Mighty Fitz

Today on Museum Bites we’re wrapping up our tour through the Valley Camp Museum Ship with a deep dive into the SS Edmund Fitzgerald. Loaded with iron ore and bound for a steel mill near Detroit, this massive freighter was torn apart in a violent storm and sank on November 10, 1975. Captain Ernest McSorley and all 28 crew members perished. Join me for a brief look at artifacts recovered from this fateful ship, and the story they tell about this tragic event. We begin with the Mighty Fitz’s lifeboats…

Say What?

Today on Museum Bites we’re continuing our tour through the Great Lakes freighter, Valley Camp with a look at sailing slang. These colorful phrases add a dash of spice to our banter and went viral long before we had emojis and memes to express our state of mind. Join me for a brief look at a few expressions linked to our seafaring past. We begin with the sweet life…

Guiding Light

Happy Friday! Today on Museum Bites we’re touring Valley Camp, a massive Great Lakes freighter that has been transformed into a maritime museum. Located in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, Valley Camp (formerly known as the Louis W. Hill) was launched in 1917 and for 49 years hauled cars, coal, grain, and iron ore. Today it is filled with a wide variety of seafaring gizmos and gadgets, including a stunning collection of Fresnel lenses. Join me for a closer look at this ingenious device.

Lake Effect

Today on Museum Bites we’re taking the plunge, a polar plunge into Lake Michigan. Traversed by freighters, ferries, and fishers, its shores are dotted with lighthouses, sandy dunes, quaint beach towns, and bustling industry. Join me for a tour through the Grand Rapids Public Museum's Lake Michigan exhibit to learn more about this mighty lake’s impact on weather and waves. We begin by dialing back the clock to the Ice Age…

Monster Mash

Old favorites like dragons, Sasquatch, and the Loch Ness monster are on display, but the exhibit also includes a goat-sucking vampire, elephant-devouring bird, and a tobacco-loving cat.  Join me for a brief look at these lesser-known beasties.

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