Posted by: Kath Usitalo | November 6, 2009

Edmund Fitzgerald Remembered

 

Fitzgerald_9348

A model of the Edmund Fitzgerald at the Dossin Museum. The ore carrier, broken in two, rests 530 feet beneath the surface of Lake Superior

I don’t know about elsewhere in the universe, but here in Michigan when we turn the radio on in the coming days we can count on hearing Gordon Lightfoot’s ballad, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

Tuesday, November 10 marks the 34th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald with captain and crew—29 men—lost. The ore carrier went down in Lake Superior during a violent storm 17 miles off Whitefish Point in the Upper Peninsula. It’s a day marked with solemn services at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point, and on the Detroit River at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle.

The memorial service at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point in the UP begins at 7 p.m., Tuesday, November 10, and will include the ringing of the bell recovered from the Fitzgerald and performances by Michigan musicians Carl Behrend and Dan Hall. Free.

The annual tribute to lost mariners at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle in Detroit begins with a 6 p.m. lantern ceremony at the anchor from the Fitzgerald, followed by a program that includes music by Great Lakes balladeer Lee Murdock and laying of a memorial wreath in the Detroit River. This year’s ceremony recognizes the loss of the Marquette & Bessemer No. 2 and its crew of 32, which went down in a Lake Erie storm on December 8, 1909. Admission charged.

(Click here to see my earlier post about the Dossin Museum.)

In addition, at 11 a.m., Sunday, November 8, Mariners’ Church in Detroit holds its annual Great Lakes Memorial Service honoring all lives lost on the inland seas. It was Fr. Richard W. Ingalls, Jr., Rector of the “House of Prayer for All People,” who rang the church bell 29 times the day after the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. His act is memorialized in Lightfoot’s words, “In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed, in the Maritime Sailor’s Cathedral. The church bell chimed ’til it rang 29 times for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

NOTE:
Please check the comments below for another program and open house on Tuesday, November 10 in River Rouge, where the Edmund Fitzgerald was built.  Very cool happenings. Thank you, readers for the info!

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Responses

  1. November 10, 2009
    Edmund Fitzgerald Service in River Rouge – November 10, 2009
    S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald 4th service in River Rouge, Michigan
    6:00 pm to 8:00 pm November 10, 2009

    Edmund Fitzgerald, crew to be remembered Tuesday

    Each year, in honour of the Edmund Fitgerald crew, a bell is rung 29 times during ‘ Last Watch Ceremony.’ The 30th ring is for all mariners lost on the Great Lakes.
    Admission to the Edmund Fitzgerald Service is free. For more information call 810 519-2148

    • Thanks for the info on this service.

  2. Meet Daughter of ROBERT C. RAFFERTY

    I am honored and excited to be invited to attend the upcoming service held this
    November 10th in River Rouge.I will be coming from Kansas to honor my dad and the other
    28 crewmen.My father was the ” Old Cook” referred to in the Gordon Lightfoot song.
    There will be so many events having to do with the FITZ I hope to be able to fit it all in.
    I think it’s great to include the school kids learning about the Great Lakes and the ships
    that have sailed on them.
    I grew up in Toledo Ohio and watched from many ports my dads ship sail off with a load
    of iron ore or coal. Those good memories never go away. Hope to see you there.
    All are welcome to honor and remember that fateful night.

    Pam Johnson
    Daughter of ROBERT C. RAFFERTY

    • How special to have your dad remembered this way.
      My dad worked on the Great Lakes freighters in the early 50’s (before I was born); and my older (late) brother did around 1970…so I also have a special attachment to the lake boats.

  3. Meet Author, Raymond Ramsay M. Sc.

    Author, Raymond Ramsay M. Sc. was a member of the original design team at Great Lakes Engineering Works during the design and construction of the largest and fastest ore carrier ever built on the Great Lakes.

    The author, together with a group of volunteers retired ship captains and maritime experts have uncovered secrets and unveiled evidence to prove why the ore carrier sank to the bottom of Lake Superior on November 10, 1975.

    Raymond Ramsay will have his books available at the November 10, 2009 program.

    • Fascinating!

  4. November 10 – Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Service
    . A memorial service for the men lost on the Edmund Fitzgerald will be held on
    November 10 at Dr. Henri Belanger Park in River Rouge, Mi.
    The service will be held near the Mariners Memorial Lighthouse beginning at 6:00 p.m.
    The tug boat will be on hand to take out a wreath to be placed on the river.
    The service will feature a plaque presentation, bell ringing, lantern lighting,
    and refreshments will be served.

    For more information call
    Roscoe Clark at 810-519-2148 or Dolores Swekel 313-842-7822.

    The service will be at River Rouge Michigan on the Detroit River next to where the ship was
    built at the slips and on the other side is where Zug Island is located.
    MAP

    A special Edmund Fitzgerald open house

    will be open to the pubic from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the River Rouge Historical Museum

    River Rouge Historical Museum
    10750 W. Jefferson Ave.
    River Rouge, Michigan 48218
    (Formerly Gallagher Funeral Home)
    MAP

    • Thank you all—I wasn’t aware of this tribute.

  5. […] mentioned in my post about the Edmund Fitzgerald, Lee will participate in the ceremony at Detroit’s Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Tuesday, […]

  6. PRESS RELEASE
    35th Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Service
    RIVER ROUGE, MICHIGAN — A memorial service is planned for Wednesday November 10, 2010 to remember the 29 men who died when the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior on Nov. 10, 1975.

    The ceremony is set for 6 to 8 p.m. near the Mariners Memorial Lighthouse at Belanger Park, off Belanger Park Drive and Marion.

    The event is held in River Rouge because that’s the city where the vessel was built in 1957 and ’58.

    Several speakers will give their memories of the ship, including people who helped construct it and relatives of some of the deceased crewmen.

    Artifacts and photographs also will be on display.

    At 7:10 p.m. — the time the ship sank — a wreath will be tossed into the Detroit River. A bell will be rung 29 times in memory of each person who died.

    A plaque presentation and lantern lighting is planned. Refreshments will be provided at the end.

    Event organizer Roscoe Clark has a Web site devoted to the vessel, which contains several video clips, photos and new information about the ship, at http://www.ssEdmundFitzgerald.com

    Earlier in the day, an Edmund Fitzgerald open house will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the River Rouge Historical Museum, 10750 W. Jefferson Ave.
    http://www.RiverRougeMuseum.com

    For more information on either event, visit the Web site or call Clark at 1-810-519-2148 or Dolores Swekel at 1-313-842-7822.

  7. S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald 37 Year Anniversary November 10, 2012
    RIVER ROUGE — A memorial service is planned for Saturday November 10, 2012 to remember the 29 men who died when the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior on Nov. 10, 1975. The ceremony is set for 6 to 8 p.m. and the heated tent open at 4:30 p.m. for viewing Edmund Fitzgerald artifacts, near the Mariners Memorial Lighthouse at Belanger Park, off Belanger Park Drive and Marion. The event is held in River Rouge because that’s the city where the vessel was built in 1957 and ’58. Several speakers will give their memories of the ship, including people who helped construct it and relatives of some of the deceased crewmen. Artifacts, photographs and videos also will be on display and you can talk to the Fitz Ship Builders, past Crew Members and Fitz Family Members. At 7:10 p.m. — the time the ship sank — a wreath will be tossed into the Detroit River. A bell will be rung 29 times in memory of each person who died. A plaque presentation and lantern lighting is planned. Food and Refreshments will be provided free of charge. Event organizer Roscoe Clark has a Web site devoted to the vessel, which contains several video clips and photos of the ship. Earlier in the day, an Edmund Fitzgerald open house will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. at the River Rouge Historical Museum, 10750 W. Jefferson Ave. This year, the service will be web cast free of charge for those viewers all across the US and Canada. For more information and location call Roscoe Clark at (810) 519-2148. This is a special program held each year and is free of charge.

  8. http://www.ssedmundfitzgerald2012.com
    official web site for the 2012 service


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