2011 : Michigan’s Christmas Tree Ships

December 16, 2021 all-day

Michigan has traditionally supplied the city of Chicago with thousands of Christmas trees. Read on to learn about an early Christmas Tree Ship disaster and a recent posting about a 2011 Christmas Tree ship arriving in Chicago.

Pasty Central Day in History, November 21.

Sources :

The Christmas Tree Ships, Michigan in Pictures, December 21, 2011.

The Christmas Ship, Sault Ste. Marie Evening News, December 4, 2011.

Lives and Legends of the Christmas Tree Ships brings the maritime heritage of the Great Lakes to life, using the tragic story of the schooner Rouse Simmons as a porthole into the robust but often forgotten communities that thrived along Lake Michigan from the Civil War to World War I. Memorialized in songs, poems, fiction, and even a musical, the infamous ship that went down in a Thanksgiving storm while delivering Christmas trees to Chicago has long been shrouded in myth and legend. As a result, the larger story of the captain, crew, and affected communities has often been overlooked. Fred Neuschel delves into this everyday life of camaraderie, drudgery, ambition, and adventure—with tales of the Midwest’s burgeoning immigrant groups and rapid industrialization—to create a true story that is even more fascinating than the celebrated legends. For more information, see Fred Neuschel, Lives and legends of the Christmas tree ships, Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2007.

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