Author Visit: James Spurr

Date: November 17, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
3338 Van Buren street
Hudsonville, MI 49426

Author Visit: James Spurr
November 17, 2015 at 7pm

Join the library as we welcome back James Spurr, author of Navel stories "Sworn for Mackinaw" and "One Sloop and Slow Match" to discuss the Edmund Fitzgerald and it's famous sinking in the Great Lakes.

The legend of the Edmund Fitzgerald remains the most mysterious and controversial of all shipwreck tales heard around the Great Lakes. Her story is surpassed in books, film and media only by that of the Titanic. Canadian folksinger Gordon Lightfoot inspired popular interest in this vessel with his 1976 ballad, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

The Edmund Fitzgerald was lost with her entire crew of 29 men on Lake Superior November 10, 1975, 17 miles north-northwest of Whitefish Point, Michigan.

Gales in November have always brought bad news on Lake Superior.  The very first European shipwreck on Lake Superior, the Schooner Invincible, dates back to the early 1800’s.

Nearly a hundred years later, two other ships, French Minesweepers, sunk in the same November storm, making the point that with all of the progress in shipbuilding techniques, nature was still “superior.”

More than 60 years later, the largest ship yet, “mighty Fitz,” went down on Lake Superior with a horrific loss of life, despite the benefits of modern weather forecasting, radar, USCG rescue vessels and helicopters.

Listen as James Spurr details the  Edmund Fitzgerald’s storm strategy, final minutes, possible causes and see some photos by powerpoint very little known, even 50 years later.

Edmund Fitzgerald, St. Mary's River, 1975. Photo by Bob Campbell