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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Thompson in Schoolcraft County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Christmas Tree Ship / Thompson

 
 
Christmas Tree Ship / Thompson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 31, 2017
1. Christmas Tree Ship / Thompson Marker
Inscription.
Christmas Tree Ship
The Rouse Simmons was one of the last schooners on the Great Lakes. Built in 1868 to carry lumber, the three-masted vessel became Chicago's "Christmas Tree Ship" when Herman Schuenemann purchased an interest in it in 1910. Around 1876 the Schuenemanns had begun transporting trees from northern Michigan and Wisconsin to Chicago. In November 1898 Herman's brother August perished in the wreck of the schooner S. Thal, but Herman continued the business. Bound for Chicago on November 22, 1912, he boarded the Simmons which was loaded with trees from Thompson's forests, and sailed into a fierce snowstorm that plunged the ship, and its crew and passengers, to the lake bottom. Herman's wife and daughters delivered trees to Chicago each Christmas until around 1934.

Thompson
The Delta Lumber Company of Detroit, headed by E.L. Thompson, platted the village of Thompson in 1888. Seven different lumber companies ran the mill in the village. By 1907 the population had reached 900. Three churches and four saloons served the residents, as did a general store, a hotel, and a hospital. Stagecoaches carried passengers twice daily to nearby Manistique, located along the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railway. The Thompson
Christmas Tree Ship / Thompson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 31, 2017
2. Christmas Tree Ship / Thompson Marker
Railroad, used primarily for hauling logs to the docks, also took tours to the Big Spring, Kitchi-ti-ki-pi. Lumbering activities in Thompson died out quickly, and by 1919 the town's population had dropped to only 150. Thompson was the last port of call for the "Christmas Tree Ship," Rouse Simmons, which sank in 1912.
 
Erected 2006 by Michigan Historical Commission-Michigan Historical Center. (Marker Number S696.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
 
Location. 45° 54.403′ N, 86° 19.477′ W. Marker is in Thompson, Michigan, in Schoolcraft County. Marker is on unnamed road 0.1 miles east of U.S. 2, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. The unnamed road is north of Thompson, about 415 feet north of Manistique Avenue. Marker is in this post office area: Manistique MI 49854, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Life in a Lumber Town (here, next to this marker); Schoolcraft County (here, next to this marker); The Christmas Tree Ship (here, next to this marker); Thompson Docks (here,
Christmas Tree Ship / Thompson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 31, 2017
3. Christmas Tree Ship / Thompson Marker
next to this marker); The Mill Brings Prosperity to Thompson (here, next to this marker); Carl D. Bradley (approx. 5.1 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. The Legend of Northern Michiganís Christmas Tree Ship. Article from MyNorth (December 2015). (Submitted on July 10, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 

2. 'Christmas tree ship' went down on the lake 100 years ago. Article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (December 2012). (Submitted on July 10, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 

3. The Christmas Tree Ship: Captain Herman E. Schuenemann and the Schooner Rouse Simmons. Article in Prologue Magazine (Winter 2006). (Submitted on July 10, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 

4. Rouse Simmons. Wikipedia article about the Rouse Simmons. (Submitted on July 10, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 
 
Categories. DisastersIndustry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 14, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 10, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 56 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 10, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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