The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

I have not yet had the chance to visit the United States of America, but there is a shipwreck museum that I find particularly interesting and that I want to visit eventually. Located at the Whitefish Point Lighthouse Resort, 11 miles north of Paradise in Chippewa County, Michigan, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, on the banks of Lake Superior, is one of the most famous historical attractions in the US state. Attracting more than 75,000 visitors each year, the museum, located alongside the oldest operating lighthouse on the lake, features several attractions and captivating exhibitions.

Climbing the Lighthouse

The first of the many activities offered to visitors is to climb the lighthouse of Whitefish Point and, for a donation of $5, enjoy a guided tour of the tower. The contributions are intended to support the conservation and restoration of the lighthouse dating from the era of the American Civil War.

Inside the Shipwreck Museum

Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes, although magnificent, has cost many men and women lives and its fresh waters, sometimes quiet, sometimes furious, implacable, engulfed many ships earning the Lake’s reputation of being the most treacherous of the Great Lakes. What is truly fascinating about the Great Lakes is that they contain 21% of the world’s surface freshwater reserves. One who observes these vast expanses of water for the first time cannot deny being shocked to find that, despite the fact that they are made of freshwater the Great Lakes, the Lake Superior, in particular, have nothing to envy to the seas and oceans of the rest of the world in terms of power, impetuosity, and mystic.

The artifacts exhibited in the museum, tell the legends of the tragic shipwreck legends of the sailors lost in the depth of the enormous lake. The centerpiece of the museum is the bell of SS Edmund Fitzgerald, an American freighter ship that sank during a storm in Lake Superior on November 10th, 1975. The entire crew perished during the sinking of the vessel which is the largest vessel to ever sank in these waters. The bell is displayed in the museum as a memorial in honor of the lost crew and as a reminder that coastline stretching west from Whitefish Point bears the ominous name of “Lake Superior’s Shipwreck Coast.”

The Shipwreck Video Theater

To honor the memory of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald and her crew, at the end of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum invites visitors to watch a 20-minute long film chronicling the best-known wreck of the Great Lakes and the recovery of the bell in 1995, following a request made by the families of the 29 men who were part of the crew of the missing ship.

Visiting the 1861 Lightkeepers Quarters

One of the most immersive experiences that can be experienced in the museum and visit the Lightkeepers Quarters. The entirely restored 1861 quarters make visitors go back in time thanks to period furnishing, various events and exhibitions, and the stories taught by the lightkeepers and their family. The museum hosts many other attractions such as the Surfboat House from 1923, a beautiful boardwalk into Lake Superior, an exhibition on the lighthouse before 1861 and a gift shop full of souvenirs, clothing, books, DVD, games and more.