To give you an idea of how much power Mother Nature threw at those ships and crews, when dawn broke on November 10th, people along the Lake Huron shoreline saw something shocking: a freighter upside down in the water. It wasn’t until the wind and waves settled down several days later that divers discovered that the “mystery ship” was the Charles S. Price. It was the first time that anybody had ever seen a fully loaded ore carrier flipped upside down.
A Cleveland street car after the 1913 storm.
One ship, the Harvester, managed to get through the storm, and its captain, William H. Smith, later reported that when they reached harbor, they were over a foot deeper in the water than when the trip began – showing that they were coated with more than 800 TONS of ice that had accumulated on the freighter from water spray blowing onto the ship and freezing.
There will be some wonderful opportunities this weekend to honor the memories of those who perished in the Great Lakes Storm of 1913, and commemorate the storm’s 100th anniversary:
On Saturday, Nov. 9, the Port Huron Museum (which has a nice exhibit about the storm) will dedicate a memorial to the storm’s victims in Port Huron at 5:00 PM at Bridge Plaza. That will be followed by a dinner at the nearby Doubletree Hilton, where I will speak about the meteorology of this historic storm (I’ll be showing slides of my hand plotted maps…the most detailed history that has ever been done about the storm). Dinner tickets are still available. Call 810-982-0891 for more information and to purchase tickets.
On Sunday, November 10th, The Detroit Historical Society’s Dossin Maritime Group hosts its annual remembrance for sailors lost on our inland seas at 6 p.m. at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle.
This year’s featured speaker is author Michael Schumacher, who’s latest bookNovember’s Fury: The Deadly Great Lakes Hurricane of 1913 (recently published by the University of Minnesota Press) chronicles the ships and sailors lost in this devastating storm.
The evening’s activities begin with a lantern vigil at the Edmund Fitzgerald anchor, followed by a performance by Great Lakes balladeer Lee Murdock, a color guard escort of a memorial wreath to the Detroit River for receipt by an honor flotilla of Great Lakes vessels, and Schumacher’s program. More than 20 international maritime agencies are participating in this year’s event.
For more information or reservations, call (313) 833-1801 or visit their website at www.detroithistorical.org.
For those of you on the Ontario side of Lake Huron, the Port of Goderich will have special activities this weekend, including free admission to the Lake Huron Museum. There will also be performances of The Great Storm at the Livery, and Mariners’ Musical Reflections at 8:00 PM Saturday and 12:00 AM Sunday at the Goderich Legion hall. Sunday, November 10th at 2pm, Knox Presbyterian Church will conduct a Memorial Service for those lost in the Great Storm of 1913.