The Door County Maritime Museum’s exhibit marking the 40th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald can again be viewed daily at the museum in Sturgeon Bay.
The wreck, made famous for the mysterious conditions under which the 729-ft. freighter sank and further elevated in the public’s conscience by Gordon Lightfoot’s hit song, remains the most significant sinking in Great Lakes history.
The sinking on Nov. 10, 1975 has particular ties to Door County since the vessel had a number of winter layovers in Sturgeon Bay. Even more significant was the fact that two of the 29 lives lost in the tragedy, Oliver “Buck” Champeau and Russell Haskell, grew up in Sturgeon Bay.
While not one of the museum’s larger exhibits, it effectively pays tribute to the hardy seamen who braved some of the most difficult weather conditions ever experienced on Lake Superior.
Highlights include a deck light and life jacket given to the museum when the Fitzgerald was in Sturgeon Bay for off-season work. A video featuring radio conversations recorded on Nov. 10, 1975 discussing the possible sinking and rescue attempts is another intriguing aspect of the presentation. Artwork of the Fitzgerald from the museum’s collection is also interspersed throughout the exhibit. For more information visit dcmm.org.