Monday, July 29, 2013

Whitefish Point / Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

There is a lighthouse on Whitefish point about 40 miles back into the lake on the Superior side of Sault Ste Marie..  This light was first commissioned by President Lincoln...

It is the point on the Lake where the freighters turn almost South to go into the St Mary's river at its very end...  And it is the point where the Edmund Fitzgerald was attempting to make, in order to turn into the bay beyond and get out of the open lake gale on November 10, 1975...  But his radar had been knocked out by the storm....  Of course he never made it anyway, so that didn't matter...


It was overcast when we arrived before noon..  And the wind was blowing in off of the Lake....  You pay a museum fee of $13 for your unlimited access.. but it was extra to climb the light tower....   we didn't pay that..


The biggest attraction in the entire place is the bell from the ship raised in 1995 at a depth of 535 feet...


This is the fresnel lens from the light house..  It makes a small light visible for great distances...  It rotated, and in the days before electricity it rotated on a grandfather clock type mechanism that had to be wound by the keeper every few hours...


The gas mantle inside one of the smaller lens'


This one's on display inside the keepers house.


A wax replica of the keeper himself at his desk in the keepers house.  He seemed so real, it was eerie...


The big lake they call Gitchy Goomy... Key Gordon Lightfoot and his eerie ballad..    It was just 17 miles to the Northwest, the direction of this photo that the Edmund Fitzgerald sank....  Wikipedia


They had a building entirely dedicated to the EF and this model made from Lego's was its center piece...


The murals on the walls are very life like..


As we were getting ready to leave, there was one last building that showed a 15 minute documentary on the dives to the EF and the raising of the bell..  It was very emotional at the end as they rang the bell for each sailor aboard...  A second reproduction of the original bell was returned to the ship on the floor of the lake with all 29 men's names inscribed along with details of the sinking....  There wasn't many dry eyes in that little theater...

And as we emerged to the daylight out the back of the building, suddenly it was sunny outside.....



We went to lunch after that and on to a state park, but I will leave that for the next post...

Retired Rod

5 comments:

  1. Great post and wonderful pictures

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  2. Nice post. I hope you picked up a little fudge from their store. yum yum!

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  3. Loved this post. But I can't imagine why you didn't want to pay to climb stairs!! Jim climbed for me in Florida. I'm not sure I've ever seen a picture of the EF before. Not sure what I thought it was all about but it all makes more sense now.

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  4. Great post, Rod. Thanks for the tour and pictures. I think the ballad of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot is one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs ever written.

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  5. I think Rick summed it up. I'm getting a little "verklempt" just thinking about it.

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