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Great Lakes Marine Collection-MPL/WMHS

Our 2017 WMHS Program Schedule Is Taking Shape

A Milwaukee River and Harbor cruise and a retelling of one of the great marine tragedies on Lake Michigan are among the programs being planned for members of the Wisconsin Marine Historical Society and their guests during 2017.

"We welcome all members and their guests to partake of our marine-inspired programs and activities," Nancy Carpenter, chair of the Program Committee, said in announcing the 2017 lineup of programs.

In addition to the special event programs, Nancy reminds everyone that Executive Director Suzette Lopez offers her Treasures Series of Great Lakes programs the third Tuesday of each month at the Central Milwaukee Public Library. Here is a list of programs and activities that are currently scheduled for the year. Other programs are also being planned and will be announced later.

  • March 10 and 11: The Society will participate in and operate a booth at the Ghost Ships Festival at the Crowne Plaza Milwaukee Airport.
  • April 6: A spring dinner, featuring a talk by Captain Amy Cocanour, retiring Command of the United States Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, will be held at the Milwaukee Yacht Club. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan comprises 21 Coast Guard Stations and Units responsible for 1,638 miles of shoreline and about 19,000 square miles of surface water. That area includes jurisdiction in four states, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. Originally from Thiensville, Wisconsin, Captain Cocanour is stationed in Milwaukee.
  • June 18: A Father's Day Brunch and Tour on the EDELWEISS, with a delicious plated champagne brunch, will start at 11:30 a.m. The two-hour cruise will start on the Milwaukee River and include the Port of Milwaukee.
  • September 9: A trip on the Fox River starting at DePere is scheduled. Members and their guests will board a deluxe bus at I-43 and Brown Deer Rd parking lot at 9:30 a.m. for the trip to DePere. There they will board the RIVER THYME tour boat and be served a box lunch. After traveling for two hours, including one lock, the passengers will be met by the bus and returned to Milwaukee by about 4:30 p.m.
  • September 28: The "Wreck of the LADY ELGIN" is the featured topic at a dinner at the South Shore Yacht Club. The tragic sinking of the ship with the loss of about 300 lives will be described by diver Sharon Cook and marine historian Steve Radovan.
  • December: Cal Kothrade, a Milwaukee diver and photographer, will be the featured speaker at the Society's Annual Christmas Tree Ship Dinner at the Milwaukee Yacht Club. The date has not been determined.
Events and speakers can change at the last minute or program opportunities can arise unexpectedly, like a tour of a special vessel in the Harbor. Watch for these announcements.

On This Day Is the Society's Periodic Articles
on Maritime History on Facebook

On This Day is a series of short articles that explore the boats, fleets, people and events that have influenced how we use the Great Lakes. There are typically two per month. These are emailed to members and posted on our Facebook page.

The Great Lakes account for about twenty percent of the earth’s surface freshwater. They are a source of drinking water and food. They provide an efficient means of transportation. They have also been used as a sewer.

Consistent with the Society’s mission statement, topics have included: EDMUND FITZGERALD’s only visit to Milwaukee, her homeport; Buffalo’s 1959 bridge disaster, familiar to all first year law students; the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire, which galvanized efforts to clean up our lakes and rivers; Milwaukee’s crib disaster of 1893, which focused attention on the high cost of clean water.

Today, the Great Lakes faces challenges from invasive species and crumbling infrastructure. History continues to be written. FACEBOOK