Great Lakes Maritime History conference to be hosted in Ludington

August 18, 2023

Great Lakes Maritime History conference to be hosted in Ludington

LUDINGTON — The Mason County Historical Society will host several of the region’s premier marine historians during the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History’s Annual Conference and Membership Meeting. The public is invited to attend the Conference on Saturday, September 9.

The Association for Great Lakes Maritime History is a professional association of institutions—museums, archives, libraries, dive organizations—and individuals from throughout the United States and Canada who are involved in preserving and interpreting the unique maritime history of the Great Lakes region. The gathering provides an opportunity for the exchange of news and ideas on maritime history collections, exhibitions, research, and publishing.

The opening reception will take place at the West Shore Community College’s Manierre Dawson Gallery on Thursday, September 7, where members will explore “Remembering 150 Years of Maritime Legacy,” an exhibition that honors Ludington’s maritime heritage and which was developed to coincide with Ludington’s sesquicentennial celebration. Friday’s events include the association’s annual business meeting, member roundtable, and associated activities. These gatherings are only open to AGLMH members.

The Annual Maritime Conference, open to the public, takes place on Saturday, September 9, at the Mason County Research Center, 130 E. Ludington Avenue, from 8 am to 3 pm.

This year’s topics are:

  • ·        “Ludington’s Maritime Legacy” with historian Valerie Van Heest and Rebecca Berringer, director of the MCHS.
  • ·        “The Forgotten Iron King of the Great Lakes: Eber Brock Ward” presented by author Michael Nagle, professor of History and Political Science at WSCC.
  • ·        “Wood, Steel and Ice: the Straits of Mackinac Railway Ferries” with Brian Jaeschke, curator of collections at Mackinac State Historic Parks.
  • ·        “Ghosts of the Oceana Coast” from Brendon Baillod, a Great Lakes maritime historian, researcher, antiquarian and archivist based in Wisconsin.
  • ·        “Shipwreck Artifact Collectors and States: How to Work Together,” in a roundtable format.

Later in the day, members will gather for an awards dinner at the Stearns Hotel. Recognitions will be presented for outstanding efforts in original Great Lakes research and writing, historic preservation, and historic interpretation. The keynote speaker, Art Chavez, will offer “Technological Evolution of Lake Michigan Railroad Car Ferries.” Chavez has been researching the history of Lake Michigan’s railroad car ferries for over 30 years and has interviewed crews, written dozens of articles, and has produced four pictorial histories on the topic.

For more information about the conference schedule, speakers and topics, as well as the fee-free Eventbrite registration link, visit . New individual member information is also available on the website.


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