Great Lakes

Commerce Industry and Tourism

The Story of Mobility in America Maritime Museums in Historic Towns 

The North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum on Lake Superior

Minnesota’s small towns are delightful. From well-known small towns like Ely, Pipestone and Nisswa, to the truly tiny towns there’s nothing quite like exploring a small Minnesota town with family and friends.

The North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum on Lake Superior’s North Shore is a unique experience of the maritime heritage engrained in the landscape and people who call this country home. Governed by the Tofte Historical Society, the North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation and dissemination of historical knowledge in commercial fishing and the early lifestyles on the shore and waters of Lake Superior.

twin-fish-house-paintingSteamships were crucial to the development of tourism on the North Shore and Isle Royale

Commercial Fishermen began to take in overnight guests in the 1920’s to supplement their income. Rustic, cold water cabins and luxury hotels have proven to be a lasting part of the economy of the North Shore. Steamships helped this fledgling industry by promoting the resorts and transporting guests know more about it

 Marquette Michigan Maritime Museum

Marquette is a major port city on Michigan’s Lake Superior, known primarily for iron ore shipping. The land around Marquette was known to French missionaries of the early 17th century and the trappers of the early 19th century.

Marquette, MI - Front Street 1909The Marquette Maritime Museum Association began in 1980.  The Museum was opened in the old City Waterworks building in the summer of 1984. The building is a one story, stone, hipped-roof Richardsonian Romanesque style structure. Area school kids learn their local maritime history as well as guests from all over the United States and around the world.

Stannard Rock Marquette Coast Guard Station provided the support necessary for Stannard’s Rock Lighthouse. The 110-foot sandstone tower was built on a desolate reef first discovered in 1847. Located 44 miles due north of Marquette, its lightkeepers called it the “loneliest place in North America” since it is the most distant lighthouse from land on the entire continent. The old Stannard’s Rock lens is now on display in the Marquette Maritime Museum know more about it

Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Marine Historical Society

Milwaukee lies along the shores and bluffs of Lake Michigan at the confluence of three rivers: the Menomonee, the Kinnickinnic, and the Milwaukee. Ideally situated as a port city, and as a center for collecting and distributing produce, Milwaukee shipped more wheat than any place in the world.

The name Milwaukee comes from an Algonquian Word meaning Good Beautiful and Pleasant Land

Milwaukee MarinaThe Wisconsin Marine Historical Society is a self-supported, nonprofit organization that collects, preserves, archives and makes available to the public materials related to Great Lakes marine history. The Society and its members are affiliated with the Milwaukee Public Library.
Emphasis is on collecting and archiving materials involving commerce and industry of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway with a focus on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, and the Upper Mississippi River System, as well as the lakes and rivers within Wisconsin. The Society sponsors events involving vessel, shipyard and lighthouse tours, river and lake excursions, and historical ship seminars know more about it

Chicago Illinois and the Maritime Museum

Chicago Illinois is on the southwestern shores of Lake Michigan. The Chicago Portage connects the Mississippi River and Great Lakes Watersheds. The city’s history and economy are closely tied to its proximity to Lake Michigan. While the Chicago River historically handled much of the region’s waterborne cargo, today’s lake carriers use Lake Calumet Harbor on the South Side. When founded in 1837, most of the early buildings were around the mouth of the Chicago River and the original 58 blocks.

The Story of Chicago’s Waterways and their Impact on America’s Economy

chicago riverThe Chicago Maritime Museum collects items that commemorate Chicago’s maritime history.  More than 6,000 items have accumulated, including watercraft, models, articles, books, displays, art, images and artifacts.  The collection makes historic materials accessible to scholars or anyone seeking to understand Chicago’s unique historical connections know more about it

South Haven and the Michigan Maritime Museum

South Haven is a port city at the mouth of the Black River on the southeastern coast of Lake Michigan and a port of call for passenger and cargo shipping lines. In the early 1900s South Haven became a resort town because of its recreational harbor and beaches. It is the western terminus of the Kal-Haven Trail, popular with cyclists and snow mobilers.

The Michigan Maritime Museum presents the rich maritime heritage of the Great Lakes and is Michigan’s most distinguished institution of maritime research, preservation and education. Five separate buildings offer a variety of engaging opportunities: exhibits on Michigan maritime history, a center for the teaching of boat building and related maritime skills, and a research library.

Scott Club from Phoenix StreetThe Friends Good Will promotes tourism in West Michigan by providing the public with a wide variety of cultural and educational experiences. The dramatic story of this sloop speaks to the history of commerce in the early 1800s, as well as her pivotal role in the War of 1812  know more about it

Buffalo and Western New York Maritime Heritage and Museums

The Buffalo area was inhabited before the 17th century by Native American Iroquois tribes and later by French settlers. The city grew significantly in the 19th and 20th centuries; immigration, the Erie Canal, rail transport and proximity to Lake Erie fueled trade with the mid western part of the nation.

Buffalo is located at the head of the Niagara River 16 miles south of Niagara Falls

NFTA Light Rail at Fountain PlazaThe Buffalo Maritime Center promotes traditional hand skills and a craftsman-like attitude while advancing knowledge of the Western New York maritime heritage. The high standards of craftsmanship intrinsic to the work of boat building form the basis of educational programs that encourage self-discipline, self-sufficiency, and the pride of performing meaningful work.

Durham boats flat-bottomed, double-ended craft were used throughout the inland waterways of North America to ferry supplies and people. They were used to transport George Washington and his troops across the Delaware River during the American Revolution know more about it

Connect for Travel to the Great Lakes

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