The Christmas Tree Ships

an oldie but a goodie for #TBT!

elsie-schuenemann-christmas-tree-ship

Above is a portrait of Elsie Schuenemann at the wheel of the Christmas Ship, near the Clark Street Bridge on the Chicago River in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois. The boat carried Christmas trees to Chicago from Michigan. Her father, Captain H. Schuenemann, died when the Rouse Simmons, a ship carrying Christmas trees, sank in 1912.

The trees behind her likely came from the woods of Escanaba. Though the story of Barbara Schuenemann and her three daughters carrying on the tradition of the Christmas Tree Ships has perhaps been a little over-romanticized, there can be little doubt that the Schuenemann family and the many others who participated in the difficult trade of hauling Christmas trees south as the storms of winter closed in were heroes cut from a cloth that isn’t found too often today.

If you’d like to read more about all the Christmas tree ships (there were many more than just the famous Rouse Simmons) I recommend Christmas Tree Ships from Fred Neuschel. He has also written a book called Lives and Legends of the Christmas Tree Ships (available from UM Press). The National Archive also has The Christmas Tree Ship: Captain Herman E. Schuenemann and the Schooner Rouse Simmons that details the Schuenemann’s story.

You can also see Rich Evenhouse’s cool video of diving the Rouse Simmons.

Happy Independence Day, Michigan!

Bay City Independence Day Celebration, photo by Charles Bonham

Happy 4th of July everyone!

View Charles’s photo bigger and see more in his Bay City Michigan album.

Born in the USA

Born in the USA, photo by Bill Dolak

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

View Bill’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his massive Michigan: Kalamazoo County slideshow.

American Dream

Bay City Fireworks Festival, photo by Jeff Caverly

“There are those who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American Dream.”
-Archibald MacLeish

View the photo background big and see lots more from Bay City’s Fireworks Festival in Jeff’s slideshow!

Treat your momma right!

Happy Mother’s Day, photo by Jim Sisko

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Michigan moms! I appreciate how hard you work every day doing the toughest job that I know of. Here’s hoping that everyone takes some time this weekend for the mothers in their lives.

Jim shared this several years ago and wrote:

This is my wife Margie (AKA Mom to our daughter and Grandma to our two granddaughters) looking out at Lake Superior from the beach of her favorite place in the world, Little Girl’s Point. Margie is the best person I have ever known, and i’m eternally grateful that she chose me to spend her life with. My Mother has been gone almost 25 years now and I still think about her every day, but especially on this day.

View the photo bigger and see more in Jim’s Random 19 slideshow.

Easter Wreath

Easter!, photo by Staci DeVries

Happy Easter, if that’s something you celebrate.

View the photo background bigilicious and see more in Staci’s slideshow.

Softening a Heart of Stone

There’s a first time for everything – apologies to Aaron Springer for partially incorrectly attributing today’s photo!!

heart-of-stone

Heart of Stone, photo by Aaron Springer

“Light softens even the hardest of hearts.”
~Aaron Springer

A nice sentiment for Valentine’s Day, and I hope you get a chance to spend some time this week enjoying the beautiful light of Michigan.

View Aaron’s photo biggerand see more awesome shots from the Old Mission Peninsula and elsewhere in his slideshow.

There’s 10+ years of Valentine’s Day photos on Michigan in Pictures.