Dive Deep Into Great Lakes Shipwrecks

The most famous shipwreck in the world is undoubtedly the RMS Titanic, memorialized in film and literature. But stories of the shipwrecks in our freshwater system are equally captivating. Explore Wisconsin’s rich maritime history by diving into these selected reads about a few of the shipwrecks found in the waters of the Great Lakes. Our history is filled with adventure and catastrophe, weather phenomena and phenomenal characters. 

29 Missing: The True and Tragic Story of the Disappearance of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald by Andrew Kantar. East Lansing, Mich.: Lancaster: Michigan State University Press; Gazelle, 2000. 

Door Peninsula Shipwrecks by Jon Paul Van Harpen. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2006. 

The Edmund Fitzgerald: The Song of the Bell by Kathy-Jo Wargin and Gisjbert Van Frankenhuyzen. Ann Arbor: Sleeping Bear Press, 2015. 

The Historic Christmas Tree Ship: a True Story of Faith, Hope and Love by Rochelle Pennington. Cleveland, Tenn.: Pathways Press, 2004. 

Many a Midnight Ship: True Stories of Great Lakes Shipwrecks by Mark Bourrie. Toronto: Key Porter Books, 2005. 

Mighty Fitz: the Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Michael Schumacher. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012. 

Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes: Tales of Courage — and Cowardice by Cheryl MacDonald. Toronto: James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers, 2011. 

Stories from the Wreckage: a Great Lakes Maritime History Inspired by Shipwrecks by John Odin Jensen. Madison, Wis.: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2019.

Don’t miss the wisconsinshipwrecks.org website. 

Anyone in Wisconsin can borrow the above books and more. Just email askwater@aqua.wisc.edu.