The Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle in Detroit is hosting a symposium on the fate of a sidewheel steamer that sank in Lake Michigan and observing the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The Detroit Historical Society says Saturday’s program will go over the fate of the Lady Elgin, which sank with 300 people aboard in 1860 after a collision with another vessel. The event begins at 11 a.m.
On Sunday, members of the Livonia Amateur Radio Club will hold a broadcast observing the Nov. 10, 1975, sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior.
The ore freighter’s 29-member crew was lost.
Events culminate Wednesday with the annual Lost Mariners Remembrance ceremony at Dossin Museum.
The schedule of events is as follows:
6 p.m. – A lantern ceremony at the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald anchor remembers her crew on the 35th anniversary of the ship’s sinking.
6:15 p.m. – Lee Murdock performs in DeRoy Hall as guests enter the museum.
7:00 p.m. – Assembly of the Lost Mariners honor guard, including members of the United States Coast Guard, Canadian Coast Guard, International Shipmasters Lodge #7, Apostleship of the Sea – Port of Detroit, Lake Carriers Association, Mariners Church of Detroit, Ontario Provincial Police – Commissioner’s Pipe and Drums, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Royal Canadian Armored Corps, and the U.S. Navy – Bugles Across America. The honor guard will be escorted by bagpipers and a bugler to the river’s edge with the Lost Mariners memorial wreath.
7:02 p.m. – Reading of the lost crew roster of the Lady Elgin by Kathy McGraw of the Dossin Maritime Group with a bell toll for each name.
7:04 p.m. – Out on the Detroit River, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter escorts and lights up a flotilla of U.S. and Canadian vessels as they approach the Museum to receive the wreath. The ships include a 41-foot U.S. Coast Guard utility boat with uniformed crew at attention on deck, the Canadian Coast Guard cutter Cape Dundas, an Ontario Provincial Police Marine Division service boat, the Detroit Fire Department’s fire boat Curtis Randolph and the mail boat J.W. Westcott.
7:06 p.m. – The Reverend Paul Innes, assistant rector of Mariners’ Church, offers a prayer for the lost mariners.
7:10 p.m. – The wreath honoring those lost on the Great Lakes is laid out in the river with a salute of all water cannons by the Detroit Fire Department’s Curtis Randolph. Overhead, a helicopter from the Selfridge Air National Guard base drops flares and lights the scene. In addition, there will be a playing of “Taps” on the river with a Canadian echo of “Last Post.”
7:20 p.m. – Presentation by guest speaker, Valerie van Heest, on the story of the Lady Elgin.
8:00 p.m. – The event concludes with a memorial prayer and benediction by Rev. Innes, followed by Lee Murdock’s rendition of “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” and a video collage of the ship’s history.
Admission is $5 per person and is payable at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Dossin Great Lakes Museum is located at 100 Strand Drive on Belle Isle.
© MMX WWJ Radio, All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to his report.