• Steamboats and sailors of the Great Lakes

    The Great Lakes shipping industry can trace its lineage to 1679 with the launching on Lake Erie of the Griffon, a sixty-foot galley weighing nearly fifty tons. Built by LaSalle, a French explorer who had been commissioned to search for a passage through North America to China, it was the first sailing ship to operate on the upper lakes, signaling the dawn of the Great Lakes shipping industry as we know it today.

    Steamboats and Sailors of the Great Lakes is the most thorough and factual …

  • Queen of the Lakes

    This book is an account of the ships that have borne the name "Queen of the Lakes," an honorary title indicating that, at the time of its launching, a ship is the longest on the Great Lakes. In one of the most comprehensive books ever written on the maritime history of the lakes, Mark L. Thompson presents a vignette of each of the dozens of ships that have held the title, chronicling the dates the ship sailed, its dimensions, the derivation of its name, its role in the economic development of…

  • Songquest: the journals of Great Lakes folklorist Ivan H. Walton

    Ivan H. Walton was a pioneering folklorist who collected the songs and stories of aging sailors living along the shores of the Great Lakes in the 1930s. His collection is unique in the annals of Great Lakes folklore. It began as a search for songs but broadened into a collection of weather signs, shipboard beliefs, greenhorn tales, and stories of the intense rivalry between sailors and the steamboat men who replaced them. Edited by Joe Grimm, Songquest: The Journals of Great Lakes Folklorist Iva…