Tag Archives: great lakes shipping

Deckhand by Nelson “Mickey” Haydamacker and Alan D. Millar: a short review

This is a short (100+ pages) “as-told-to”, with Haydamacker the storyteller and Millar the transcriber/editor. Both did excellent jobs, and produced an interesting book about the day-to-day life of deckhands on Great Lakes freighters in the early 1960s.

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Black November by Andrew Klekner Kantar: a short review

It’s OK: A barebones retelling of the story of the wreck, with enough context in several dimensions. But I’m clearly not the target audience.

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Michigan State Ferries, by Les Bagley: a review

This is, I imagine, the sort of book Arcadia’s business model intends: A well thought out picture book whose captions actually tell a coherent story. Nicely done.

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Pride of the Inland Seas by Bill Beck: a short review

A coffee-table book. And a well-researched and well-written history of the Duluth-Superior port and the activities, both at the port and away, which have made a fine harbor into a major port. Surprisingly good at describing the context of the issues driving the port’s history. And (of course) an array of excellent photographs. But it’s the text which makes this a worthwhile book, for anyone interested in Great Lakes history, whether or not that interest focuses on the Twin Ports.

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S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald by Raymond Ramsey: a review

Nonetheless: This is an awful book. At the very least, it needed an editor; a better solution would have been a competent co-author. Much of the argument is poorly-sourced assertion. The author spends far too much time raving about conspiracies and coverups. And hiding your arguments in disorderly, rant-prone, and opaque prose is an unlikely strategy for convincing anyone of your righteousness.

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Captain Ward

Eber Brock Ward was Michigan’s most famous and most innovative Rich Man for much of the 19th century; his best comp is certainly Henry Ford, who flourished about 75 years later. I don’t think anyone’s written a full-blown biography of Ward, but there are pieces of him all over my library.

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Engineer’s Day

In June of every year the Corps of Engineers holds an open house at the Soo Locks, and thousands of fans show up to explore the grounds, view the passing ships from an unusual perspective, and look over the exhibits. Yesterday was that day, and Joan and I were among the crowd. Here we see some of the visitors crossing the massive gate which holds back Lake Superior at the the downriver end of the 105 foot wide Poe Lock.

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