space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Menominee Sportsman Fall Trap League Begins Sept. 1
* 2015 Volleyball Season Underway
* Bulldogs K.O. Kewaunee; Smith Leads Strong Defense
* Russ’s Rangers Win in Final Seconds, 20-14
* Marines Seek to Re-establish in North Eastern Conference

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
08-27-2015Sports
Menominee Sportsman Fall Trap League Begins Sept. 1

08-27-2015Sports
2015 Volleyball Season Underway

08-27-2015Sports
Bulldogs K.O. Kewaunee; Smith Leads Strong Defense

08-27-2015Sports
Russ’s Rangers Win in Final Seconds, 20-14

08-27-2015Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Picnic Is Big Success

08-27-2015Community - Wausaukee
50 Units Goal in Blood Drive

08-27-2015Community - Crivitz
Stephenson Seeks Lower Speed Limits, Snowplow Bids

08-27-2015Community - Crivitz
Soup to Nuts Host Marovich Dinner Show

08-27-2015Community - Crivitz
Maye, Nelson Get Scholarships

08-27-2015Community - Crivitz
Final Movie in the Park Aug. 27

08-27-2015Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Starts Sept. 11

08-27-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

08-27-2015Perspectives
Love Isn’t Labor

08-27-2015Perspectives
Our Prayer

08-27-2015Perspectives
To the Editor:

08-27-2015Perspectives
Letter to Editor:

08-27-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

08-27-2015Community - Coleman
New Staff Members For Coleman School District

08-27-2015Obituaries
John C. Wessel

08-27-2015Obituaries
William Allen Swenson

08-27-2015Community - Coleman
Special School Board Meeting

08-27-2015Obituaries
Richard G. Smith Sr.

08-27-2015Community - Coleman
North Country Kickers Start Dance Lessons

08-27-2015Obituaries
Peter E. Smith

08-27-2015Community - Coleman
Area Senior Club To Meet Aug. 31

08-27-2015Obituaries
Donald L. Samsa

08-27-2015Obituaries
Marvin F. Reindl

08-27-2015Obituaries
Shirley M. Race

08-27-2015Obituaries
Todd A. Millette

08-27-2015Obituaries
Brenda L. Kopatz

08-27-2015Front Page
Large Crowd at “Walk in the Past” at Fire Cemetery

08-27-2015Obituaries
Dennis M. Klaus

08-27-2015Obituaries
Gary J. Homa

08-27-2015Front Page
County Hires Firm for Capital Improvement Loans

08-27-2015Obituaries
Jack Christian

08-27-2015Front Page
Saputo Cheese Gives $25,000 for New Coleman School Playground

08-27-2015Obituaries
John C. Wessel

08-27-2015Obituaries
William A. Swenson

08-27-2015Front Page
Crivitz High School Debt Will Be Paid Off In 2017

08-27-2015Obituaries
Richard G. Smith Sr.

08-27-2015Front Page
Famed Researcher Offers Advice, Information on Parkinson’s Disease

08-27-2015Obituaries
Peter E. Smith

08-27-2015Obituaries
Donald L. Samsa

08-27-2015Obituaries
Marvin F. Reindl

08-27-2015Obituaries
Shirley M. Race

08-27-2015Obituaries
Todd A. Millette

08-27-2015Obituaries
Brenda L. Kopatz

08-27-2015Obituaries
Dennis M. Klaus

08-27-2015Obituaries
Gary J. Homa

08-27-2015Obituaries
Jack Christian

08-27-2015Obituaries
Dale J. Wawrzon

08-27-2015Obituaries
Genevieve Sinclair

08-27-2015Obituaries
Richard A. Nordgren

08-27-2015Obituaries
Timothy M. Kloida

08-27-2015Obituaries
Mary S.House

08-27-2015Obituaries
Dolores A. Betzinger

08-27-2015Obituaries
Laurence W. Berggren

08-26-2015Obituaries
Kathleen M. Berg

08-26-2015Obituaries
Harry Behnke

08-19-2015Sports
Marines Seek to Re-establish in North Eastern Conference

08-19-2015Sports
Oconto River Kids Plan Bear Hunt

08-19-2015Sports
Peshtigo river Bowhunters Rinehart Shoot Big Success

08-19-2015Sports
M&O Football Teams Gear Up For 2015 Season

08-19-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

08-19-2015Perspectives
From our readers

08-19-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

08-19-2015Obituaries
Dale J. Wawrzon

08-19-2015Obituaries
Kenneth L. Wangberg

08-19-2015Obituaries
Joseph Turner

08-19-2015Obituaries
Ray Trever Jr.

08-19-2015Obituaries
Marvin F. Reindl

08-19-2015Obituaries
Marilyn A. Peterson

08-19-2015Obituaries
Genevieve L. Mortier

08-19-2015Obituaries
Allen Miller

08-19-2015Obituaries
Donald D. Jones

08-19-2015Obituaries
Beverly A. Hansen

08-19-2015Obituaries
Martha E. Gardon

08-19-2015Obituaries
Mary Braun

08-19-2015Obituaries
James F. Ganter

08-19-2015Obituaries
Karen J. Smeiska

08-19-2015Obituaries
Sophie M. Strojny

08-19-2015Obituaries
Arthur W. Spaude 

08-19-2015Obituaries
Nancy L. Rowe

08-19-2015Obituaries
Gerald W. Reiswitz, Sr

08-19-2015Obituaries
Courtney R. Mackie Jr.

08-19-2015Obituaries
Arnella C. Lohr

08-19-2015Obituaries
Laura A. Lesperance

08-19-2015Obituaries
Tina M. Kowalski

08-19-2015Obituaries
Richard H. Klawitter

08-19-2015Obituaries
Donald D. Jones

08-19-2015Obituaries
Joyce Jendrusiak

08-19-2015Obituaries
Earl T. Guseck

08-19-2015Obituaries
Louis J. Derocher

08-19-2015Obituaries
Helen M. Baye

08-19-2015News
Suring Library Used Book Sale

08-19-2015News
Marinette Rec Kids Night Out

08-19-2015News
Free School Supply Distribution Aug. 25

08-19-2015Community - Wausaukee
Lumbermill Has 100’ Tree

08-19-2015Community - Wausaukee
Seeks Tree Award, Plans Propane Bulk Tank Area

08-19-2015Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee School Considers Day Care, Name Russ Grid Coach

08-19-2015Community - Crivitz
Country Gospel Jam Aug. 21

08-19-2015Community - Crivitz
Loomis Day Potluck Sept. 27

08-19-2015Community - Crivitz
Dama Seeks Nominees In Need of Furnace

08-19-2015Community - Crivitz
New Pastor at Crivitz Faith Ev. Presbyterian

08-19-2015Community - Coleman
Free School Supply Distribution Aug. 25

08-19-2015Community - Coleman
CHS ‘54 Class Luncheon Oct. 7

08-19-2015Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board, Committee Meetings Set

08-19-2015Community - Coleman
Coleman Elementary Open House Aug. 27

08-19-2015Front Page
Curbs and Gutters Aid Drainage, Control Traffic, Cut Maintenance

08-19-2015Front Page
Peshtigo Board Sets Vote Nov. 3 For New School

08-19-2015Front Page
Come To The Fair! Fun Starts Aug. 27

08-19-2015Front Page
Forest, Parks Income Up; Sales Tax Down $200,000

08-19-2015Front Page
Peshtigo Rejects Mower Tractor, Buys Fire Truck

08-12-2015Sports
Predators Upset Redbirds for Wishigan Title

08-12-2015Sports
Organization Gives Youth a Chance to Experience the “Game of a Lifetime”

08-12-2015Sports
Antlerless Tags Available Aug. 17

08-12-2015Sports
Local Athlete Seeks Future in Olympic Competition

08-12-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

08-12-2015Perspectives
From our readers

08-12-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

08-12-2015Obituaries
Philip F. Wanner Jr.

08-12-2015Obituaries
Donald R. Waldrop

08-12-2015Obituaries
James A. Thogersen Minor

08-12-2015Obituaries
William B. Robelia

08-12-2015Obituaries
Lorraine M. Renton

08-12-2015Obituaries
Marie A. Ravet

08-12-2015Obituaries
Dorothy M. Paris

08-12-2015Obituaries
Ryan R. McDonald 

08-12-2015Obituaries
Shirley A. Marsden

08-12-2015Obituaries
June J. Maier

08-12-2015Obituaries
Robert M. Le Sage Sr.

08-12-2015Obituaries
Blaine A. Hyska

08-12-2015Obituaries
Daniel H. Drifka

08-12-2015Obituaries
Joseph H. Delfosse

08-12-2015Obituaries
Richard A. Chevalier

08-12-2015Obituaries
Myril A. Brix Jr.

08-12-2015Obituaries
Jeanne L. Braun

08-12-2015Obituaries
Elaine M. Aronson

08-12-2015Obituaries
Debra L. Polzin

08-12-2015Obituaries
Cecelia M. Peterson

08-12-2015Obituaries
Gloria M. Kuder

08-12-2015Obituaries
Ordamae King

08-12-2015Obituaries
Barbara J. Kane

08-12-2015Obituaries
June H. Johnson

08-12-2015Obituaries
Robert L. Hedmark

08-12-2015Obituaries
LaVerne Hamblen

08-12-2015Obituaries
Everett R. Gratto

08-12-2015Obituaries
Lea A. Gerhartz

08-12-2015Obituaries
Dorothy (Pizinski) L. Demarce

08-12-2015Obituaries
Dorothy M. Brock


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Will the Packers make it to the Super Bowl this season?
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
© 2000-2015
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites