Annual ceremonies in Minnesota and Michigan honored the lost crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald on Sunday.
The doomed freighter was bound for Detroit when it sunk in Lake Superior on Nov. 10, 1975. The ship, loaded with taconite, left Superior, Wis. with a crew of 29. A ballad by singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," has made the wreck the stuff of legend.
The Detroit Free Press reports lanterns flickered as a crowd gathered Sunday evening in the Detroit suburb of River Rouge. Mural-size photos and a model of the famed ore carrier were displayed there. A memorial service was also held on Detroit's Belle Isle.
The Duluth News Tribune noted that Split Rock Lighthouse hosted its annual beacon lighting and memorial service for the victims of the Fitzgerald, and all Great Lakes wrecks, Sunday afternoon, tolling a bell 30 times, in honor of each man who lost his life on the Fitzgerald, and one more for all lost mariners.
Because of the song, the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald may be the most famous of the Lake Superior shipwrecks. But check the archives of Lake Superior Magazine for the haunting story of a 1913 November storm that sank a dozen freighters and wrecked 31 more.
"It was a storm so large that it ravaged the entire Great Lakes region and so intense that its 80-mph winds equaled those of a Caribbean hurricane," the story said, adding, "...this frozen hurricane of 1913 is still unprecedented in its scope, destruction and strength. It remains the deadliest storm in the history of the Great Lakes."