Shipwrecks are a big part of Michigan history. The lumber barons of West Michigan loaded great ships with timber and sent them across the lake. Loads of coal, iron ore, and passengers, too, made their way to Chicago, Milwaukee, and other faraway places. Each trip across the lake was a risky undertaking as ships were at the mercy of the often unpredictable lake. Anyone who has ever watched a storm roll in across Lake Michigan has some idea of how powerful and unpredictable the wind and waves can be. Our many Coast Guard stations and lighthouses are a testament to the awesome and deadly power of the “Big Lake.”
Shipwrecks, victims of these powerful winds and waves, each have a story to tell, and these stories serve to remind us of our history and our humanity. Because we understand the value of these stories, we know that shipwrecks must be protected.
The equivalent of dry land preserves, underwater preserves are recognized as places of distinctive historical and recreational interest. The West Michigan Underwater Preserve promotes recreational diving and conservation of our West Michigan shipwrecks, as well as promoting maritime history awareness and maritime heritage tourism. Learn more about the West Michigan Underwater Preserve.
Armistice Day Storm Memorial Event
Saturday October 17, 2015 at 7:00 pm held at Ludington Area Center for the Arts 107 S. Harrison St. Ludington, Michigan. Admission is FREE-Donations Appreciated. Plan to join the West Michigan Underwater Preserve in commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Armistice Day Storm that happened November 11, 1940. Keynote speakers are Emmy nominated cameraman Ric Mixter. His use of video makes him unique – sharing eyewitness testimony to historical events and underwater video to enthrall those in attendance. Ric uses his sense of humor and mastery of maritime history to educate and entertain. And, Valerie van Heest, award winning author, founding member of Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates, explorer and speaker who combines a passion for documenting historic shipwrecks with creative abilities to preserve, promote and interpret maritime history.