South Haven in Van Buren County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
A Long History
In 1939, the Sturgeon Bay Boat Works built the Evelyn S for William Seliman Fisheries of Manistique, Michigan. A typical wooden gill net fish tug design prevalent during this period, the tug was sheathed in steel as protection against winter ice. In 1943, a commercial fishing company in Frankfort, Michigan, purchased the tug and operated it until 1952 when it was sold to the Muskegon Towing Company. In 1979, the Michigan Maritime Museum realized the importance of this vessel as an example of a dwindling aspect of the diverse maritime economy and acquired Evelyn S for an on-water exhibit. After 40 years of serving as a working vessel, Evelyn S became an educational tool.
Commercial fishing was part of a thriving diverse maritime economy on Lake Michigan from the 1860s to the 1970s. For nearly 40 years, Evelyn S plied the waters of Lake Michigan and brought in the catch that made local communities like South Haven flourish.
Evelyn S exhibits the diverse use of vessels through time to fit the needs of a changing world. From commercial fishing, to maritime trade, to cultural heritage, the tug continues to share the stories of the people who worked, learned, and played upon its deck.
Labor of Love
Great Lakes Boat Building School graduate Hans Wagner conducted much of the restoration of the woodwork, which included removing a large portion of the dry rot. Museum staff, interns, and many volunteers sanded, painted, and helped make the tug watertight.
The Michigan Maritime Museum offers our most heartfelt thanks to Michigan Coastal Zone Management and the following people and organizations for making this project possible:
Great Lakes fisheries heritage is the story of how we relate to aquatic ecosystems, biodiversity, water quality and environmental change. The fishery is the thread running through all of these, and serves as a gauge of resource sustainability and quality of life across our Great Lakes coastal communities.
Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail sites include museums, coastal fishing communities, fish markets and processing facilities, and research and science centers throughout Michigan. These offer residents and visitors unique opportunities to explore the dynamic social, technological and environmental changes that have shaped today's fisheries.
Industry Innovations and Evolution
Fishing from Shore
The Great Lakes Gill Net Tug
Modern Trawling Boats
Trap Net Boats
Pound-Netting (or Pond Netting)
Great Lakes, Great Fish, Great Food
Erected by Michigan Maritime Museum.
Location. 42° 24.365′ N, 86° 16.514′ W. Marker is in South Haven, Michigan, in Van Buren County. Marker is on Black River Street 0.1 miles south of Dyckman Avenue, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located on the Harbor Walk, at the South Haven Maritime Docks, beside the sidewalk, overlooking the Michigan Maritime Museum's Evelyn S exhibit. The restored 1939 wooden gill net fishing tug is on display here. Marker is at or near this postal address: 268 Black River Street, South Haven MI 49090, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Commercial Fishing (a few steps from this marker); Algonquin Legends of South Haven (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dyckman Avenue Bascule Bridge (about 400 feet away); Haven Peaches South Haven World War I Memorial (about 600 feet away); Shipbuilding (approx. 0.2 miles away); Downtown's Rich History (approx. 0.2 miles away); Commercial Shipping (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in South Haven.
More about this marker. Marker consists of three large, vertical panels.
Also see . . . Moving the Evelyn S Fishing Tug. (This link presents a detailed Michigan Maritime Museum video about the restoration of the Evelyn S.) Restoration of the iconic Evelyn S 1939 wooden gill net fishing tug, one of the last remaining in Michigan, is nearing completion on the campus of the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven. (Submitted on June 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 27, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 46 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.