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

S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald

1958 - 1975

SS Edmund Fitzgerald Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Barrera, December 11, 2008
1. SS Edmund Fitzgerald Marker
Inscription. The flagship of the Oglesbay-Norton fleet sailed for 6,857 days on the Great Lakes carrying iron ore to feed the steel mills of Michigan and Ohio. She was built at the Great Lakes Engineering Works at River Rouge, Michigan- Nine miles west of here. When the keel of the Fitzgerald hit the water, she became the largest freighter to traverse the inland seas - 729 feet long and 75 feet wide.

On January 7,1974, while at anchor in the Detroit River, one mile west of Belle Isle, the Fitzgerald lost her bow anchor. This 12,290 pound artifact lay undisturbed until July 20,1992 when it was recovered. In tribute to the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, and the men who built her, the anchor comes to represent the maritime heritage of the State of Michigan.

—John P. Polacsek, Curator of Marine History

This project could not have been accomplished without the support of the following: Great Lakes Maritime Institute • Gaelic Tugboat Company • Blue Water Exploration, LTD • Detroit Harbormaster Dive Team • Bruno's Dive Shop • Tom & Jerry's Scuba Shop • John Quasarano Family • Harry J Harris Funeral Home, Inc • WDIV-Channel 4 Detroit • Faust Corporation • William A Moss • Butcher Packer Supply, Inc • US Scuba Center • Advanced Aquatics Diving, Inc • Phil's Quality Meats • Mao Graphics,
Anchor and SS Edmund Fitzgerald Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Barrera, December 11, 2008
2. Anchor and SS Edmund Fitzgerald Marker
Inc • Kauear Granite Company • G.E.M.I. Research Team
Erected by Detroit Maritime Historical Museum.
Location. 42° 20.101′ N, 82° 59.132′ W. Marker is in Detroit, Michigan, in Wayne County. Marker is on The Strand Drive. Touch for map. On Belle Isle, around the side of the Museum. Marker is in this post office area: Detroit MI 48207, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Perry's Victory (here, next to this marker); Detroit Spanish American War Monument (approx. 0.3 miles away); Alpheus S. Williams (approx. 0.3 miles away); Police Radio Dispatch (approx. 0.4 miles away); Ransom Eli Olds (approx. 0.4 miles away); Grand Army of the Republic (approx. 0.4 miles away); Gen. O. M. Poe Post No. 433 (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Siege of Detroit 1763 (approx. half a mile away in Canada). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Detroit.
Regarding S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald. It was named after the president and chairman of the board of Milwaukee Drydock Company. The freighter sank November 9, 1975 in a storm on Lake Superior with the loss of all 29 crew.
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia Entry for SS Edmund Fitzgerald.
S. S. <i>Edmund Fitzgerald</i> image. Click for more information.
By Greenmars, 1971
3. S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald
Photo obtained via Wikipedia Commons. Click for rights information.
Click for more information.
“Carrying a full cargo of ore pellets with Captain Ernest M. McSorley in command, she embarked on her final voyage from Superior, Wisconsin, near Duluth, on the afternoon of November 9, 1975. En route to a steel mill near Detroit, Michigan, the Fitz joined a second freighter, the SS Arthur M. Anderson. But by the next day, the two ships were caught in the midst of a severe winter storm on Lake Superior, with near hurricane-force winds and waves up to 35 feet (11 m) high. Shortly after 7:10 p.m., the Fitzgerald suddenly sank in Canadian waters 530 feet (160 m) deep, approximately 17 miles (15 nautical miles; 27 kilometers) from the entrance to Whitefish Bay near the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario—a distance the Fitzgerald could have covered in two hours at her top speed. Although the Fitzgerald had reported being in difficulty earlier, no distress signals were sent before she sank; Captain McSorley’s last message to the Anderson said, ‘We are holding our own.’ Her crew of 29 all perished, and no bodies were recovered.” (Submitted on November 8, 2014.) 

2. “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” - Gordon Lightfoot.
This ballad, written and performed by Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, reached No. 1 on the RPM National Singles Survey in Canada and No. 2 on the Billboard pop chart in the United States in 1976. (Submitted on November 8, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.) 

3. Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum entry. “At the request of family members surviving her crew, Fitzgerald's 200 lb. bronze bell was recovered by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society on July 4, 1995. This expedition was conducted jointly with the National Geographic Society, Canadian Navy, Sony Corporation, and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The bell is now on display in the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum as a memorial to her lost crew.” (Submitted on November 9, 2014.) 
Categories. 20th CenturyDisastersNotable EventsWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 13, 2008, by Al Barrera of Brownstown, Michigan. This page has been viewed 4,148 times since then and 11 times this year. Last updated on October 22, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page was the Marker of the Week November 9, 2014. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 13, 2008, by Al Barrera of Brownstown, Michigan.   3. submitted on November 8, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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