Events during the S.S. City of Milwaukee Reunion Weekend and Annual Meeting Aug. 10, 2013

SnapShot_120918_1306429am to 9:45am  –  S.S. City of Milwaukee Annual meeting

10am to 12pm – Michigan Association of Rail Passengers meeting

12pm to 1pm  –  Picnic lunch served on shore. $7.00 for food and drink. Sandwiches, salads, chips and desert. Your choice of pop or water.

1pm to 1:45 Mark Greenwood will discuss the history of the U.S. Coast Guard 180-foot seagoing buoy tenders. Long considered reliable workhorses in the Service’s fleet, the versatile craft were used as icebreakers, search and rescue platforms and maintenance ships for aids to navigation. Moored alongside the City of Milwaukee is the Acacia (WLB 406), the last of the 180-footers to be retired from service. It is fitting that the ships are displayed together as the largest collection of museum ships in Michigan, as the Acacia came to the aid of the City of Milwaukee and other car ferries entrapped in heavy ice on Lake Michigan during the 1960s and 70s by providing icebreaking assistance and replenishing the ships with fuel and supplies. The Acacia has close ties to western Michigan, having spent several years stationed at both Charlevoix and Grand Haven. The City of Milwaukee sailed out of Muskegon and Frankfort as her home port, and now resides with the Acacia in Manistee.

2:00pm to 3pm Bruce Groeneveld will present the history of the Grand Trunk Milwaukee Car Ferry Company. The operation ran railroad ferries between Grand Haven and Muskegon, Michigan to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The S.S. City of Milwaukee survives today as a museum ship interpreting the story of the men and women who sailed aboard the Great Lakes car ferries The City of Milwaukee closed the chapter on the 75 year-old operation in October 1978.  

3pm to 4pm  –  Art Chavez will present a slide show focusing on the interior views of the Lake Michigan car ferries operated by the Ann Arbor, Grand Trunk, and Chesapeake and Ohio Railroads. The vast majority of these intriguing images were photographed during the 1960s by John W. Hausmann, and portray the ferries passenger staterooms, dining rooms, a variety of deck scenes and beautiful wood-paneled lounges. These rare glimpses aboard ships like the Madison, City of Green Bay, and City of Saginaw capture an era that is gone forever, surviving today as a museum ship interpreting the story of the men and women who sailed aboard the Great Lakes car ferries.