Nov 11-02

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2002: November: Nov 11-02
More memories of Edmund Fitzgerald    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by the Z-Man

Gary, CO on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 05:26 pm:

I believe the Fitz sank in 1975, making that 27 years ago. Nice ship photo. As nasty as She can get, I still miss the Big Lake.

By Nancy Nelson, WI on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 05:40 pm:

That's a huge one. Any idea what its name is, or what company it belongs to? I miss those ships. Used to sit in school and listen to them blow for the bridge all day on a stormy day. Just this summer saw one hiding from the huge August waves in the shelter by Mt. Bohemia.

By ME> Mich. on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 05:50 pm:

I don't see any pictures of Arbutus Falls , it was in back of Copper City. Anyone that has any Info about these Falls, Please forward them .

By Katherine D. in G.R. Mi on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 06:08 pm:

Great ship shot, I know their are alot of people out there who can name these freighers at a glance.As for my husband and I, we'll be getting ourselves a good pair of Binoculars $$ before Spring. As for You-Yoopers,you're so lucky, not only is their bountiful beauty, but everything has an interesting, meaningful name: Bohemia, L'anse,......Try getting romantic about GRAND Rapids, GRANDville, GRAND Haven or GREENville. AARRGH !

By Martha L., Indiana on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 06:16 pm:

Beautiful ship! I remember the day the Edmond Fitzgerald went down well! My mom, my sister and I drove from our house at Copper Harbor just a couple of miles West on M-26 to the Devil's Washtub. Our teacher from the Copper Harbor School went with us. We counted over 50 trees down (some in the road) just in that couple of miles that we drove. When we got to Devil's Washtub, which is a natrual rock formation of a cave in the rock toward Lake Superior which the waves go pounding into. The cave has a hole in the top of it, so when the waves come charging into the cave, they spew up through the hole in the top of the cave. This makes for quite some churning of the water, and thus it got its name.

We couldn't even get near it that day. The waves were so big they were almost coming up and over the top! Even though I was fairly young then and still love the water, it gave me a very healthy respect for the force of Lake Superior and what it can do. I get homesick just thinking of beautiful Lake Superior :( Can't wait to get back next spring! Or maybe for Christmas!

By The Z-Man, Ontonagon,Mi on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 06:17 pm:

The photo was taken just past agate bay. Nancy, I could not read the name of the ship,way to far out. I seen three ships go by on this gloomy day.

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 07:12 pm:

My dad and I always loved the song by Gordon Lightfoot... But to SEE the ship... WOW! That's a mighty big one! What a beautiful shot!

Alex Tiensivu

By DAN BELO ,LAKE LINDEN on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 07:12 pm:


By Jeff Cerget, MI on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 07:22 pm:

I'm not exactly sure of her name, but she belongs to Detroit Edison where she is the largest on the great lakes, 1000 FT! The ship is used to transfer Wisconsin coal to the Power Plants in the metro Detroit area.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 07:58 pm:

Hmmm, she looks suspiciously like the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. We could probably nail it if we could find it mentioned in a timely note on a Lake Superior Ship Movements or Vessle Passages web site, like (Tried that, no hits -FRN)

By Ed Chaput on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 08:02 pm:

As a former Yooper I sailed on the EDMUND FITZGERALD for its maiden season in 1958 and was invited to be a bell ringer at the ceremony at Mariners Church in Detroit yesterday Nov 10. Each year there is a packed church for the ceremony and at times Gordon Lightfoot makes an appearances but will never sing the song there inside of the church. Incidentally he was just released Friday from intensive care in a hospital in Hamilton Ontario after a months stay.

By katherine in G.R. on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 08:04 pm:

Compared to pics at Duluth shipping news, she looks like the George A. Stinson. Note the White on the bow.

By D from Lake Linden, Mi on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 08:11 pm:

This is for Cheryl and her family. You lost your father on that Great Lake's freighter, and without personally knowing him, I think of the bravery of the men on the mighty ship lost at sea. They loved the Great Lake, and in their memory I have learned to love and respect it in all its beauty. They will always be remembered along with their families.

By Katherine D. on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 08:12 pm:

Oh Yeah, The Stinson is 1004 ft.

By Brian Rendel, Hancock on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 08:13 pm:

Found this link interesting as a list of quick facts about the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald.

By Joe, Eastpointe, MI on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 08:17 pm:

My guess is the Walter McCarthy because it is black in color and is a 1000 footer. The biggest one on the great lakes is the Paul Tregurtha, which is some 1013 feet long, but that one is rust brown, I believe. I find it eerily ironic that the Fitzgerald's sinking anniversary is the same date as yesterday's historic killer tornado outbreak in Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri. There really is some lethal voodoo in the air during November. I just hope the shipping companies know when to seek safe harbor now that the Fitz has shown that the weather can founder even a modern ship if it chooses to do so.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 08:43 pm:

An interesting study...
Although an earlier photo of the George A. Stinson shows her downbound at SSM wearing an overall "rust" color scheme, in most recent photos seem to show her as a largely black ship with a somewhat taller white prow than the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. as noted by katherine in G.R., yet in a few other pix, she looks identical to the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr.

By Sam/Alabama on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 09:07 pm:

If I remember correctly The Fitzgerald was the largest of the "Cleveland Cliffs Line". I worked outside near the Detroit river back then and would always have lunch in a park on the River to watch the boats go by, and when the Fitz would come thru she was just the biggest and most magnificent ship of the Fleet and I always felt lucky to see her. The last time I saw her she was heading North through the River for the Big Lake(seems that was a Friday afternoon), and she never made it back.
I agree with Joe, November Weather can really be treacherous !

By tziemnick ,mo on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 09:59 pm:

Ed Chaput~ did you ever contact George Yaworski about his service on the Fitz?

By Catherine--Holland, MI on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 10:11 pm:

Try closer to the lake, Katherine: Holland, Zeeland, Overeisel, Borculo, Noordelos, Harderwyk. Of course they are just a tad homogenous in origin.

I attended the memorial service at the Mariner's Chapel in 1985. Very moving.

By JAD, Oskar on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 10:32 pm:

As a church organist I have tried whenever possible on the 2nd Sunday of November to play somewhere in the church service (prelude, offertory or postlude) the hymn tune MELITA, commonly known as the Navy Hymn, or "Eternal Father, strong to save." This hymn is frequently sung at the memorial services of seamen/women. I played an adaptation of it yesterday. MELITA, btw, is the ancient name of the island of Malta, where the apostle Paul was shipwrecked (Acts 28:102).

By Alice A. on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 12:39 am:

To Katherine D., G.R.
Also try going north a bit - Newaygo, White Cloud, Hesperia, Hart, Pentwater, Cheboygan, Traverse City, etc. - and think about it - what's so bad about the rapids on the Grand?
Alice A., Anchorage

By Marshall R. Burt on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 08:30 am:

My two years (72&73) on the SS Cason J.Callaway as a deckhand/AB Deckwatch was a unique experience which I will never forget. The museum at Whitefish Pt. is chilling. This summar I swam in Superior (Big Pines)at 10am, Michigan (dunes near St Ignace)at 2:00, and Huron (Macinac City) at 5pm. Ate smoked fish & pasties...what a day!!!

By Pete Wi. on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 12:40 pm:

I spent most of the day in 1975 at thr Michigan Bell switching office between Eagle Harbor and Copper Harbor. I really thought I'd spend the night there as I figured M26 would be blocked eikther way. I'll never forget coming into Eagle Harbor that morning. The harbor looked like a tub full of water being violently stirred with a paddle.

By Doug, Ohio on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 05:25 pm:

Looks like the George A. Stinson to me.

By Kathleen from Maryland on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 10:19 am:

I tell people here in the mid-Atlantic how tough Superior is. I don't think they understand. Here when the Lightfoot song comes on overhead in a store, I stop dead in my tracks and get the chills. The hairs stand up on the back of my neck. There have been times when I have physically shivered from it. It's because I know what those words truly mean. I know what that lake can do. I found the CD with the song and bought it because of that. (I hope you are feeling better Mr. Lightfoot. Thanks for crafting a great memory. It's one of the best folk songs I have heard. Take care.)

My old friend, Sandy, had her two girls (very little at that time) with her in their old pickup. They went on an adventure to check out the storm. They'd been driving around Cat Harbor - trees down, etc. The water was coming over the road and into the swamp to the east. She looked down at her youngest (who was petrified) and the little one asked if they could go home. It was at that moment that Sandy realized how very perilous the storm actually was and that maybe the old truck might not make it back to town. I am glad it did. Respect of such a raw force is a good thing.

I love the lake. I just love it. It gives me such a pleasure to see it, smell it, and swim in it. I love to stand on the beach in a strong wind and just let it blow. We are all so lucky to have it in our memories.

My condolences to all the families who lost loved ones on that ship. Our thoughts are with you.

By Mark, MI & NC on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 10:45 am:

The Fitz was not owned by Clevland-Cliffs....she was owned by Columbia Steamship, which today is Oglebay-Norton.

I sailed on the Buckeye and the Reserve.

p.s. It is refered to as Hull Maroon, not rusty red. hahaah

By Phil K, Manton, MI on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 01:39 pm:

I remember the storm like it was yesterday. I was living in Keweenaw at the time and remember the shocking news about the Fitz the next day. I also get a chill when I hear Lightfoots song, it sends a lot of pictures through my mind of what it was like out on the lake that night. When I was small my dad was a commercial fisherman so my brother and I had the opportunity to experience some of those storms although not to the magnitude of 11/10/75, but it does put clear definition to Lightfoots song.
My wife Dar and I also had quite an experience one day when we were going from Copper Harbor to Lac LaBell and as soon as we went around Keweenaw point the weather decided to quickly turn and gave us a real sweet ride all the way. I'm just glad we were traveling in the direction of the rolling sea. We still swim and water ski in it every year and catch the most beautiful sunsets....
Mark, thanks for the clearification on the hull color.

By Dan, Hancock on Thursday, November 14, 2002 - 07:16 pm:

I remember seeing the "remains" of the champagne
bottle used to "Christen" the Fitz at her launch back in 58. They are still on display in a Glass Case at the Milwaukee Public Library, in downtown Milwaukee.

By gives, hancock on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 12:11 am:

There is also a life preserver from the Fitz on display at the Maritime Museum in Marquette.

By anotheryoop in heaven on Friday, November 22, 2002 - 09:25 am:

There is nothing wrong with the names of the towns in Trollville, It makes them easy to forget.

How 'bout that Atikitigane Restaurant?
Ontonagon- ("I lost my bowl")
Watersmeet-(self explanitory)

We've got a fish we call a "Lawyer"- it's a brubot (no NOT burbon) and, of course, it's a bottom feeder

There is nothing "Grand" about the Grand River, I participated in many clean-up efforts there, and it's a losing (lost) battle.

GREAT SHOTS Z Man, but you forgot to mention your website, with those TREMENDOUS hummingbird photos, and the rest.

By BMyers Ft. Wayne IN on Friday, November 22, 2002 - 05:54 pm:

I remember that stormy night back in 1975, growing up in Fort Wayne, IN we had a terrible storm that was all from the same weather system that day started out cloudy and 65 degrees here then by about 2pm the winds began to blow and gusting up to 70mph, within 45 min the rain changed to snow and by the next day at noon we had 18in. of snow driven by high winds and one would have no clue that it was almost 70 the day before. That day, even though Ft. Wayne is 400mi to the south, the news was updating the storm on the lakes and the steamer Edmund Fitzgerald. I am glad that I live close enough to drive to Whitefish Point to visit as often as I do year round.

By James P. Wuest on Friday, April 11, 2003 - 12:01 pm:

I have been doing some family history research and I find that my grandfather was a captain on the "Herbert C. Jackson" and the "J.L.Mauthe"and
on others. He had a brother Charles Wuest that was
offered the Captian position on the "Edmond Fitzgerald" He turned it down on the basis that in his opinon "It was a bucket of bolts".

I don't know if he sailed on the ship or not. He served as a 1st mate. I assumed he worked for Cleveland-Cliffs. As did my father and my uncles.
My grandfather worked for the "Interlake Steamship Co. I would like to find out more information................James P. Wuest

By GY from Mentor, Ohio on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 09:56 am:

Back in the forties, there was another ship named the W.E. Fitzgerald, and it positively was a bucket of bolts. Her captain chewed tobacco, and you could see brown spittle running down his short bearded chin. She used to run aground in Manistee Lake, and the old man got angry with the Coast Guard for not being able to pull her off the shoal by using a motor lifeboat and picket boat.He had to call the tug Tipperary and pay traveling time from Ludington, which was almost 30 miles away.

By suzanne Mann, WI on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 10:21 pm:

In the 1950's my dad sailed on the W.E. Fitzgerald. He ran the conveyor belts for unloading. Recently we found a log he kept.He would be gone for 6 weeks, home for a few days and then gone again. I remember being taken aboard at Green Bay, WI one time and how impressed I was at the size of the "boat". I believe my dad said it was 500 some feet long. My uncles also sailed for awhile, but it was a hard lving for a family man though the money was supposed to be excellent. He said the storms in March and November were the worst.

By Junglegirl ,Pennsylvania on Sunday, December 28, 2003 - 08:13 pm:

I was about 9 years old when the Edmund Fitzgerald sank. Hearing that song I could only imagine what these men went through.I live about 45 minutes from Lake Erie and I've seen some of the big boats and they are amazingly large.

By Matt BC, Canada on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 03:05 am:

I am 20 years old and for the first time i heard the song about the Fitz and it made me realize that people think that the bigger the safer but thats just a hope or theory. The Fitz was huge but it went down like it was tiny. We all wonder what those men went through and it was a huge loss to the familys and to the industry.

By Hing Chu Chan Chin, MI on Sunday, January 2, 2005 - 02:57 pm:

Hey! I am doing a project on the Fitzgerald ! Nice info!

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