions.com
 


"The Legend Lives On: S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald"

by Bruce Lynn and Christopher Winters 

 

"The Legend Lives On: S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald" is a full-color, 270-page hardcover book honoring the life and legacy of the “Pride of the American Side” by Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society Executive Director Bruce Lynn and award-winning Great Lakes photojournalist Christopher Winters.

 

The book is available now from The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, $50 U.S. (+ $10 S&H), www.shipwreckmuseum.com, or by calling 1-800-635-1742.


“Classic Ships of the Great Lakes”

by Robert B. Campbell  

 

A hard-cover, coffee table-style book laid out as a photo gallery of current and historic Great Lakes vessels. Chapters are divided by ship type, and a brief historical account introduces each section.

 

The book, priced at $24.95, is available at retailers as well as via Amazon.com.

 


“Tug Avenger IV”

by G.I. "Buck" Longhurst  

 

A profusely illustrated soft-bound volume, "Tug Avenger IV" recounts the proud history of this veteran Canadian-flagged tug, now in service for Purvis Marine.

 

The cost is $20 (includes postage) from the Gore Bay & Western Manitoulin Museum, P.O. Box 222, 18 Dawson Street, Gore Bay, ON P0P 1H0, Canada.


“Mine to Mill: History of the Great Lakes Iron Trade: From the Iron Ranges to Sault Ste. Marie”

and

“Mine to Mill: History of the Great Lakes Iron Trade: From Sault Ste. Marie to the Lower Lake Ports”

by Phillip J. Stager  

 

These two volumes tell history of the iron ore trade on the Great Lakes in visual form. Historians and enthusiasts alike can now learn about this important part of our country's industrial heritage in hundreds of postcard views of the mines, railroads, loading docks, and ships of the Great Lakes. Discover the underground and huge open-pit mines on the iron ranges in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota, and ride the rails as the iron is moved from the mines to the giant loading docks at the Upper Lake ports. In calm seas and stormy weather, travel from these ports to the international locks at Sault Ste. Marie, and to the lower lake ports on Lakes Erie and Michigan. Postcard collectors, rail and nautical enthusiasts, industrial archaeologists, and lovers of Great Lakes history will relish the 300+ views of the Soo Locks, ore boats, and ports, as well as accurate and comprehensive deltiological information.

 

Available for $29.99 each at Amazon.com or www.schifferbooks.com


“The Interlake Steamship Company: In Service to America Since 1913”

by Ned Whalen  

 

In 1913, the Interlake Steamship Co. was organized in what the New York Times called the largest merger of Great Lake vessels since the formation of Pittsburgh Steamship Company a few years earlier. This 132-page volume is a large-format, soft-cover, coffee table-style book that tells the company’s history using historical, personal and topical vignettes, as well as hundreds of images of people, boats and events.

The book is available at National Museum of the Great Lakes’ museum store ($44.95 plus shipping) and can be ordered by phone at 419-214-5000 or in person at the museum, 1701 Front St., Toledo, Ohio 43605.


“The Last Laker: Finding a Wreck Lost in the Great Lakes’ Deadliest Storm”

by Frederick Stonehouse

 

In 1913, a mighty storm ripped through the Great Lakes and inflicted the greatest loss of life and vessels from a single storm to date. For a century, one wreck in particular, that of the steamer Henry B. Smith, eluded divers and confounded maritime experts, making it a holy grail for those who were searching. Maritime historian and author Frederick Stonehouse tells the tale of the deadly storm and illuminates the search for, and eventual discovery of, the lost Smith, unwrapping the mystery of why some boats made it while others did not.

Available from Lake Superior Port Cities, www.lakesuperior.com; $19.95


“The Wreck of the Griffon: The Greatest Mystery of the Great Lakes”

by Cris Kohl & Joan Forsberg  

 

In 1679, the first ship to sail on the upper Great Lakes disappeared with its entire crew and valuable cargo of furs. Built by the explorer La Salle near Niagara Falls, its loss nearly ruined him. To this day, the wreck of the Griffon has not definitively been found. It has become the most hunted – and the most "found" – shipwreck in Great Lakes history. This book relates the fascinating story of the Griffon – its background, information about the many (22) claims of discovery made in the past 200 years (none yet proven), the excitement of possible recent discoveries (including the most recent one) – and where the wreck likely is.

Available from Seawolf Communications, www.seawolfcommunications.com

$19.95


"The S.S. Milwaukee Clipper: An Illustrated History"

by Steven S. Demos, MD. & Marylouise Plant  

 

This handsome hard-cover book that not only details the long history of this former passenger steamer and car ferry, but also outlines the hours countless volunteers have put into establishing her as first-rate Great Lakes marine museum.

 

It's available for $50 plus $6 shipping from the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper Preservation Inc., P.O. Box 1370, Muskegon, MI 49443 or at www.milwaukeeclipper.com. Proceeds go to the preservation and restoration of the ship.


“Julius Roth and the Kitty Reeves”

By Neal R. Miller

Some claim she never existed, and that the story of her sinking in Lake Huron waters off Tawas Point with a fortune of copper ingots in her holds was just another sea story. After all, there is no sailing vessel called the Kitty Reeves in any of the annual Lists of Merchant Vessels of the United States published from 1868 through 1885. Nonetheless, Julius Roth, a retired Port Clinton, Ohio, grocer, was a believer. He knew the wreck lay just off Tawas Point. He had a letter to prove it. He had the location. He had two copper ingots found next to the wreck. More importantly, he had the faith.  What he apparently didn’t have was either the money or the luck necessary to turn his nearly two-decade long search for the wraithlike ship and her cargo into the treasure trove he knew was there. This is Roth’s story of his ill-fated treasure hunt and of his five-year battle with the Michigan Conservation Department over the fate of a vessel that, in the course of that hunt, he sunk at the old Michigan State Dock in Tawas Bay.

Available from the author at neal.r.miller@gmail.com; $16.99 plus tax if applicable and $2.50 postage


“Arrived on This Ship: Great Lakes Postcards from the Early Twentieth Century,”

by Hudson Keenan  

 

Like the title says, “Arrived” is a book of ship post cards from the first two decades of the last century. More than just an album, author Hudson Keenan has written about historical events, technology of the day and lifestyles as each individual card suggests. Ship views are divided by the types of vessels and travel locations on the lakes. All five Great Lakes are represented, with postcards from Canada and the U.S. Original standard 3½ by 5½-inch postcards from the author’s collection were used for the reproductions.  

Hardcover, 128 pages, $19.95. In bookstores, from Thunder Bay Press


“Braving the Wartime Seas: A Tribute to the Cadets and Graduates of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and Cadet Corps Who Died During World War II,” 2014,

Edited by George J. Ryan

 

Edited by George J. Ryan, known around the Great Lakes as a past president of the Lake Carriers’ Association, and perhaps less known as a member of the King’s Point Academy Class of 1957, this long-overdue book fills a huge gap in the annals of maritime warfare. The authoritative work, a publication of the American Maritime History Project, Inc., pays lasting tribute to each of the cadets and graduates of the U.S. Merchant Marine Cadet Corps who died in World War II. As such, it briefly chronicles the life and tragic death of 212 individuals, with a picture of each and a photo of the ship on which they went down. It’s compelling, and sometimes heart-rending reading that reminds readers of what was sacrificed for freedom’s sake in World War II.

 The book is available from the publisher Xlibris.com in hard copy, paperback and electronic form, as well as from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


“Know Your Ships 2016”

by Roger LeLievre

 

Know Your Ships 2016, the 57th edition of the annual guide to boats and boatwatching on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, is now available. Besides vessel listings, there are many superb photos of lakers present and past. Price is $18.95 for regular binding ($20.95 for spiral) from Marine Publishing Co., 317 S. Division St. #8, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Michigan customers add 6 percent sales tax please. Postage is $4.50 to the U.S. and $7 to Canada. An iBook edition is also available. 

 

www.knowyourships.com


“Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes”

by John Kotzian

 

Have you ever dreamed of visiting every lighthouse and life-saving station on the Great Lakes? The Rev. William H. Law did just that and more in the early days of the 20th century. Rescued by a U.S. Life-Saving Service crew on Lake Huron in 1900, Law dedicated his life’s work to serving the men and women stationed at light and life-saving stations throughout the United States. Whether it was bringing his floating library to stations located on the Great Lakes, regular correspondence with the crews of stations far too remote for a personal visit, or his relentless pursuit of Congress to approve a bill to provide better pay and pensions, Rev. Law became a fast friend to those serving in the lighthouse and life-saving services. A tale of boundless optimism, the story of W. H. Law’s life is as much the account of the brave men and women of the lighthouse and life-saving service as it is the saga of a long and rewarding life in the service of others. 
 

Available at www.averycolorstudios.com


“Real, Honest Sailing With a Great Lakes Captain,”

by Captain Gary W. Schmidt and Warren Gerds

 

Those who'd like to view life through the eyes of a Great Lakes captain may be interested in a new book co-authored by Captain Gary W. Schmidt and Warren Gerds, longtime critic at the Green Bay Press Gazette and current critic at large for WFRV-TV in Green Bay. “Real, Honest Sailing” chronicles Schmidt's experiences piloting vessels on the Great Lakes for 40 years, including his most recent stint as captain of the tug-barge combination Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder. The book has many color and black and white photos. 321 pages, soft cover

$25 from Warren Gerds, 407 E. Mission Road, Green Bay, WI 54301 or gerds.gerds@gmail.com


"Fatal Crossing: The Mysterious Disappearance of NWA Flight 2501 and
the Quest for Answers,"

by Valerie van Heest

 

Most of the time we think of ships gone missing on the Great Lakes, but airplanes have gone down too. This book is about the 1950 disappearance of Northwest Airlines Flight 2501 in Lake Michigan. The accident prompted the largest Coast Guard and Navy search-and-rescue operation the lakes have ever seen, but despite the efforts of hundreds of people and several dozens of vessels, none of the 58 people on board was found alive and the wreckage went undiscovered. A half century later, author/explorer Clive Cussler set out to solve the mystery of the plane's disappearance and teamed up with fellow author/explorer Valerie van Heest and her organization, the Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates. After a decade of research and searching, they realized the answers were not lying on the bottom of the lake, but in dusty archives and individual minds.

$19.95, www.in-deptheditions.com


“The War of 1812: The Struggle That Forged Two Nations”

by Lee Murdock - music CD
 

Great Lakes balladeer and historian Lee Murdock has uncovered an impressive body of music in the Great Lakes. With his newest CD, he marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, a struggle between the young United States and Great Britain for the riches of North America. Significant ballads tell the story of the British, Canadian and American people during this time.

$15, www.leemurdock.com


“Great White Fleet: Celebrating Canada Steamship Lines Passenger Ships,”

by John Henry and Paul Martin
 

Now this is how a fleet history should be written! For decades, Canada Steamship Lines proclaimed itself as the world's largest transportation company operating on inland waters. Its passenger and freight vessels could be found on the Great Lakes as far west as Duluth, Minnesota, and as far east as the Lower St. Lawrence River.

The passenger steamers were known collectively as the Great White Fleet. These ships – from day-excursion vessels to well-appointed cruise ships – had rich histories. The sheer scope of these passenger services were a wonder to behold. No fewer than 51 steamers comprised the passenger fleet at the company's inception in 1913, and its network of routes was awesome.

This is the story of the beloved steamers of the Great White Fleet from 1913–1965, when the passenger vessels stopped running. Nearly half a century after the last passenger boats sailed, this superbly produced, amply illustrated hardcover book provides a window into a wonderful, lost way of life. The pictures and reproductions of several full-color fleet brochures are worth the price of admission.

$30; Available from Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com (hardcover and e-book), www.dundurn.com and bookstores, mostly in Canada.


“Storms & Sand,”

by Stephen Truman, Grace Truman and Joel Truman

Great Lakes maritime history encompasses epic stories of heroic rescues, tragic losses, and changing times.  “Storms and Sand” is a glimpse into the world of the brave men of the Big Sable Point, Michigan, U.S. Life-Saving Service/ U.S. Coast Guard Station.  The station was located on land that is now part of Ludington State Park.  The book tells the history of the station; including the sacrifices by the life-savers and Coast Guardsmen, and their struggles to rescue Lake Michigan shipwreck victims.  “Storms and Sand” also chronicles lesser-known events in the lives of the men, their families, and the Big Sable Point lighthouse keepers. Hardcover, 208 pages, with 69 photos and illustrations. 

$29.95; www.pinewoodspress.com


“On the Waterfront: Maritime Life in Oswego and Lake Ontario, Vol. II,”

by Richard F. Palmer

 

This is Volume II of the author's best columns that have appeared in The Palladium-Times, Oswego, New York’s local newspaper. Using the newspaper's archives and other sources, Palmer provides a continuing and colorful exposé of Oswego's maritime heritage.

$12.95; www.riversendbookstore


“Witnessing the Badger: An Adventure Story for Young Boaters”

by Steven Duff

 

Say ahoy to a fictional boating adventure story in the spirit of Arthur Ransome or The Hardy Boys novels that offers appeal for young readers and nostalgic adults. The story covers territory from Ontario’s Georgian Bay to Lake Michigan, with all points in between, and culminates in a scary encounter with the Russian Mafia that also involves the carferry Badger. This story should have appeal to anyone who has spent time around the water.

$14.95, available from amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com


"Maritime Tales of Lake Ontario,"

by Susan Gateley

Shipwrecks are a part of Lake Ontario's history. But so are innovation, wealth-building, heroism and bungling on a grand scale. You'll find examples of each in this collection of historic incidents and personalities who once worked on and by the waters of this Great Lake between 1728 and the present. The book includes information on the lake's critical role during several 1812 War naval engagements, some shipwrecks from the era of sail, information on the lake's most storied island and a brief history of the Seaway's economic and ecological impacts. 

Available through Amazon.com and The History Press, or from various chain bookstores in the Lake Ontario region.


Lost & Found: Legendary Lake Michigan Shipwrecks

by V.O. VanHeest

 

Just as the Titanic continues to fascinate, so have the shipwrecks presented here became even more famous after their discoveries, gaining notoriety as historic attractions, archaeological sites, bold salvage attempts or legal battles. VanHeest takes the readers back in time to experience the careers and sinkings of these ships – among them Carl D. Bradley, Francisco Morazan, Lady Elgin, Hennepin and more – and then goes beneath the lake to participate in the discovery and exploration of their remains and the circumstances that led to their status as legendary shipwrecks. The vessels in this well-researched publication span the age of sail, steam, and diesel on the Great Lakes from schooners to side-wheel steamers, propellers, carferries, self-unloaders and yachts. They include ships discovered by some of the lake’s most prolific wreck hunters, including the author’s own organization –Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates – in partnerships with wreck hunters David Trotter, Ralph Wilbanks, and acclaimed author Clive Cussler. Clearly the sagas of these vessels did not end when the waves of Lake Michigan washed over them. 

$19.95; order from www.in-deptheditions.com


Yankcanuck: A Dream Turns Fifty

by G. I. "Buck" Longhurst

 

This volume, by Marine Historical Society of Detroit Historian of the Year honoree and former Yankcanuck crew member Buck Longhurst, details the career of this familiar Canadian crane ship on the occasion of her 50th anniversary. The book, illustrated with many black and white photos and other illustrations from the author’s collection, includes her years with "Skipper" Frank Manzzutti’s Yankcanuck Steamship Co., her time under Algoma Steel’s Flaming ‘A,’ and her more recent service with Purvis Marine.

Cost is $25 (includes S-H), from Gore Bay and Western Manitoulin Museum, P.O. Box 222,12 Dawson St., Gore Bay, ON P0P 1H0, Canada.


Images of America: Marine City

by Gene and Scott Buel

The story of Marine City, Michigan, nestled on the bank of the St. Clair River, is told through rare photographs from the 1870s-1930s. The book, by Gene Buel and his grandson Scott, shows a tradition of shipbuilding and sailing, as well as life around town, documenting the important role Marine City played in the early development of the Great Lakes shipping industry. An extra plus for shipfans is a section devoted to the photographer Louis Pesha, who was responsible for documenting shipping traffic a century ago.

 $21.95 from www.marinecityhistory.net


Shaping Chicago: James S. Dunham’s Crusade for the River
by Thomas J. Lutz

It’s clear from this detailed account that Chicago would not be the world-class city that it is today without the efforts of ship captain, business owner and politician James S. Dunham. His life during the 1800s was the embodiment of everything that is and was Chicago maritime, and his life story reveals how the maritime community in Chicago shaped the city’s waterfront and the image the city presents to the world today. Dunham died in 1901, but his contributions live on thanks to the work of author and historian Thomas J. Lutz. Ship fans will find the appendix of vessels owned/operated by Dunham and his associates an added bonus.

“Shaping Chicago: James S. Dunham’s Crusade for the River” by Thomas J. Lutz, 2012 Softcover, 216 pages, 100 illustrations, $21.95 plus s-h and www.in-deptheditions.com


Last Ark of the Railroad: The Steam Ship City of Milwaukee
by Dominic R. Sondy

The S/S City of Milwaukee is currently a National Historic Landmark as well as a member of the Historic Naval Ship Association. Built at the beginning of the Great Depression, the City of Milwaukee shuttled railcars across Lake Michigan for over 50 years. She is now moored in Manistee, Mich., and is open to the public as a floating museum. This is her story, told in words and pictures.

“Last Ark of the Railroad: The Steam Ship City of Milwaukee,” Dominic R. Sondy, 2012 Softcover, 72 pages, many photographs, $17.50, from Amazon.com


See the Ships Vol. 1 and See the Salties Vol. 1
DVD's
by Plets Express

These two disks from the Wisconsin-based company Plets Express contain plenty of exciting footage of classic lakers and salties and most scenes were shot on beautiful, sunny days. The DVDs show vessels up close and in action as they pass through various ports, rivers, locks and lakes. Each DVD shows about 50 different ships and the on/off narration option is a nice touch. Among some of the classics on “See The Ships, Vol. 1” (running time 75 minutes) are the Alpena, Buckeye, Algocen, Chief Wawatam, Myron C. Taylor, E.M. Ford and Edward L. Ryerson. “See The Salties, Vol. 1” (runs 80 minutes) features such ships as the Vamand Wave, Federal Asahi, Millenium Condor, Yosemite, Pochard, Federal Maas and much more. Plets Express also has a series called Great Lakes Ships, Volume 1 through 10 and the Great Lakes sightseeing DVDs entitled “Lake Superior Scenic Adventures” These two DVDs explore the lake’s North Shore (Vol. 1) and the South Shore (Vol. 2). These programs include many spectacular overlooks, lighthouses, waterfalls and ships.

“See the Ships Vol. 1” and “See the Salties Vol. 1”   DVD's by Plets Express, $24.95 each plus s-h available from  www.pletsexpress.com


Ships of the Great Lakes
DVD written & produced by
Leonard Brown

“Ships of the Great Lakes,” written and produced by Leonard Brown, takes viewers aboard a 1,000-foot Great Lakes freighter. The story is set using the motor vessel Oglebay Norton (now American Integrity) as a backdrop. As the ship carries coal to Silver Bay, Minn., and taconite iron ore to Indiana Harbor, Ind., the story unfolds and leads viewers through the history of Great Lakes shipping and gives the history of the various landmarks as the vessel passes by. Also: Dive 530 feet below the waters of Lake Superior to the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, see the Soo Locks, watch how ships get their mail and experience what its like to ride through gale force winds.

“Ships of the Great Lakes,” DVD written & produced by Leonard Brown, $19.95; Available from www.shipsofthegreatlakes.com


Lost Legends of the Lakes
by Robert McGreevy

This handsome, coffee table-style book is subtitled “A Unique Study of the Maritime Heritage of the Great Lakes From an Artist’s Viewpoint,” and that sums things up nicely. McGreevy, considered one of the finest maritime artists anywhere, offers a book that juxtaposes his superb renditions with the stories of the vessel or situation depicted. An accomplished scuba diver, a number of his works offer a unique underwater perspective of shipwrecks. With his well-trained eye for detail, McGreevy brings Great Lakes maritime history alive in this high quality volume that touches on the ages of sail and steam as well a modern shipwreck disasters and the Great Storm of 1913.

“Lost Legends of the Lakes” Robert McGreevy, 2011, 128 pages, hardcover, illustrated; $42.50. Available at www.mcgreevy.com.


Steamers of the Turkey Trail
by G.I. "Buck" Longhurst

The "Turkey Trail" was the route along a narrow and twisting course in the North Channel followed by steamers servicing settlers on the north shore of Lake Huron. This book, by Canadian historian Longhurst, looks at the passenger and package freight vessels that plied this route. The vessels are mostly but memories (the final sailing on this route was in 1963), but it is important to remember the role these staunch craft played in the lives of families living in the northern Lake Huron area of Canada who depended on vessels such as the Waubuno, Chicora, Manitou and Manitoulin for their very existence.

“Steamers of the Turkey Trail” G.I. “Buck” Longhurst, 2011, 136 pages, softcover, many black and white photos; $25.00. Available from Gore Bay & Western Manitoulin Museum, P.O. Box 222, Gore Bay, ON, P0P 1H0


SS City of Milwaukee
by Art Chavez and Bob Strauss

After the Grand Trunk car ferry Milwaukee was lost with a crew of 52 men in an October 1929 storm, it was replaced by the City of Milwaukee. Built in 1931, the ferry operated for half a century, hauling railcars across Lake Michigan. She survives today as the last unaltered example of a Great Lakes railroad car ferry designed with twin stacks, a classic profile and triple-expansion engines. Now a museum ship, the vessel serves as a living memorial to the car ferries and the dedicated crews that sailed them. With access to the City of Milwaukee’s archives and numerous private collections, car ferry historians Art Chavez and Bob Strauss have gathered a variety of vintage and contemporary photos and documents. Along with detailed captions, they reveal the pictorial history of this enduring car ferry that now resides in Manistee, Mich.

“SS City of Milwaukee”  Art Chavez and Bob Strauss; 2011, $21.95, 128 pages. Order from www.arcadiapublishing.com
 


Ships of the Great Lakes: An Inside Look at the World’s Largest Inland Fleet
by Patrick D. Lapinski

This profusely-illustrated, full-color volume examines the activity that occurs on board lake boats throughout the Great Lakes shipping season. It looks not only on the outside, but the inside too, starting with the engine room and continuing into the pilothouse, out on deck and in the galley. Plenty of “people” pictures help give the book additional depth. Author Patrick Lapinski is clearly an expert on his subject and it shows in this well-researched and informative effort.

“Ships of the Great Lakes: An Inside Look at the World’s Largest Inland Fleet”  Patrick D. Lapinski; 2011, $34.95, 126 pages, softcover. Available from a variety of booksellers, including www.amazon.com


Unsolved Mysteries: The Shipwreck Thomas Hume
by Valerie van Heest & William Lafferty

On May 21, 1891, the lumber schooner Thomas Hume and its crew of seven sailed out of Chicago into a spring storm, and was never seen again. The disappearance has lingered as one of the great unsolved mysteries of the Great Lakes. More than a century after its disappearance, the discovery of the wreck of the Thomas Hume solved the mystery. However, the collection of shoes, clothing, jewellery, coins and tools found inside generated even more questions.  An archaeological investigation by Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates and the Lakeshore Museum Center has attempted to solve the riddles posed by the shipwreck. After survey dives, historical research, and detective-like reasoning, the team pieced together not only the vessel’s career, but how its crew lived, worked, and died on the lake.

“Unsolved Mysteries: The Shipwreck Thomas Hume”  Valerie van Heest and William Lafferty, 2011, $19.95, 128 pages, softcover. Available from in-depth editions, www.in-deptheditions.com


Superships of the Great Lakes:
Thousand-Foot Ships of the Great Lakes
by Raymond A. Bawal, Jr.

Since the beginning of commerce on the Great Lakes, there has been a desire to build larger and more efficient ships culminating in 1972 with the commissioning of the first 1,000-foot vessel to sail on the inland seas, the Stewart J. Cort. This book tells the story of each of the 13 1,000-foot ships, including their unique operational histories and the purposes for which they were built. Included are numerous never-before-published photographs portraying these vessels in their previous and current operations.

"Superships of the Great Lakes: Thousand-Foot Ships of the Great Lakes"  Raymond A. Bawal, Jr.; 2011, softcover with photos, 104 pages. $19.95. Order from: www.inlandexpressions.com
 


M/V Algoport
by Chris and Andy Torrence

This small booklet is a remembrance of the Torrence family’s relationship with the Algoma Central fleet and its self-unloader Algoport, which sank on saltwater Sept. 9, 2009 while being towed to China for a new forebody. The book contains over 30 photographs, a reproduction of the launch invitation and souvenir launch booklet, the fleet booklet for the Algoport, as well as other ship diagrams and maps.

M/V Algoport; Chris and Andy Torrence, 2010. Softcover, 72 pages, with photos and diagrams. $34.95 available from www.lulu.com


Lost on the Lady Elgin
by Valerie van Heest

Author and diver Valerie van Heest recounts the worst disaster on the open waters of the Great Lakes, when the sidewheel steamer Lady Elgin sank in Lake Michigan on September 8, 1860, taking with it over 300 passenger, mostly Irish from Milwaukee’s Third Ward. This well-researched historical narrative tells the story of the Lady Elgin set against the backdrop of a pivotal presidential election during the golden age of passenger travel on the Great Lakes. The book describes in detail the loss of the steamer, and recounts the discovery of the vessel’s remains more than a century after the disaster. No dry recounting of history, this vividly written volume is difficult to put down.

Lost on the Lady Elgin; Valerie van Heest, 2010. Hardcover, 168 pages. $26.95 available from In-depth Editions, www.in-deptheditions.com


Trillium and Toronto Island:
The Centennial Edition
by Mike Filey

In June 1910, a new steam ferry for the Toronto Island Company was launched and christened Trillium. Now, 100 years after its debut, Toronto columnist Mike Filey revisits the history of this notable landmark with the centennial edition of Trillium and Toronto Island. Updated with new photographs and introductory commentary, this anniversary edition of the book details the remarkable journey of one of Toronto’s most interesting treasures.

Trillium and Toronto Island: The Centennial Edition; Mike Filey, 2010. Softcover, 120 pages with photos. $24.99 available from Dundurn Press (www.dundurn.com)


Shipwrecked: Reflections of the
Sole Survivor
by Dennis Hale

By now, many folks who follow the Great Lakes know that Dennis Hale was the only survivor of the steamer Daniel J. Morrell, which sank on Lake Huron in late November 1966. This book serves as his autobiography, not only relating the sad story of the shipwreck and its aftermath, but also delving into Hale’s troubled childhood and his life as reckless young man in search of a sense of family.

Although he’s written about the shipwreck before, this self-published volume delves deeper into the emotional side of the story. Hale goes into great detail about what he saw, heard and felt during his near-death experience and also shares details about a mysterious visitor aboard the raft who warned him to stop eating the ice to quench his thirst.

One thing that’s clear – Hale is a survivor in more ways than one. He’s led quite a life and, lucky for readers, he decided to write it all down.

Shipwrecked: Reflections of the Sole Survivor; Dennis Hale, 2010. 312 pages, with photos. Signed:  $33.50 + $4.50 shipping = $38.00 (while supplies last) or Unsigned:  $23.50 + $4.50 shipping = $28.00. Order direct by mail (click for order form) or by e-mail, dennishale@windstream.net.


The Wexford: Elusive Shipwreck
of the Great Storm, 1913
by Paul Carroll

The Canadian steamer Wexford’s fateful final voyage was full of opportunities to be saved from destruction, but 24-year-old captain Bruce Cameron’s persistence in trying to make port at Goderich led to tragedy – she was a victim of the storm of 1913. Over a period of 87 years, Wexford eluded many efforts to locate her remains, but was finally discovered in 2000. This story traces her history from her British origins in 1883, through the transition to become a laker, the eventful storm, the search, her ultimate discovery in southern Lake Huron and the controversy over how she should be protected. The author recently, and deservedly, received the Save Ontario Shipwrecks Marine Heritage Award.

The Wexford: Elusive Shipwreck of the Great Storm, 1913; Paul Carroll, 2010; 328 pages, illustrated; $30 from Dundurn Press
(www.dundurn.com)


Above the Lighthouses:
Lake Michigan
by Marge Beaver

This stunning, hard-cover volume offers 215 beautiful color aerial photos with close-ups of every lighthouse on Lake Michigan, as well as scenic area views to show locations. Index maps for each state are included. Marge Beaver has an eye for lighthouses and it shows in this self-published book, a must for fans of the genre.

Above the Lighthouses: Lake Michigan; Marge Beaver, 2010; hard cover, 208 pages, lavishly illustrated; $49.95, free shipping from www.photography-plus.com. Personalization available for online orders.


Greenwood's Guide to
Great Lakes Shipping 2010

“Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping,” revived last year after a short hiatus, is back and even more comprehensive than the 2009 edition. Its 27 tabbed sections offer an array of details on fleets, vessel compartment capacities, horsepower, ore docks, grain elevators, coal docks, shipyards and dry docks, steamship agents, brokers, freight forwarders, stevedores, surveyors, maritime attorneys, insurers, vessel operations services and more, offering a lot of information that’s almost impossible to find anywhere else.  In addition to what’s inside, the cover features new original artwork by Paul C. LaMarre, and a sturdy spiral binding holds the pages in place and makes for easy reference.

Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping 2010 (Harbor House Publishers Inc., 121 Water St., Boyne City, MI 49712; $80; available from the publisher at www.greenwoodsguide.com in book form, as well as on CD for $65 or as a searchable PDF for $45)


Life Aboard A Laker
From 1964 To 1999
by Capt. Richard D. Metz

Fans of Dick Metz’s sea stories on the BoatNerd.com Web site will already be familiar with some of the recollections he shares in this, his second such volume. Still, it is nice to have them collected in this way, and illustrated with a number of black and white photos. Metz enjoyed a long career on the Great Lakes, many of them spent with the Soo River Co. and the Parish & Heimbecker fleets under the Canadian flag, and his insider observations are fascinating.

Life Aboard A Laker From 1964 To 1999
Out of Print


Fathoms Deep But Not Forgotten:
Wisconsin's Lost Ships
by Brendon Baillod

Historian Brendon Baillod provides an in-depth study of Wisconsin’s maritime history, including detailed port histories of Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha and Port Washington. “Fathoms Deep” also includes details on every commercial vessel ever lost in southeast Wisconsin waters, totaling well over 400 lost ships, as well as complete information on every documented vessel ever built in southeast Wisconsin, for a total of more than 1,000 ships detailed in the book. This book – the result of 20 years of research – is the first comprehensive inventory ever assembled of southeast Wisconsin ships and shipwrecks. All proceeds from this book help the Wisconsin Underwater Archaeology Association is its efforts to document historic sites.

Fathoms Deep But Not Forgotten: Wisconsin’s Lost Ships; Brendon Baillod, 2010; Wisconsin Underwater Archaeology Association; many historic photos and maps; $24.95, www.wuaa.org


Great Lakes Freighters
by Peter Francis Groh

This book features photos taken by Peter Francis Groh over the years and compiles them in a coffee table-style book. Some photos include the C.T.C. No.1 in South Chicago and the John Sherwin. This book is the culmination of five years of boat chasing and its pages are filled with the author's passion for both the Great Lakes and its boats.

Great Lakes Freighters; Peter Francis Groh, 2010; soft or hardcover, 40 pages, 74 photos; $20 + $7 s-h, www.grohs-photography.com or from the author at Peter Groh, 1815 Tivoli Lane, Sheboygan, Wis., 53081


Lake Erie:
History and Views
by Tom Langmyer

Tom Langmyer's lavishly-illustrated volume combines narration, factual summaries, photography, maps and antique postcards to tell the story of this vast inland sea. Starting with the Ice Age, the book chronicles its discovery, battles for its control, settlement, development and population growth along its shores. Cities and towns around Lake Erie (including Detroit and the Detroit River) are highlighted and readers can get a glimpse of life aboard a 1,000-footer, thanks to a trip by the author aboard the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. Use this book as a armchair travel guide, or take it along for your own journey around the lake.

Lake Erie: History and Views; Tom Langmyer, 2009; 298 pages, softcover, spiral bound, many color photos and reproductions of historic postcards; $45; www.lakeeriehistory.com


For Those In Peril:
Shipwrecks of Ottawa County, Michigan

by Craig Rich

Author Craig Rich explores in fascinating detail the history of shipping accidents around Ottawa County, near Grand Haven and Holland, Mich. As sail gave way to steam, vessels continued to fall victim to treacherous seas, fog, fire and ice. Read about the two-masted schooner Sylvanus Marvin (lost in 1850), the steamer H.C. Ackley (1883), Post Boy (1905), Wisconsin (1929) and nearly 100 more.

For Those In Peril: Shipwrecks of Ottawa County, Michigan; Craig Rich, 2010. 136 pages, black and white photos; $17.95; www.craigrich.net

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