Tag Archive | museum

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Bay


6-24-16

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum lighthouse

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.

Edmund Fitzgerald Exhibit at Train Show

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.

Whitefish Point lighthouse markerShipwreck Museum info

Coast Guard Lookout Tower sign

Coast Guard Lookout tower

You can even stay overnight here!

Overnight Accomodations at Whitefish Point

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.

View from Lighthouse

View of beach at Whitefish Point

View of St. Mary River from Lighthouse

Visibility was real good that day, this is the view from Google Maps of what you are seeing here.

Map View from Lighthouse of St. Mary River

A fishing trawler was also visible.

Fishing Trawler

The light itself, impressive!

Lighthouse light at Whitefish Point

She even took a selfie with us afterwards, thanks!

Selfie with Katie Beth at Shipwreck Museum

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.

Coast Guard Surf Boat Building at Whitefish Point

In here is a rescue surfboat on display, this model has enabled rescuers to save many lives.

Surfboat info

Coast Guard Surfboat

Inside surfboat

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.

Lego Edmund Fitzgerald

Lego edmund Fitzgerald bowLego Edmund Fitzgerald info

Edmund Fitzgerald plaque

In this building is also a wood cut-out to take a picture with.

Cut Out st Shipwreck Museum

And now for the last building with many more shipwreck exhibits, and artifacts from the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Main exhibit building at Shipwreck Museum

Panorama of inside main building at Shipwreck Museum

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.

Edmund Fitzgerald Display at Shipwreck Museum

The real ship bell.  You could not help but to feel sadness thinking of this brave crew and their sacrifice.

Edmund Fitzgerald Bell

There were many other ships represented too along the wall on the right side of the room.

Wall of shipwrecks at museum

Other displays..

Niagra Ship's Bell at Shipwreck Museum

Independence Shipwreck display

Lighthouse and ship display

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.

Boardwalk to Lake Superior shore

Lake Superior sand and stones

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.

Dedication to Edmund Fitzgerald

On the shore were three more for three of the crew men, resembling gravestones.

Memorial to crew of Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior shoreline

The summer shoreline is quiet and peaceful, the piles of driftwood showed the results of when conditions get rough.

Lake Superior Shoreline at Shipwreck Museum

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.

Selfie at Whitefish Bay

Shipwreck Museum front

 

Tour the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum in Mackinaw City


6-23-16

Icebreaker Mackinaw sign

Icebreaker Mackinaw marker

Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum in Mackinaw City

We finished our day in Mackinaw City by exploring The Icebreaker Mackinaw, a decommissioned Coast Guard ship built to keep an open waterway in the winter.  It is open May through early October, admission is $11 for adults, ages 6-17 are $6. Get your tickets at the end of the pier in the ticket building.  It looks like a buoy.  There is also a ship propeller on display. The marker above is also nearby.

Icebreaker Mackinaw Ticket booth

We began our walk towards the ship, there were informational signs along the way.

Icebreaker information

 Al served in the Navy in the 1980’s, and he informed me that rank and decorations for service are the same in Coast Guard.  Al showed me the decoration he earned during his years of service.

Al's NAVY Medal

We approach the gangway and are welcomed aboard.  The staff are friendly and are there to answer any questions you might have.

Mackinaw gangway

We began with an orientation before our self-guided tour.  We saw a short film about the ship and it’s important role keeping the seaways open during WW II and after. The citizens of Mackinaw City didn’t want this ship to be sitting in a scrapyard after it was decommissioned. They banded together and purchased the ship and converted it into a maritime museum.  We are so glad they did!  The way between levels are essentially ladders, watch your step!

Icebreaker orientation and video

 

Stairway on Icebreaker

 The Ward Room

Ward Room on Icebreaker

Chief Petty Officer Mess

Chief Petty Officer Mess

1st Class Petty Officer’s Lounge

First Class PO Lounge

Battle Lantern

Berthing Crew Quarters for the Women Crew Members

Berthing Quarters on Icebreaker

Berthing Quarters locker

Watch your step!

Door on Icebreaker

If this ship were operating, you would get a pair of ear plugs before entering the Engine Room, our next stop.  Jim told us about how the engine worked.

Ear Plugs and Engine Room sign

Stairway to Engine Room

Engine Room of Icebreaker

Jim on Icebreaker describing engine

The engine room was impressive even silent, we could imagine the power it would have running.  We went back up the ladder to the Main Deck again.  The route is clearly marked with arrowed signs.  Saw this plaque commemorating 50 years of ice breaking on the wall.  Congratulations on a half-century of fine service to the fleet!

50 Years of Ice Breaking

Since I am a cook, the galley was of particular interest to me.  I took a picture through the plexiglass.   There was a small monitor with a video describing kitchen operations. One of the docents answering people’s questions in this area offered to take me inside the kitchen, thanks!  This kitchen is bigger than I expected for being on board a ship, very impressive!

Galley sign

Ship Galley facts

Icebreaker Galley

Galley in operation on Icebreaker

Icebreaker Galley inside

After the galley went out to the deck. we are looking to the former Railroad Dock area of the marina.  On shore is a marker describing it.

Railroad Dock in Mackinaw City

Railroad Dock marker

Now we enter the Enlisted Crew area.

Mess Deck info

Scullery and enlisted crew

Engineering Office

IMG_2118

HALON Storage

Halon Storage

Executive Officer Office

Executive Officer office on Icebreaker

Log Room

Log Room on Icebreaker

Now we head upstairs to the deck and Pilot House.  What a great view up here!

Icebreaker deck

Pilot House on Icebreaker

Inside Pilot House on Icebreaker

And now the view from the deck!  Ferries, freighters and  parasailing all at the same time.  This is a very busy place in the summer!

Parasailing and Mac island

Freighters passing each other

Flag on Ice Breaker

Our tour is at a conclusion.  Allow yourself at least 2 hours to explore the ship, and be sure to pick a memento at the Ship Store.  If you don’t have time to take the tour, you can still stop in the store.

Ship Store sign

We highly recommend coming here for the tour.  We learned a lot and had a great time.  It’s not every day you get to see the inside of a Coast Guard Icebreaker.

Icebreaker Mackinac Museum selfie 2 IMG_2111

UPDATE 8-1-17!

The Icebreaker Mackinaw is in need of a complete repainting to preserve the hull. A Gofundme

account has been set up for donations. Please help if you can!

Mackinac Bridge Museum in Mackinaw City


6-24-16  –  Day 4 of BIG Michigan Trip

 

Mackinac Bridge Museum

Bridge Museum plaque on building

Mackinaw Bridge Museum display

Our day in Mackinaw City would not be complete without a visit to the Mackinaw Bridge Museum to learn more about this important connection between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan.  It is open spring through fall, closes in winter.  Residents and visitors alike love their bridge and are not shy about showing it.  Our first view of the bridge as we approached Mackinaw City sparked the same reaction in us.  The bridge celebrates its 60th birthday in 2017.

First view of Mackinac Bridge text hearts

The agency charged with the upkeep of the bridge and safety of people crossing is the Mackinac Bridge Authority.  They have offices in both St. Ignace and Mackinaw City.

There is a $4.00 toll payable on the St. Ignace side, which helps pay for maintenance and professional drivers. They drive people across the bridge in bad conditions or if you have a fear of bridges.  Tune your radio to 530 or 1610 AM to hear a broadcast on bridge conditions.  If there are good conditions, you hear a welcoming message to the Upper Peninsula (U.P.).

Enjoy this view of the bridge from  Michilimackinac State Park and hear the broadcast, a 4 min-33 sec. looped message.  A bonus, the freighter Joseph L. Block  goes under the bridge!

This bridge is beautiful, day and night.

Mackinac Bridge from Gary Williams Memorial Park in Mackinaw City

Let’s go inside now and take a look at the exhibits.  On the ceiling are hard hats worn by the iron workers.

Museum Room with hard hats

Five men died in the building of this bridge and their sacrifice will be honored for all time. May they rest in peace.

Mackinac Bridge fatalities

Some of the other exhibits in the room.

Ironworkers Walk of Fame sign

Spuinning Wheel that pulled the wire across the spans of Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac Bridge Museum Exhibit Room

It looks like Santa has another job when he is not delivering gifts.

Ironworker Santa

The museum also had a theater showing a documentary about the Mackinac bridge, a different film was on a TV in the other room.

IMG_1466

It turns out both films were for sale, get both for $30 downstairs at Mama Mia’s order counter to watch at home.

Mac Bridge videos at Mackinac Bridge Museum

We highly recommend coming here to learn more about the Mighty Mac.  Admission is free but donations are encouraged or buy a souvenir.

Prairie du Sac – Village on the Sauk Prairie Waterway


3-5-16

prairie duc sac sign eraseWelcomeEagleWatchers

Sauk Prairie Riverway sign

After our fun morning at Wollersheim Winery, we crossed the Wisconsin River to have lunch and see more of Prairie du Sac and places to shop downtown.

Wollersheim Winery main buildings IMG_2571

And of course, watch the eagles during the winter. We saw only one at Eagle Island, but it is now nesting season.

We began our visit with lunch at the Sauk Prairie Eagle Inn, our first time there.  The food was delicious and we would definitely go back!

Sauk Prairie Eagle Inn

Time to see where the locals shop!  Next door to the Eagle Inn is Sauk Prairie Power Equipment where they can repair motors for you.

Sauk Prairie Power Equipment

Across the street is Luck’s Antique Mall, where we got an early start on Christmas shopping.  Stop here to find a unique gift or antique for that special someone.  It used to be a Ford garage 100 years ago.

Luck's Antique Mall in Prairie du Sac

Luck's Antique Store Formerly Ford Garage

If you cross the street at the bridge and walk far enough, you will see a HUGE eagle mural on the back.  Artist Randy Koenecke did a great job showing off the village mascot, the American eagle. The mural was painted in 2014.

Eagle Mural in Prairie du Sac

Visit the Tripp Memorial Museum to learn more about the Sauk Prairie (Sauk City and Prairie du Sac) area.

Tripp Memorial Museum in Prairie du Sac

Buy or rent or watch the latest movies at the Bonham Theater and Video in the Bonham building. You can also get video games here.  The building might date back to the 1920’s. It has an interesting historic feature in the lower left corner above the blue door, a cornerstone that says “air-conditioned”.  Neat!

Bonham Theater in Prairie du Sac

Air Conditioned cornerstone

Be sure to take a peek on the eagle-watching platform overlooking the river.

Eagle lookout platform

Eagle lookout platform

The viewing scope is free to use, compliments of the Ferry Bluff Eagle Council and other sponsors.

Viewing Scope in Prairie du Sac

The Ruth Culver Community Library is another place to seek out Sauk Prairie history if the Tripp museum isn’t open.

Ruth Culver Community Library

Sauk Prairie Bait and Tackle will take care of your fishing needs for bait and tackle.

Sauk Prairie Bait and Tackle

Two shops are in the building to the right of the tackle shop. DMarie Knit and Fiber  has great knitted gifts yarn to make your own. Also needlepoint supplies.  Prairie Pet Styles next door to get your pet groomed.

dMarie Knit and Fiber and Prairie Pet Styles

What community doesn’t have a Masonic Lodge building?

IMasonic Temple in Prairie du Sac

Another bright mural downtown brightened up an otherwise drab day.

Butterfly mural in Prairie du Sac

River Arts on Water is the community’s art gallery. It also features live performances throughout the year.

River Arts on Water

Our last stop was down by the river at the Prairie du Sac VFW Post 7694. On display is a helicopter. There is also a campground at VFW Memorial Park with 25 sites available, open seasonally.

Prairie du Sac VFW IMG_2917

Veteran's Memorial Park in Prairie du Sac

From here you could see a boat launch and the dam beyond on the Wisconsin River. It was loud today with the sound of rushing water. Saw several fishing boats too.

Dam on Wisconsin River IMG_2935

Fisherman on Wisconsin River in Prairie du Sac IMG_2933

For great shopping and eagles too, visit historic Prairie du Sac!

Downtown Prairie du Sac