The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum has an important mission, to educate the public about the ships that sailed the Great Lakes over the centuries. Also to honor the sailors that have given their lives while serving aboard their ships when the weather turned deadly.
Our first connection to this museum occurred on February 24th when we went to the Mad City Model Railroad Show and Sale in Madison. There was an Edmund Fitzgerald model there and the museum was mentioned also.
We got there just before they opened so we looked around awhile. There is a historic marker for the lighthouse. To see everything, allow yourself 3 hours.
You can even stay overnight here!
The museum opened and we took the optional lighthouse tour too. Our guide Kate was wonderful and was enthusiastic in her delivery. the view was amazing at the top. You could also see the mouth of the St. Mary River from here if it is clear enough.
Visibility was real good that day, this is the view from Google Maps of what you are seeing here.
A fishing trawler was also visible.
The light itself, impressive!
She even took a selfie with us afterwards, thanks!
The video also has some of the other exhibits we saw.
We did the lighthouse tour first, so now it was time to explore the other exhibits. The first building was the Coast Guard Surf Boat House.
In here is a rescue surfboat on display, this model has enabled rescuers to save many lives.
Next door in this building are Edmund Fitzgerald exhibits. The song “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” specifically mentions Whitefish Bay so it was still surreal that we were there. There was a model of the ship made of Legos® (video) on display.
In this building is also a wood cut-out to take a picture with.
And now for the last building with many more shipwreck exhibits, and artifacts from the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Edmund Fitzgerald large display, there was also a video playing showing all of the 29 crew members who died in the deadly November 10, 1975 storm.
The real ship bell. You could not help but to feel sadness thinking of this brave crew and their sacrifice.
There were many other ships represented too along the wall on the right side of the room.
After exploring the exhibits here we went down to the shore. You accessed it on a boardwalk and stairs down. It was sandy with stones worn smooth by the water.
There were also dedications to the Edmund Fitzgerald shore side too, we could almost imagine the storm that sealed their fate. This one listed the 29 crew members.
On the shore were three more for three of the crew men, resembling gravestones.
The summer shoreline is quiet and peaceful, the piles of driftwood showed the results of when conditions get rough.
We took a solemn self-portrait here among the driftwood, remember all the sailors who passed on. We are glad we came here during our one day in the U.P. of Michigan.