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Sea Stories
Capt. Richard Metz
Out of Print

A few years ago, retired Great Lakes Capt. Richard Metz began posting his "Sea Stories," drawn from his long career aboard U.S. and Canadian steamboats, on the website. Someone suggested he turn those stories into a book, and Metz has done just that.
The book is aptly titled, and the author writes about his experiences in a clear and conversational manner. This is a quick and easy read and bound to offer fascinating insight into the world of Great Lakes shipping.

Historic Lake Vessels in Color
Collector Photo Series #1
Marine Historical Society of Detroit

This is the first of a series of books featuring rare color photographs of Great Lakes ships. The book features twenty-four pictures plus those shown on the front and back covers. The pictures, approximately 7 by 10 inches, are reproduced from slides photographed mostly from the late 1940s through the early 1960s. The rarity of these photos is the primary consideration for their selection. A brief history is included for each ship.

“UNDAUNTED: The Story of a
United States Navy Tug and Her
Crew in World War II”  
By F Lincoln Grahlfs

The author was a member of the original crew of the USS ATA-199 (later named UNDAUNTED). The tug today operates on the Great Lakes for Pere Marquette Shipping pushing the barge PM 41.

The self published book details the experiences aboard the tug in World War II. 

Click Here for Order Form

S.S. Badger:
The Lake Michigan Carferry
 By Art Chavez

As with most Arcadia books, this one relies heaviest on historic photos to tell its story, and there are some gems included, not only of the Badger but of the train and auto ferries that preceded her in the cross-lake trade. Also reproduced are old advertising brochures, tickets, christening programs and the like from Badger and her fleetmates, as well as greatly reduced but still legible Badger blueprints.

Chavez has done a first-rate job writing about a subject he obviously knows well.  This book is a must, not only for lake ship and ferry fans, but for train buffs as well, since the Badger was originally built for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.

The Revised First Volume of
Ahoy & Farewell

The first volume of Ahoy & Farewell, no longer in print, was originally written in 1969. This much anticipated revised copy was release in November 2002.  With few exceptions, more than 700 vessels of 1000 gross registered tons or more that comprised the US and Canadian Great Lakes fleet are included in this book, keeping in tune with Ahoy & Farewell II (over 440 vessels). This revised and rewritten hardbound book is 235 pages long compared to 120 pages of the original Ahoy & Farewell book and includes over 90 high quality, and in many cases, very rare photographs. No expense was spared on the heavy duty binding, high quality paper, the colorful dust jacket, or the unique hardbound cover, which includes the dust jacket color photo. 

Ninety-Five Years Young: The Story of the S.S. Keewatin, 1907 to the Present

Bob and Cindy Zimmerman have published the book "Ninety-Five Years Young: The Story of the S.S. Keewatin, 1907 to the Present." The book tells the story of this historic steamer from its construction in 1907 in Scotland, its operation on the Great Lakes for the Canadian Pacific Railway from 1907 to 1967 and its present use as a privately-owned marine museum in the Douglas/Saugatuck, Mich. area. Included are many rare photos and the stories of many who worked aboard the vessel during its long career.

U.S. Freighters of
the Great Lakes

 "U.S. Freighters of the Great Lakes" Earl Joey Reaume Jr., 2001, Border Publishing Co., Sault Ste. Marie, MI. (251 pages, $30)   As the title implies, this book looks at U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters around in the 1980s to the present (including many that were in layup waiting to be scrapped or converted into barges during the period). The volume, which features 40 pages of black and white photos, delves deep into the history of each and also includes their vital statistics (courtesy of "Know Your Ships"). 

The Real Shanty Days
By Wendell Wilke

 The Real Shanty Days offers 84 spiral bound pages, 97 photo's and tells the history of 30 commercial fish tugs which have (and do) operated from the Port of Algoma, Wi. Some of these tugs are still in existence operating on Lake Michigan and a couple of them now are found on Lake Superior.
Order from:
Wendell Wilke, 1528 Steele St., Algoma, WI 54201. $18.00 (postage and handling included). Note: Canadian orders are $22.00.

Our "Downriver" River
by Rockne Smith

This publication is focused primarily on the nautical history of the communities located on the lower half of the Detroit river, the many Downriver islands, and the river itself. It begins in Wyandotte and continues down to the beginning of Lake Erie, including Trenton, Gibraltar, Grosse Ile, Amherstburg, Ontario, and all of the smaller islands, including Crystal Bay.
The once sold out book has recently been reprinted in a "Collector Edition" in hard cover.  

Ships of the 
Great Lakes Cookbook

by Paula

Welcome aboard some of the grandest ships to ever sail the Great Lakes, and sample the culinary delicacies served on each. The book offers far more than recipes (although there are 400 of those included). The book also covers the histories of 40 Great Lakes ships and profiles many of the chefs whose recipes are reproduced. There are photos of many of the vessels and cooks as well.  Three years in the making, the new title is a terrific achievement from any point of view. Check out recipes from Great Lakes ships of every stripe, from tall ships to freighters, Great Lakes museum ships to passenger ships, U.S. Coast Guard vessels,  Michigan State carferries and even the Edmund Fitzgerald.

To order Ships of the Great Lakes Cookbook: Discover Their Culinary Legends call (800) 947-4136. Order on-line at

Lighthouses of Lake Michigan, Past and Present
by Wayne S. Sapulski

A richly-illustrated volume that contains histories and photographs of often-visited Lake Michigan lighthouses plus photographs of a number of lighthouses that are not accessible to the average enthusiast. Author/photographer Wayne Sapulski has spent the past eight years taking original photographs, doing research and collecting archival prints to produce this volume, which includes a couple of interesting stories about his efforts to obtain photos. Beginning with a chronology of the development of Great Lakes lighthouses as aids to navigation, the author presents a brief history of each light.  Included are a number of historical facts and photos of predecessor lights from the files  of the U.S. Coast Guard and National Archives, along with the current status and directions to find present day lights.  The book contains  253 color photographs and 173 historical photos. 
The book is available directly from Wilderness Adventure Books, P.O. Box 856, Manchester, MI 48158.  Or at your local book store and online at

A Year In Paradise: How We Lived Our Dream
Stephen Wright Watterson

Did you ever dream of chucking it all, buying a sailboat and sailing off into the sunset? Steve and Margaret Watterson spent a year on their 30-foot sailboat Witch of Endor traveling from Cleveland to the Florida Keys and back. In this book they describe their experience in order to share it with those who seek a similar escape. Besides being an  adventure story, this is also a how-to guide... the book covers paying the bills, how they  handled mail, shopping for groceries, insurance and more. Paradise is a must-read for anyone planning a similar getaway, or even for armchair travelers who just dream of going.

The Ships of Canada's Marine Services
by Charles D. Maginley

For the history buff and those who enjoy good photographs of ships, this recently released book covers the period from 1850 to 2000. It includes over 300 photographs and brief histories as well as a full page illustration of various crests, flags and pennants.
This is a history of civilian-crewed vessels owned and operated by the Canadian Coast Guard and its predecessors the Marine Service of the Department of Transport, the Department of Fisheries, the Hydrographic Service and the original Department of Marine and Fisheries.
Also illustrated are the vessels of the Customs Preventive Service, the RCMP, and the Canadian Naval Auxiliary Service.
Vanwell Publishing Ltd P O Box 2131 St Catharines, Ontario L2R 7S2 (905) 937-3100

Most Frequently-Asked Questions about the 
Welland Canal

Got a question about the Welland Canal? The Welland Canals Foundation has all the answers, thanks to this informative little booklet. Margie Richie of Thorold, who has served as a volunteer guide at the St. Catharines Lock 3 Welland Canal Centre for more than 10 years, researched and compiled this report, based on her experience answering questions posed by the curious public.    Want to know how much it costs a vessel to use the Canal? The answer is  here. How much water does it take to fill a lock? How large is a lock? Why  do they raise the Canal bridges so early? Find out in Richie's book.  Address the Welland Canal Foundation, 63 Church St., Suite 400, St. Catharines, ON L2R 3C4 for more information.

Debt of Conscience
by Lorenzo Giangrande

The President of the United States is faced with the greatest challenge in this nation's history; the fulfillment of the prophecy, by the great Shawnee warrior Tecumseh, that will return their nation to the Native Americans. The stability of the United States becomes suspect, and the Nation is facing a disaster of global proportions. When the situation seems at its worst, catastrophe strikes. As a result of a terrorist act, the North American Great Lakes are receding and their very existence is in jeopardy! The mysterious and unlikely link between these threatening issues lies beneath the arid desert wasteland North of Los Alamos, New Mexico. Read all about it @:

Great Laker Magazine

"Great Laker" exploring all things Great Lakes, from lighthouses to lake boats, legends and lore, to lakes, ports and the wonderful attractions they have to offer.

 Salties 2000 - 2001
by Norman Eakins
salties2000-2001small.jpg (1778 bytes)

This new publication owes its origin to the "LAKERS & SALTIES" series and was "spun-off" this year as a separate publication to benefit those boatwatchers whose interest in salties may be greater than their interest in lakers (or vice versa!). This change has allowed for even more information to be contained without any commensurate increase in price. Purchasers of this book will be advised when the new "LAKERS 2000-2001" book becomes available.


Ida's Ride
By Trish Schiesser

A novel centered on the Great Lakes. Ida Reed sails the lakes in search of herself, taking challenges head on, but never demanding sympathy in her role as a sensitive, daring woman who ultimately finds plenty of action, unreal adventure and love, aboard the SS JAKOB STRUMP.

Price $9.95+ $4.00 shipping and handling (Priority Mail) or can be shipped book rate (two to three weeks=$1.00). Click on cover to the left to order by e-mail.
Click here to order from Amazon

The Arteries
of Commerce

Christopher W. Fay 

A novel of the Great Lakes during the 1970's. Dana Parker, a young seaman, joins his first lake boat at the start of a season. Over the course of a year, he discovers more about himself and his shipmates than he expected. Dana's loyalties are torn between his friendship with the second mate, and a sense of obligation to the chief. His situation is aggravated by his knowledge of the flaws in both men, his personal misadventures, and a tendency to work hard at getting along. When Parker's mentor, the chief mate, comes to grief, Dana must find his own inner strength. He succeeds in his quest, only to face a final trial alone during an early winter storm on Lake Superior.

Mail by the Pail
By Colin Bergel

Mail by the Pail is a delightful children's story that illustrates the mail delivery system for the ships on the Great Lakes. Through the story of a young girl and her quest to send her father a birthday card.

Graveyards of the
Great Lakes

By Mark Thompson

The latest volume by Mark L. Thompson, author of “A Sailor’s Logbook” and “Queen of the Lakes.” “Graveyards” examines specific Great Lakes shipwrecks, from the 1679 loss of the Griffon to the explosion of the tanker Jupiter in 1990, with an eye to the economic, political and psychological factors involved. He includes factual accounts of more than 100 wrecks, and suggests that most of the accidents and deaths on the lakes have been the result of human error, ranging from simple mistakes to gross incompetence. Further, Thompson, a seasoned Great Lakes sailor, concludes that rather than learn from those errors, shipowners, captains and crews throughout  Great   Lakes history have been slow to accept change that would result in greater safety.

Keepers & Cutters
By F. Stonehouse

Shipwreck historian Frederick Stonehouse’s latest work, the stories of 14 famous and heroic lighthouse keepers ranging from coast to coast, and the new, Great Lakes-built U.S. Coast Guard cutters (George Cobb, Ida Lewis, Frank Drew, etc.) named after them. The book covers the life and times of the keepers, how they did their jobs, their daily routines and the lamps and lenses that kept the lights burning. Finally, it is about the ships themselves, how the Coast Guard will use them and the vessels they are replacing.

Keepers of Valor,
Lakes of Vengeance

Lakeboats, Lifesavers & Lighthouses

Author Wes Oleszewski’s newest narrative of the true stories of Great Lakes maritime adventure. As in all of his books, the author takes the reader back in time to witness, in detail, events and true adventures gone by. From lighthouses to life-saving stations to leaky wooden lakeboats the readers will skip from one era to another and experience history as it happened.

No matter if the reader is a shipwreck buff, lighthouse person, history enthusiast, or simply a recreational reader, everyone will enjoy the up-lifting sagas of the keepers of valor.

Tragedy in the Straights Cedarville Remembered


On May 7, 1965, the limestone carrier Cedarville was approaching the Mackinac Bridge in heavy fog when it was struck amidships by the Norwegian freighter Topdalsfjord. The Cedarville's captain tried to run for shallow water, but to no avail. The Cedarville rolled over and sank, taking 10 of her crew with her. To commemorate the 35th anniversary of the sinking, Out of the Blue Productions has released "Tragedy in the Straits: S.S. Cedarville Remembered," a 93-minute long video that includes the vessel's history, underwater footage of the wreck and interviews with eight of the survivors and one of the rescuers. Out of the Blue previously issued videos on the Daniel J. Morrell and Carl D. Bradley sinkings, and also publishes the book "Sole Survivor: The Dennis Hale Story."

Soo Locks Visitor’s Guide


The new 24 page booklet is amply illustrated with color photos and drawings, and includes the history of the Soo Locks, how the locks operate, a look at the ships of the Soo Locks, a Soo Locks fact book, and an overview of the Twin Sault Ste. Marie area ... $7.95 from Marine Publishing.

Coal to Canada
A History of the Ontario Car Ferry Company

The history of the rail car ferries Ontario No.1 and Ontario No.2 which operated out of Cobourg, Ontario, during the first half of the 20th century. The history of this marine operation--which transported both coal and passengers across Lake Ontario--is brought to life through the recollections of crew and passengers, more than one hundred photographs and company artifacts.

Tin Stackers
The History of the
Pittsburgh Steamship

By Al Miller
ISBN 0-8143-2832-6

"Tin Stackers" is the only comprehensive history of the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., which today operates as USS Great Lakes Fleet. For many decades, Pittsburgh Steamship Co. was the largest and most influential fleet on the lakes.

Drawing on company records and interviews with officials and sailors, author Al Miller tells of the struggle to assemble and steamline the fleet, how it battled organized labor, and how it led the way in efficient operation, technological advancement and employee safety.

A Sailor's Logbook
By Mark L. Thompson
ISBN 0-8143-2827-X
ISBN 0-8143-2844-X

A book that details a firsthand account of the life aboard the ships of the Great Lakes. Thompson began his logbook after he reported for duty aboard the Calcite II at Fraser Shipyard in Superior, Wisconsin, for the 1996 shipping season.

A Sailors Logbook is the first such book to chronicle a sailor's life at the end of the twentieth century. Not just a detailing of weather, cargo, and crew relations, A Sailors Logbook is also an account of the daily lives of a diverse group of crewmembers as they share their sailing knowledge, ''sea stories,'' and the many memories that accompany the pictures.

Echo Soundings
Marine News

This quarterly publication of the Marsh Collection Society reprints the "MARINE NEWS" columns and other relevant articles from the Amherstburg Echo, beginning with the first issue in November, 1874. These weekly columns are a record of the ships that plied the Great Lakes, the brave people who sailed them and the dramatic events which unfolded on the "inland seas".

Ahoy & Farewell II

This book covers over 440 different vessels during the twenty-five year period from 1969 ending in 1994. Ahoy & Farewell II offers an in depth life history of each vessel with statistics and renames, ownership changes as well as anecdotal information when available [which is considerable] . A must for anyone interested in the boats or those who have sailed on them. 250 pages, 65 pictures and an extensive 8 page cross index.
Now available in hard cover.

Moran's Shoreside Companion
for Great lakes Ships

A compilation of vessels that currently ply the Great Lakes, with histories, cross referenced by former names.

The Travellers guide
to Great Beer

by Roger Tottman

A tourist's guide to 21 Ontario micro and regional breweries. It contains the history of the brewery and discription of their products, the hours their beer stores are open (these are the only places to by beer on a Sunday) and maps of each location. In addition their is a chapter on pubs and restaurants with over 500 entries each one of these has at least one Ontario micro-brewery beer on tap and also a chapter listing brew-pubs. It has a short general history of brewing in Ontario and a odd facts.
Vanwell Publishing Ltd. 1 Northrup Cres., P.O. Box 2131 St. Catharines, Ont. L2R 7S2

The Steamer William A. Irvin: Queen of the Silver Stackers
by Jody L. Aho
ISBN: #0-932212-85-9

This book is a comprehensive history of the retired U.S. Steel ore boat William A. Irvin, which has been open to the public in Duluth since 1986. The book includes the building of the vessel, a short biography of William A. Irvin, highlights of the vessel's career, and a discussion of the reasons why the vessel was retired. Interviews with former crewmembers, former guests, and William A. Irvin's relatives are also included, as well as the struggle to preserve the vessel as a museum. There is also a complete history covering the 1,292 cargoes the vessel carried in its career. The book includes many pictures of the vessel during its career, guests who sailed aboard, and other vessels currently sailing the Great Lakes. Whether you have toured the Irvin or not, and regardless of your level of interest in Great Lakes ships there is something in the book for you.
Avery Color Studios of Gwinn, MI.

Dining on Inland Seas
by Daniel C. Krummes

Now you can learn about collecting Ship China in DINING ON INLAND SEAS, the first book to accurately document, describe and illustrate the china used aboard ships sailing the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
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