Lives & Legends of the Christmas Tree Ships

Front Cover
University of Michigan Press, 2007 - History - 276 pages
2 Reviews

Lives and Legends of the Christmas Tree Ships brings the maritime heritage of the Great Lakes to life, using the tragic story of the schooner Rouse Simmons as a porthole into the robust but often forgotten communities that thrived along Lake Michigan from the Civil War to World War I.

Memorialized in songs, poems, fiction, and even a musical, the infamous ship that went down in a Thanksgiving storm while delivering Christmas trees to Chicago has long been shrouded in myth and legend. As a result, the larger story of the captain, crew, and affected communities has often been overlooked. Fred Neuschel delves into this everyday life of camaraderie, drudgery, ambition, and adventure—with tales of the Midwest’s burgeoning immigrant groups and rapid industrialization—to create a true story that is even more fascinating than the celebrated legends.

 

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Great read. Especially if you are from the area. And if your Grandfather is mentioned in the book. Well written, a good look at the history and people of the times. Adventures to every day life are captured well. Thanks for telling the story.

Review: Lives and Legends of the Christmas Tree Ships

User Review  - Angela Hughes - Goodreads

This author did a great job of presenting ALL of the facts available, whether they supported the glossy legend, or not. I thought I knew the story well, but I learned a lot of new facts previously withheld. An excellent read for Wisconsin, Great Lakes, regional lore and sailing enthusiasts. Read full review

Contents

The Disappearance of the Schooner Rouse Simmons
xiii
Lake Michigan ShortHaul Sailors
18
The Sailors School of Hard Knocks
34
Ahnapee Wisconsina Maritime Community
49
The Clique Takes Control
65
Sailors in the Battle for the Harbor
79
Ahnapees Golden Decade
92
Captain McDonald Fortune Seeker
107
The Schuenemann Brothers
155
Herman Schuenemann Becomes Captain Santa
171
Lies Mistakes and Hoax
185
Unseaworthy
201
A Story to Pass On
213
Vessels Tliat Engaged in the Christmas Tree Trade on Lake Michigan 18761920
219
Captains Who Engaged in the Christmas Tree Trade on Lake Michigan
227
Newspaper Reports of Vessels Used by or on Behalf of August or Herman Schuenemann
229

Working for the Man
119
The End of the Maritime Community
133
The Last of the ShortHaul Sailors
144
Sources
261
Index
271
Copyright

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