Marine Historical Society of Detroit

Marine Historical Society of Detroit Dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Great Lakes shipping past and present for future generations to enjoy. The Marine Historical Society of Detroit, a non-profit organization founded in 1944, provides a focal point for individuals and organizations interested in and concerned with the history of the Great Lakes and its maritime heritage.
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Membership includes our monthly publication The Detroit Marine Historian, which offers a variety of articles exploring Great Lakes shipping past and present. Features include Great Lakes Ships to be Remembered, a look at Marine News from 100 Years Ago, and The Log, a digest of current news concerning Great Lakes shipping. Membership also includes an annual, full-color calendar featuring superb, often rare, photos of Great Lakes ships of the past. In keeping with the Society’s objective to further interest and preservation of Great Lakes history, we have published several quality books, including three volumes of Great Lakes Ships We Remember, two volumes of Ahoy & Farewell, GLEW (an illustrated history of the Great Lakes Engineering Works shipyard) and The Nicholson Fleets and Their Captains. Many of the photographs used in these publications are not available elsewhere. In keeping with the Society’s objective to further interest and preservation of Great Lakes history, we have also provided financial support to worthy projects around the Great Lakes, among them the Lightship Huron museum, the Col. James M. Schoonmaker and William G. Mather museum ships, the Great Lakes Maritime Institute’s William Clay Ford pilothouse and Edmund Fitzgerald anchor-raising projects. The society has also given scholarship support to The Great Lakes Maritime Academy at Traverse City. Our archival collection has been donated to The Historical Collections of the Great Lakes at Bowling Green, Ohio. The MHSD has members in the United States, Canada and around the world. We would be pleased to have you join us.

Mission: Dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Great Lakes shipping past and present for future generations to enjoy.

Operating as usual

*** CONGRATULATIONS BILL! ***Annual maritime history preservation award goes to William M. WordenMadison, WI – William M...
09/23/2020

*** CONGRATULATIONS BILL! ***

Annual maritime history preservation award goes to William M. Worden

Madison, WI – William M. Worden has been chosen to receive the 2020 C. Patrick Labadie Award for the preservation of Great Lakes history by the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History.

The award is presented annually to an individual who has made a major contribution, over many years, to the preservation of Great Lakes maritime history through historical research and in furtherance of the goals of the Association.

Criteria for selection included his editorial roles at Telescope and Steamboat Bill magazines, writing applications for landmark status for historic vessels, co-chairing a campaign for the Dossin Great Lakes Museum to acquire D&C Navigation Co. artifacts such as the Gothic Room from the passenger steamer City of Detroit III and serving on the board of directors of the Marine Historical Society of Detroit. He is also considered an expert on Great Lakes passenger vessels.

The Association for Great Lakes Maritime History is a professional association of institutions and individuals from throughout Canada and the U.S. involved in preserving and interpreting the unique maritime history of the Great Lakes region.

The Association sponsors an annual maritime history conference, encourages new research by both professional and avocational historians, financially supports the publishing of new research, and promotes the regular exchange of news and information among its members.

The photo shows Bill at the wheel of the world's oldest operable steamer, Tudor Vladimirescu of 1854.

The B. F. Jones underway. From The Peter B. Worden Collection/MHSD
09/21/2020

The B. F. Jones underway. From The Peter B. Worden Collection/MHSD

The Albert E. Heekin underway. From the Peter B. Worden Collection/MHSD
09/21/2020

The Albert E. Heekin underway. From the Peter B. Worden Collection/MHSD

Marine Historical Society of Detroit wins state history awardThe Marine Historical Society of Detroit has received a sta...
09/20/2020

Marine Historical Society of Detroit wins state history award

The Marine Historical Society of Detroit has received a state history award in the Institutions category from the The Historical Society of Michigan.

In 1944, history enthusiasts founded the organization to promote Great Lakes maritime history. More than 75 years later, the Marine Historical Society of Detroit has produced a wealth of scholarship, preserving and interpreting Michigan’s rich Great Lakes shipping history. In addition to its 73-years-running newsletter, “The Detroit Marine Historian,” the organization has published many other important works that highlight maritime subjects. Although the society has no building of its own, it facilitates the acquisition of archival materials for the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes at Bowling Green State University.

The award will be presented during the annual Michigan History Conference on Oct. 2-3, a virtual event this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The State History Award is presented annually to individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the appreciation, collection, preservation and/or promotion of state and local history. The awards are the highest recognition presented by the Historical Society of Michigan, the state’s official historical society and oldest cultural organization.

The David P. Thompson underway.Photo by Emory A. Massman/MHSD Collection
09/06/2020

The David P. Thompson underway.Photo by Emory A. Massman/MHSD Collection

The A. M. Byers underway, From the Peter B. Worden Collection/MHSD.
09/06/2020

The A. M. Byers underway, From the Peter B. Worden Collection/MHSD.

The John W. Gates sailing through the ice. Photographer unknown. From The J. R. Hoffman Great Lakes Collection.
08/27/2020

The John W. Gates sailing through the ice. Photographer unknown. From The J. R. Hoffman Great Lakes Collection.

The Alexander Leslie underway during 1969. Photo taken by Emory A. Massman/MHSD Collection.
08/27/2020

The Alexander Leslie underway during 1969. Photo taken by Emory A. Massman/MHSD Collection.

The R.R. Richardson underway. From The Peter B. Worden Collection/MHSD
08/27/2020

The R.R. Richardson underway. From The Peter B. Worden Collection/MHSD

The Cygnus scrap tow underway in the Welland Canal. From the Bob Pocotte Collection.
08/16/2020

The Cygnus scrap tow underway in the Welland Canal. From the Bob Pocotte Collection.

The Canopus underway. From The Emory A. Massman Collection/MHSD
08/16/2020

The Canopus underway. From The Emory A. Massman Collection/MHSD

John Dunn Jr. underway. From the Peter B. Worden Collection/MHSD
08/16/2020

John Dunn Jr. underway. From the Peter B. Worden Collection/MHSD

Hello to all who love Great Lakes ships and shipping! We are now accepting new members for our upcoming year, which runs...
08/12/2020

Hello to all who love Great Lakes ships and shipping! We are now accepting new members for our upcoming year, which runs September to September. Here is a sample of our most recent issue of the monthly Marine Historian, which you get with your membership. We also have a beautiful 12-month calendar that mails out in October to all members (sneak peek of the 2021 calendar attached). Membership is very affordable and, especially in these difficult times, appreciated more than ever. A membership form is part of this post. Thank you! – Roger LeLievre, President / Historian Editor

The B. F. Jones underway from the Bob Pocotte Collection.
08/09/2020

The B. F. Jones underway from the Bob Pocotte Collection.

The Howard L. Shaw underway by Emory Massman/MHSD Collection.
08/09/2020

The Howard L. Shaw underway by Emory Massman/MHSD Collection.

the crane ship Harry T. Ewig underway from the Peter B. Worden//Collection/MHSD Collection.
08/09/2020

the crane ship Harry T. Ewig underway from the Peter B. Worden//Collection/MHSD Collection.

Classic tug Wm. A. Whitney beginning her time with the Gaelic Tugboat co. Wilke/MHSD coll.
08/08/2020

Classic tug Wm. A. Whitney beginning her time with the Gaelic Tugboat co. Wilke/MHSD coll.

08/02/2020

Obituary: Cyril Francis Hudson

Cy Hudson passed away at Fiddick’s Nursing Home, Petrolia, ON, on Thursday, July 30, 2020 at the age of 90. He was an avid follower of Great Lakes and Seaway shipping and belonged to nearly every marine society and club on the lakes. He was also a past member of the Marine Historical Society of Detroit advisory council. Above all, Cy was a sailor. He started sailing when he was very young and sailed all over the world before moving to Canada with his family in the mid-1960s.

Born in Yorkshire, England on January 14, 1930, Cy was the son of the late Francis & Jane Ann (Turner). He was the beloved husband of the late Thomasina “Ena” (nee Maggs) for over 60 years and father of Steven Hudson, Susan Van Hooft (John), Jane Ann Hudson, all of Sarnia, and Mary Rottmann (Paul) of Calgary. He worked at Dow Chemical as a millwright for over 30 years. Arrangements are private.

We know her today as the museum ship in Sault Ste. Marie, MI, but here we see the Valley Camp underway with help from th...
07/30/2020

We know her today as the museum ship in Sault Ste. Marie, MI, but here we see the Valley Camp underway with help from the tug Nebraska. Worden/MHSD Coll.

Some sad news: Dave Wobser, a good friend to Know Your Ships and a long-time volunteer board member of the Marine Histor...
07/23/2020

Some sad news: Dave Wobser, a good friend to Know Your Ships and a long-time volunteer board member of the Marine Historical Society of Detroit and Boatnerd died suddenly Wednesday night of a ruptured aorta. He was active in planning the various Boatnerd gatherings around the Great Lakes and was also considered an authority on lighthouses. Arrangements are unknown at this time. Keeping his wife Janet and family in our thoughts.

Silver Bay under the Bluewater bridge. Kidd/MHSD coll.
07/20/2020

Silver Bay under the Bluewater bridge. Kidd/MHSD coll.

Two classics. Ridgetown under tow of the tug Frederick T. Kellers. The Ridgetown survives today as a breakwall. Meier/MH...
07/17/2020

Two classics. Ridgetown under tow of the tug Frederick T. Kellers. The Ridgetown survives today as a breakwall. Meier/MHSD coll.

Tug Green Bay with the Richard J. Reiss. This view would be from before her name was shortened to Richard Reiss. Manse/M...
07/17/2020

Tug Green Bay with the Richard J. Reiss. This view would be from before her name was shortened to Richard Reiss. Manse/MHSD Coll.

Peter Robertson (1) underway. Worden/MHSD
07/16/2020

Peter Robertson (1) underway. Worden/MHSD

Amoco Indiana during fit out. Clarke/Wilke/MHSD coll.
07/16/2020

Amoco Indiana during fit out. Clarke/Wilke/MHSD coll.

Charles M. White during fitout 1973. Rohn/MHSD
06/23/2020

Charles M. White during fitout 1973. Rohn/MHSD

Columbia steamer Ben E. Tate underway. Jim Hoffman/MHSD collection
06/21/2020

Columbia steamer Ben E. Tate underway. Jim Hoffman/MHSD collection

The Michigan with Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. Worden Collection/MHSD
06/19/2020

The Michigan with Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. Worden Collection/MHSD

Tug E.G. Crosby of Duluth. McKenzie/MHSD collection.
06/19/2020

Tug E.G. Crosby of Duluth. McKenzie/MHSD collection.

Hennepin underway for the Redland Steamship Co. Massman/MHSD
06/19/2020

Hennepin underway for the Redland Steamship Co. Massman/MHSD

Sylvania underway in Tomlinson colors. Peter Vanderlinden photo. Meier collection/MHSD
06/19/2020

Sylvania underway in Tomlinson colors. Peter Vanderlinden photo. Meier collection/MHSD

Clemens A. Reiss in Manitowoc with the tug Green Bay. Skip Meier collection/MHSD
06/19/2020

Clemens A. Reiss in Manitowoc with the tug Green Bay. Skip Meier collection/MHSD

Marine Historical Society of Detroit names Jim Hoffman 2020 Historian of the Year Detroit, MI – Jim Hoffman, a well-know...
05/17/2020

Marine Historical Society of Detroit names Jim Hoffman 2020 Historian of the Year

Detroit, MI – Jim Hoffman, a well-known Toledo-based historian and marine photographer, has been named Historian of the Year for 2020 by the Marine Historical Society of Detroit.

Jim served in the U.S. Coast Guard From 1967-1971 on various lifeboat stations and offshore lighthouses on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. While he was in the service, he started taking pictures of boats and has traveled to all five Great Lakes and the Welland Canal to do so. He primarily used a small boat as well as bridges and various shoreline areas for his marine photography.

Over the years, his photos have appeared in many publications including the Detroit Marine Historian, and he has always been willing to share his images and research with all who asked. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the award was presented to Jim recently on behalf of the MHSD by his daughter, Colleen Hoffman.

Until his recent illness, he has been responsible for posting many historic images to this site. Thanks, Jim, and congratulations!

The Wilson Fleet vessel B. F. Jones underway. Photo taken by Emory A. Massman/MHSD Collection.
04/10/2020

The Wilson Fleet vessel B. F. Jones underway. Photo taken by Emory A. Massman/MHSD Collection.

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Detroit, MI

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Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00
Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

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