The Edmund Fitzgerald on the St. Mary’s River near Sault Ste. Marie, May 1975. (Bob Campbell photo / News-Tribune files)
Monday – Nov. 10, 2014 – is the 39th anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald in a massive storm on Lake Superior. The freighter’s crew of 29 men, including several from the Northland, died when the ship sank in eastern Lake Superior off Whitefish Point on Nov. 10, 1975; it had been heading from Superior to Detroit with a load of taconite.
A little after 7 p.m. that day, the Fitzgerald was in radio contact with the nearby Arthur M. Anderson, and reported that they were “holding our own” in heavy seas. There was no further contact with the freighter; minutes later the ship had disappeared from radar screens.
I compiled a number of archive photos and other information about the Fitzgerald in 2010, on the 35th anniversary of the wreck. You can view that post here.
Among the items posted there is this well-done video for Gordon Lightfoot’s famous song about the wreck:
Split Rock Lighthouse northeast of Two Harbors will host its annual beacon lighting and memorial service for the victims of the Fitzgerald, and all Great Lakes wrecks, on Monday afternoon. They will toll a bell 29 times for each man who lost his life on the Fitzgerald, and then toll the bell a 30th time for all lost mariners. After that, the lighthouse’s beacon will be lit. It’s the only time each year when visitors can climb to the top of the tower while the beacon is lit and revolving.
The lighthouse will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Monday; the memorial service is at 4:30 p.m. Admission is $7 per person, free for Minnesota Historical Society members.
Here’s a News Tribune video of the Nov. 10, 2011, memorial ceremony at Split Rock:
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