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Lake Superior’s history on display at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

Posted on October 23rd, 2019

Lake Superior is known for its unimaginable amount of fresh water, beautiful coast line spanning across three states and a Canadian province, and a wicked temper only rivaled by the lake’s own vast expanse. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum offers reflection and education on the “Big Lake’s” fiery temper with exhibits and artifacts.

(The above image links to a 360 degree virtual reality video on YouTube. Use your mouse to move it around or try it out with a smartphone!)

Located at the tip of Whitefish Point roughly 20 minutes north of the turnoff for Tahquamenon Falls State Park is the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and its scenic overlooks. You can easily spend an entire day exploring the museum’s numerous buildings learning about the shipwrecks and life-saving devices that were used over the years.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

The main gallery of the museum showcases 13 shipwrecks, but it’s not all doom and gloom. The museum focuses on the human stories of the crews, as well as the circumstances surrounding the shipwrecks. The exhibits also showcase the evolution of the boats and ships to explain why there are fewer shipwrecks in the modern date.

Edmund Fitzgerald bell

A 20-minute film is available on the recovery of, Lake Superior’s most famous victim, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald’s ship bell. The film highlights the family connection of the 29 crewmen that perished on the boat on November 10, 1975. You can also see the bell in the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum’s main gallery.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

At the heart of the museum is the Whitefish Point Light Station, a lighthouse that was constructed in 1861 at the order of President Abraham Lincoln. An active navigational light for ships has been operated at Whitefish Point since 1848.

Explore the lower level of the lighthouse keeper’s quarters built in 1861 to see how the family of the station lived. The home is set up to represent the way it was remember by Bertha Endress-Rollo. She lived at the lighthouse on-and-off for 21 years.

If you spend a little extra with your museum admission, you can climb the lighthouse tower for a stunning view of Lake Superior. A well-versed staff is available to provide information on the exhibits.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is open from May 1-October 31 and even includes a gift shop. When you visit the museum and take in Lake Superior’s awe-inspiring reach, make sure you post your photos with the hashtag #ILoveTheSoo on  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.