space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* —— July 24-26 —— AIM Pro Team Walleye Challenge In Oconto
* —— August 18 —— Coleman Booster Club Sets Kickoff Banquet
* Sports Exams To Aid Area School Districts
* —— Little League—— Peshtigo 12's Claim Tournament Title; 10's Finish Second
* Marinette Notches M&M Win

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

Tales from the old-timer

Mystery Ship

By Jane Thibodeau Martin,

daughter of the Old-Timer



**********

I have very fond memories of the raising of the “Alvin Clark” wooden ship in 1969. The ship was built in 1847 and lost in a storm in 1864 in Green Bay. In 1967 it was found at the bottom of the bay, and in an extremely improbable feat, raised and brought to the Menominee River by a group of volunteers in 1969. I remember going with my parents to see it arrive under tow, still partially submerged and supported by cables slung under its hull, at the harbor mouth.

The old wooden ship held together for this salvage because the dark, cold fresh water of the bay preserved it for over one hundred years. The wood withstood the immense stress of the lift because it was built well by craftsmen and then salvaged with ingenuity. Most modern comparable salvages cost millions of dollars, but Frank Hoffman and his volunteer team did it on a shoestring.

It was called “The Mystery Ship” as a master stroke of marketing, but since the loss of a ship in those days was as dramatic as a plane crash is today, the loss was well-documented in newspapers of the time. I remember hearing interviews with Frank, where he expresses the hope of making it a tourist attraction, with money raised going to refit the hull and buy sails with the idea of sailing it from port to port around the Great Lakes. What a beautiful vision, the vision of a dreamer and so clearly evidence of the “can-do” attitude he had.

At one time it is reported that the “seaport” home of the ship, a dredged-out slot near the current campground behind the Menominee shopping center, received as many as 50,000 visitors a year. My family always took our out-of-town visitors to see it, and I was fascinated with the tiny berths of the crewmen, the small woodstove they used to cook, and the pot with 100-year old cheese still in it. When I looked at it, I didn’t see warping wood, I saw the romance of a wooden sailing ship plying Green Bay, bringing all the necessities of life to isolated communities using the wind that is still free today. I probably toured the ship more a dozen times and never tired of it. You can see pictures of the ship during the salvage and as a tourist attraction on the internet.

Unfortunately, there was nowhere near enough money to adequately preserve such a large (105 feet long) wooden artifact. Such salvaged vessels are preserved now with glycol solutions, undergoing a process that takes years to stabilize the wood. And of course this takes millions of dollars, and only the most critically important or historically significant wrecks are worthy of such expenditures. New laws now forbid the removal of artifacts from shipwrecks both in the Great Lakes and on the seacoasts of the United States. When old wooden vessels are discovered now, they are protected in the very water that preserves them. This is no doubt for the best, but limits the enjoyment of seeing them to divers.

The sad end of the deteriorating vessel was a sale to investors, followed by additional years of neglect. Sometime around 1994, the remains of the rotten vessel were bulldozed to make way for a parking area. I understand some of the artifacts from the ship are on display in Menominee although I am unsure where.

She was only one of thousands of small wooden sailing ships that went about their business on the Great Lakes before the turn of the century. At the same time, one man saw her as interesting, important, and worthy of preservation. It was a sad end to his dream.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
07-17-2014Sports
—— July 24-26 —— AIM Pro Team Walleye Challenge In Oconto

07-17-2014Sports
—— August 18 —— Coleman Booster Club Sets Kickoff Banquet

07-17-2014Sports
Sports Exams To Aid Area School Districts

07-17-2014Sports
—— Little League—— Peshtigo 12's Claim Tournament Title; 10's Finish Second

07-17-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-17-2014Perspectives
From our readers

07-17-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

07-17-2014Front Page
Plan Guitars For Vets Chapter in Marinette Area

07-17-2014Obituaries
Gerald Wedin

07-17-2014Obituaries
Marian L. Payette

07-17-2014Obituaries
Betty K. Mikus

07-17-2014Obituaries
Theresa M. Krulatz

07-17-2014Obituaries
Glenn E. Johnson

07-17-2014Obituaries
Joseph Hyland

07-17-2014Obituaries
Peter P. Hendricks

07-17-2014Obituaries
Violet Jessie Frehr

07-17-2014Obituaries
Terence Crowley

07-17-2014Obituaries
Orville "Pat" Cappaert

07-17-2014Obituaries
Mary L. Wyman

07-17-2014Obituaries
Glenn A. Rietz

07-17-2014Obituaries
Francis M. Lemansky

07-17-2014Obituaries
Frances K. Last

07-17-2014Obituaries
Kenneth S. Kososki

07-17-2014Obituaries
Lorraine M. Knitter

07-17-2014Obituaries
Rochele Jaskolski

07-17-2014Obituaries
Helen Huss

07-17-2014Obituaries
Adeline M. (Cloutier) Evancheck

07-17-2014Obituaries
Kathleen M. Ebben

07-17-2014Front Page
Menominee Commissioners Walk Out of Airport Meeting

07-17-2014Front Page
Peshtigo Hires Principal, School Secretary To Retire

07-17-2014Front Page
Bob Schwartz Benefit At Equity On Aug. 2

07-17-2014Front Page
2014 Logging, Heritage Fest A Huge Success

07-17-2014News
Menekaunee Sets Old Timers Picnic July 26

07-17-2014News
Marinette Co. Fair Raffle Tickets Available for Sale

07-17-2014News
Crivitz Blood Drive Aug. 4

07-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
VBS at Wausaukee Church July 21-25

07-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire Auxiliary Finalize Picnic Plans

07-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Fire/Rescue Auxiliary Picnic Aug. 9th

07-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
WHS Athletes Physicals July 29

07-17-2014Community - Crivitz
Motorcycle Ride for Crivitz Rescue Squad

07-17-2014Community - Crivitz
MI Fire Dept. Picnic, Open House Aug. 9

07-17-2014Community - Crivitz
Loomis Legion, Unit Fun Day is July 26

07-17-2014Community - Crivitz
Country Gospel Jam July 16

07-17-2014Community - Coleman
Brazeau Emergency Services Picnic, Wrestling July 26

07-17-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Church VBS July 21-25

07-17-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board July 21

07-17-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Fire Dept. 19th Annual Parade, Picnic

07-10-2014Front Page
Two Injured In Car, Motorcycle Crash

07-10-2014Front Page
Committee Shaves $40,000 From $1.08 Million Projects

07-10-2014Front Page
Drug Units Arrest 2 In Meth Investigations

07-10-2014Front Page
Marinette Plan To Consider Waterfront, Historic Zoning

07-10-2014Front Page
Coleman Board Okays Property Cleanup Study

07-10-2014Sports
Marinette Notches M&M Win

07-10-2014Sports
Sports Exams To Aid Area School District

07-10-2014Sports
MYBI Players To March In July 13 Parade

07-10-2014Sports
Peshtigo Rallies Past White Lake

07-10-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-10-2014Perspectives
From our readers

07-10-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

07-10-2014Obituaries
Jerome Wontor

07-10-2014Obituaries
Catherine M. Wheelock

07-10-2014Obituaries
John J. Wertelusky

07-10-2014Obituaries
Marvin L. Wagner

07-10-2014Obituaries
Debra A Vandenberg

07-10-2014Obituaries
Pastor Kenneth C. Schlueter

07-10-2014Obituaries
Robert Reed

07-10-2014Obituaries
Edgar W. Raess

07-10-2014Obituaries
Gregg S. Meser

07-10-2014Obituaries
Warren C. Manske

07-10-2014Obituaries
Joan C. Lutri

07-10-2014Obituaries
Inez A. Kulick

07-10-2014Obituaries
Delores Junco

07-10-2014Obituaries
Cora G. Erickson

07-10-2014Obituaries
Agnes Clark

07-10-2014Obituaries
Pauline M. Barribeau

07-10-2014Obituaries
Gladys Stiglitz

07-10-2014Obituaries
Melvin G. Sovinski

07-10-2014Obituaries
Alice E. Nieft

07-10-2014Obituaries
John R. Maves

07-10-2014Obituaries
Arnold Martin

07-10-2014Obituaries
Robin S. Luedtke

07-10-2014Obituaries
Marilyn LaCoursier

07-10-2014Obituaries
Cecelia M. LaChapell

07-10-2014Obituaries
Rochelle Ihander

07-10-2014Obituaries
Rob Holman

07-10-2014Obituaries
Larry J. Hohol

07-10-2014Obituaries
Annette M. Blumreich

07-10-2014Obituaries
Constance E. Besaw

07-10-2014Obituaries
Nancy L. Bartels

07-10-2014News
Suring Auxiliary Rummage Sale

07-10-2014Community - Wausaukee
NWTC Tech Camps for Youth

07-10-2014Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Fire/Rescue Auxiliary Picnic Aug. 9th

07-10-2014Community - Wausaukee
Weather Topic of Library Program

07-10-2014Community - Wausaukee
Legion Participates in Church Service

07-10-2014Community - Crivitz
“Miracle for Mike” Benefit is July 12

07-10-2014Community - Crivitz
Middle Inlet Fire Dept. Picnic/Open House Aug. 9

07-10-2014Community - Crivitz
“Lego Movie” is Featured July 10

07-10-2014Community - Crivitz
Church Bible Soccer Camp July 14-18

07-10-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Legion Auxiliary Invitation for Members

07-10-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Band To March in July 19th Parade

07-10-2014Community - Coleman
Food Pantry Open July 16

07-03-2014Sports
WIAA Limits Contact During Season

07-03-2014Sports
Vintage Mods To Appear At UPIR Track

07-03-2014Sports
Most Fireworks Are Illegal In Wisconsin State Parks, Forests

07-03-2014Sports
Peshtigo Residents Attend International Snowmobile Congress

07-03-2014Sports
Riverside To Offer Golf Experiences With Packers

07-03-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-03-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

07-03-2014Obituaries
Dorothy L. Watson

07-03-2014Obituaries
Phillip J. Tjernagel

07-03-2014Obituaries
John J. Shaffer

07-03-2014Obituaries
Shirley J. Neuman

07-03-2014Obituaries
Pearl Moudry

07-03-2014Obituaries
Dale H. McClellan

07-03-2014Obituaries
Rosemary Kolaszewski

07-03-2014Obituaries
Gerald L. Johnson

07-03-2014Obituaries
Fred Jensen

07-03-2014Obituaries
Genevieve A. Hein

07-03-2014Obituaries
Allen J. Engebretsen

07-03-2014Obituaries
William Disjardin

07-03-2014Obituaries
Olga H. Deckert

07-03-2014Obituaries
Lonnie J. Corbeille

07-03-2014Obituaries
Leonard Birr

07-03-2014Obituaries
Helen C. Augustine

07-03-2014Obituaries
James E. Yunowich

07-03-2014Obituaries
Anna Wirtz

07-03-2014Obituaries
Mary Wendt

07-03-2014Obituaries
Ellen K. Sweeney

07-03-2014Obituaries
Patrick W. Smiltneek

07-03-2014Obituaries
Dr. Thomas J. Shepro

07-03-2014Obituaries
Juanita M. Johnson

07-03-2014Obituaries
Doris Jansen

07-03-2014Obituaries
Jerome D. Horen

07-03-2014Obituaries
Barbara A. Hommel

07-03-2014Obituaries
Patti F. Hermann

07-03-2014Obituaries
Allison L. Helgeson

07-03-2014Obituaries
Charlene F. Beck

07-03-2014Obituaries
Elizabeth M. Barlow

07-03-2014News
Garden Walk is July 19

07-03-2014News
Historical Society Meeting July 7th

07-03-2014News
Family Fest at Goodman Park July 5

07-03-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Logo Contest for 2015 Centennial

07-03-2014Community - Wausaukee
Library Program July 9 on Food

07-03-2014Community - Wausaukee
Collect 49 Units in Blood Drive

07-03-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Board To Ok Propane Contract

07-03-2014Community - Crivitz
Town Stephenson OWI Target Area

07-03-2014Community - Crivitz
VFW Brat Fry at Crivitz July 3

07-03-2014Community - Crivitz
Loomis Historical Meeting July 10

07-03-2014Community - Crivitz
MI Board To Meet July 10

07-03-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Village Board July 6


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Is the president responsible for the border crisis we have in America?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2014
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites