Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle plans grand reopening; free to the public

Dossin Great Lakes Museum will hold its grand reopening this weekend to show off a $2 million renovation

Published On: May 13 2013 05:47:03 PM EDT   Updated On: May 13 2013 05:52:53 PM EDT
Dossin Great Lakes Museum Belle Isle
DETROIT -

Metro Detroiters can get their first look at the two million dollar renovation of the  Dossin Great Lakes Museum for free.

The Detroit Historical Society will have a grand reopening at the museum this weekend.   Anyone who goes to the Dossin Great Lakes Museum will get in for free this weekend.

The museum, located on Belle Isle, looks at the maritime history of southeastern Michigan, the Detroit River and the Great Lakes.

The Dossin Great Lakes Museum was closed on December 2nd 2012 to begin the renovation process.

Visitors will see the museum's signature exhibit, "Built by the River," which illustrates Detroit's growth and development and its link to the Detroit River.

"It really tells a complete story. You can leave here with a much better sense of place and really a defining thing that's distinctly Detroit," said Bob Bury, CEO of Dossin Great Lakes Museum.

The museum said it also offers interactive exhibits including a large display simulating a speedboat racing down the Detroit River and a re-creation of an 18th century canoe for visitors to get a sense of what early settlers might have felt.

The Detroit River Watch webcam is also back but with a new interactive kiosk that includes higher definition images.

Visitors can check out a new temporary exhibit called A River's Roar. It covers the history of hydroplane racing in Detroit.

The following exhibits have also been refreshed in the remodeling of the museum:

·    The Gothic Room from the City of Detroit III in Polk Family Hall;
·    The Miss Pepsi championship hydroplane, ensconced in its own pavilion;
·    The Oliver Dewey Marcks Theater;
·    The William Clay Ford Pilot House;

The 'Miss Pepsi' is the first hydroplane racing boat to top 100 mph and might be the first to feature a corporate sponsor.

"The Dossin's were also ahead of their time in the fact that they used a  sports and in particular a hydroplane racing to promote their product which was Pepsi Cola," said Bob Sadler, director of marketing for the museum.

Outside the Dossin Great Lakes Museum is the bow anchor from the Edmund Fitzgerald, two War of 1812-era cannons, and a U.S. Coast Guard utility boat.

"This renovation project at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum is the latest manifestation of the Society's five-year Past>Forward Campaign, which funded our very successful makeover at our flagship Detroit Historical Museum in the Cultural Center," said Bury.  "We're looking forward to reintroducing metro Detroiters to our gem on Belle Isle."

Anyone interested in attending the grand re-opening can go between the following hours this weekend:

Saturday, May 18 - Noon - 6 p.m.
Sunday, May 19 - 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
For information on the museum, click here.