Marine Museums

(The information below has been selected from various web sites in the Great Lakes Area.
For any broken ” links ” or inaccuracies please  email:  and it will be corrected.)

For your Model Boating research ……. Enjoy!

  • American Merchant Marine American Merchant Marine at War Dedicated to the Mariners who died in service of their country during all Wars, including Revolutionary War, World War II, Korea, Vietnam; and their U.S. Naval Armed Guard shipmates – Ship Records – Research many things about merchant shipping – very intresting.


  • Antique Boat museum 1000 Islands – 750 Mary st Clayton New York … Extensive collection of historic fresh water boats and engines. Annual boat shows (Closed in Winter Months)



  • Bowling Green State University Association for Great Lakes Maritime History Robert Graham P.O. Box 7365, Bowling Green, OH 43402 (419) 372-9612
    style=”color: #000000;”>From their web site Historical Collections of the Great Lakes These projects are an attempt to take existing data sources and reformat them for online access.
    The HCGL has a collection of vessel data sheets created over the past thirty years and a collection of approximately 90,000 images of Great Lakes vessels. This image
    database is the end product of combining these two data formats into an online tool for researchers.


  • Canal Park Marine Museum  The Canal Park Marine Museum provides displays, historic artifacts and programs that explain the roles of Duluth and Superior in Great Lakes shipping. Exhibits include the interior of a Great Lakes freighter pilothouse, an extensive collection of historic artifacts, passenger cabins from old boats, films, a large display on Corps activities around the lakes and a collection of models that show the development of the Great Lakes freighter. Outdoor exhibits include a ship’s propeller, capstan and anchors, including a rare “McDougall” anchor used aboard a whaleback steamer. There is no admission charge to the museum or any of its programs. Hours of operation vary by season. Summer hours generally are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily; spring and fall hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily; winter hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday.The museum is located along the Duluth ship canal at the Aerial Lift Bridge. Take Interstate 35 into Duluth and exit at Lake Avenue. Follow Lake Avenue toward the Aerial Bridge in the historic Canal Park district. For more information, call (218) 727-2497.




  • Door County Maritime Museum Sturgeon Bay, WI Exhibits portray the role shipbuilding has played in the Door Peninsula.  Displays include artifacts from sunken ships, photos, and charts. Refurbished pilothouse on display. 920-743-5958 - Memorial Day weekend-mid-Oct.


  • Dossin Great Lakes Museum 100 Strand Drive, Belle Isle, Detroit, MI. 48207
    Ship Models, photographs, interpretive displays, the smoking room from the 1912 passenger steamer City of Detroit III, and anchor from the Edmund Fitzgerald and the working pilot house from the steamer William Clay Ford are just a few of this museum’s wide range of attractions. 313-852-4051 – Sat-Sun 10:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.



  • Fathom Five National Marine ParkTobermory, ON
     Canada’s first national underwater maritime park encompasses 19 of the area’s 26 ship wrecks, two of which can be see from a glass bottom boat. 519-596-2233 – April-mid-November


  • Grand Marais Maritime Museum Coast Guard Point, Grand Marais , MI 906-387-3700 — July 1 – Labor Day.This small museum, part of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, is in the former Grand Marais Coast Guard station, an impressive two-and-a-half-story affair topped by a tower room (not open to the public). Displays are done in the minimalist style typical of the National Parks Service, which spotlights a few objects such as a breeches buoy used by lifesavers. There are some photos of local fishermen and the lifesaving station here. The toilet in the women’s room is in almost the very place where the Coast Guard radioman last made contact with the Edmund Fitzgerald


  • Great Lakes Historical Society 480 Main St. Vermillion, OH Museum, housed in the former Wakefield Mansion, tells the story of the Great Lakes through ship models, paintings, exhibits and artifacts, including engines and other machinery. Pilot house of retired laker Canopus and a replica of the Vermillion lighthouse are also on display. 216-967-3467… An affiliated operation is the U.S.S. Cod, a World War II submarine open to the public in Cleveland Harbor. May 1-Labor Day -tour restrictions apply – call ahead 216-566-8770.


  • Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum The Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum is a maritime museum that specializes in memories not just artifacts. It is located in Rogers City, in Michigan’s lower peninsula. 367 N. Third Street Rogers City, MI 49779


  • Great Lakes Marine & U.S. Coast Guard Museum Walnut Blvd., Ashtabula, OH Housed in 1898-built former lighthouse keepers’ residence, museum includes models, paintings, artifacts, photos, the world’s only working scale model of a Hulett ore unloading machine and the pilot house from the lake steamer Thomas Walters. 440-964-6847 Memorial Day-Oct. 31


  • Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum Whitefish Point, MI Located adjacent to the historic Whitefish Point Lighthouse, the museum houses extensive light house and shipwreck artifacts, a shipwreck video theater and an Edmund Fitzgerald display, 906-635-1742 H. Lee White Marine Museum 1176 Niagara St., Oswego, NY Former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ tug Nash, built 1943, is the only known surviving U.S. Army vessel associated with the D-Day landings.


  • Harbor Heritage Society 1001 East Ninth Street Pier Cleveland, Ohio, 44114 -The society operates the Museum ship William G. Mather, at the E. Ninth St. Pier in Cleveland. Displays and artifacts tell the story of the Great Lakes Shipping industry. 216-574-6262 May- Oct.


  • Head of the Lakes Maritime Society – Barker’s Island, Superior, WI – On Display is the steamer Meteor, built at superior in 1897 and the last example of the” whaleback” design common on the lakes in the early 1900s. Also: the dredge Col. D.D. Gaillard, built in 1916 and the only example of a dipper dredge preserved for public display. 715-392-5742 or 715-392-1083 May – mid Oct.


  • Huron Lightship Museum  at Pine Grove Park, Port Huron Michigan. This was the last Lightship on the Great Lakes and is open to the public from April through mid-December


  • Jesse Besser Museum Alpena, MI. -Museum, which features a planetarium, offers a wealth of information about the history and development of the Alpena area. Among items on display: the anchor from the Great Lakes steamer Pewabic, which sank off Alpena in 1865. 517-356-2202 – Free – Open year round.


  • Keewatin Douglas, MI. 219 N Union Street, Douglas, MI 49406, United States Coal burning passenger steamer sailed the lakes from 1907 until her retirement in 1965. The Scottish built vessel, known for her refined accommodations and speed, sailed her entire life under the Canadian Pacific Railway flag. Also on display: the tug Reiss. 616-857-2464 or 616-857-2107 - May 24th weekend – Labor Day


  • Lake Huron Lore Marine Society  1115 Sixth Street, Port Huron, MI 48060-5346. The Society supports the work of the Port Huron Museum by assisting with the collections in the Marine Gallery, the restoration and operation of the Huron Lightship Museum, the annual Marine Flea Market and other special events.



  • Lake Huron Shipwreck and Maritime Center   located at 38 S. Ridge St., one block south of the traffic signal on M-25 in Port Sanilac, Michigan. At the Center visitors will see artifacts from sunken ships in the Sanilac Shores Preserve on loan from the State of Michigan, displays featuring The Great Storm of 1913, the Sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell, the Sanilac Shores Preserve, as well as models of actual well known ships. Center is open Saturdays, Sundays and holidays – Check web for details   – No Link to a Web site at this time


  • Lake Superior Marine Museum Association P.O. Box 177, Duluth MN 55801   Group supports the Canal Park Marine Museum. The museum provides displays, historic artifacts and programs that explain the roles of Duluth and Superior in Great Lakes shipping and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in maintaining the nation’s waterways. Operating steam engine, full-sized replicas of cabin found on Great Lakes ships, an numerous hands-on exhibits. Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 218-727-2497- Free Open year ’round.


  • Le Sault de Sainte Marie Historical Sites, Inc.  foot of Johnston St., Sault Ste. Marie, MI. Main exhibit is the former ore carrier Valley Camp, built in 1917 and now serving as a floating marine museum. Cargo holds house artifacts, ships models, photos and other memorabilia, as well as a tribute to the Edmund Fitzgerald that includes the ship’s two lifeboats. Historic sites also operates the nearby tower of History, a 21-story observation tower that offers an excellent view of the Soo-Locks and Soo-Harbor. 888-744-7867 May 15-Oct.15.


  •  Manitoulin Island, Museum ON  On Manitoulin Island we believe that visitors to our museums should experience history first hand. Our seven museums offer a wide variety of exhibits and activities. Each museum holds a personality of its own that provides both a fun and informative visit every time!


  • Marine Historical Society of Detroit 606 Laurel Ave., Port Clinton, OH. 43452 Founded in 1944, the society provides a focal point for those individuals and organizations interested and concerned with the history and current affairs of the Great Lakes.


  • Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston 55 Ontario St., Kingston, ON. Museum ashore, once part of a shipyard, explores the art of shipbuilding, while the museum ship Alexander Henry, a former Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker, is open for tours and as a bed and breakfast. 613-542-2261 May Sept.


  • Mariner’s Museum Light House Park, South Bay, ON One of the oldest lighthouses in Ontario. Fishing nets, shipwreck maps, log books, and photos are on display. 613-476-4695




  • Marquette Maritime Museum East Ridge & Lake Shore Dr., Marquette, MI Contained in an 1890′s waterworks building, the museum has recreated the offices of the first commercial fishing and passenger freight companies. Displays also includes charts, photos, models, and maritime artifacts. 906-226-2006 – A – May 31-October. 30.


  • Michigan Maritime Museum New Line off I-96 at Dyckman Ave.(exit 20), South Haven MI Exhibits include those dedicated to the U.S. Lifesaving Service and U.S. Coast Guard, and displays that tell the stories of boats and their uses on the Great Lakes. 616-637-8078


  • Mississauga Lighthouse Museum Manitoulin Island, ON 1873 Vintage Lighthouse. 705-283-3444 – Victoria Day-Labor Day.


  • Museum of Science and Industry 57th St. & Lakeshore Drv., Chicago, IL Among the museum displays is a captured World War II submarine U-505, built in Hamburg in 1941. 312-684-1414. – A,T – Open year round.


  • Mystic Seaport   Welcome to the website of Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea. If you have found your way here, it is probably because you either have a love for the sea and all things maritime or you were looking to provide your family with an authentic and memorable experience. While our website has much to offer the first time visitor, such as planning for a visit, it also provides the member and/or scholar the additional opportunity to explore the breadth of our collection, to undertake some preliminary research, or to gain a deeper understanding of an element of our collection. Whatever your purpose, we hope that you’ll linger here for a while.


  • National Us Naval Museum Devoted to the display of naval artifacts, models, documents and fine art, the museum chronicles the history of the United States Navy from the American Revolution to the present conflicts. Interactive exhibits commemorate our Navy’s wartime heroes and battles as well as peacetime contributions in exploration, diplomacy, navigation and humanitarian service.


  • Naval and Serviceman’s Park Museum 1 Naval Park Cove, Buffalo, NY On display: The guided missle cruiser U.S.S. Little Rock, the destroyer U.S.S. The Sullivans, and the World War II submarine U.S.S. Croaker. Museum’s displays include models, armed service artifacts, and aircraft. 716-847-1733 – A,T – April-Nov.


  • US Brig Niagara 150 Front St., Erie, PA. 16507 Commodore Perry’s Flag Ship, the Niagara. 814-452-2744 (Phone ahead to make sure ship is in port)fax 814-455-6760



  • Owen Sound Marine-Rail Museum 1155 1st Avenue West, Owen Sound, ON Museum depicts the history of each industry through display and photographs.


  • Port Burwell Marine Museum Has very extensive collection of Lighthouse lens, ship models of rail car ferry Ashtabula, Atlantic, Valley Camp, JM Loder. Also on display is a complete air fog horn c/w lister diesel and air compressor air storage vessel. Museum is adjacent to one of the oldest Wooden Lighthouses built in 1840 which is open to the public. Anchor from the ship Nimrod lies on a cement pad beside lighthouse. Soon to be the home of the Oberon Class submarine Ojibwa (2011)


  • Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum 280 King St., Port Colborne, ON  Wheelhouse from steam tug Yvonne Dupre Jr., anchor from the propellor ship Raleigh, and a lifeboat from the steamer Hochelaga are among the museum’s display. 416-834-7604.


  • River of History Museum
    The River of History Museum was opened by the Sault Foundation for Culture and History in 1992 with the mission of preserving and promoting the history of the St. Mary’s River system.
    Since July 1st, 2009 a relocation project was successfully completed to move all exhibits and artifacts from the old Federal Building on Portage Avenue to its new location on Ashmun Street Sault Ste. Marie, MI.




  • Saginaw River Marine Historical Society P.O. Box 2051 Bay City, MI. 48707-2051  Founded in 1989 by a group of dedicated individuals interested in preserving the rich maritime heritage of the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay.


  • Sandusky Area Maritime Museum 125 Meigs Street Sandusky, Ohio. 419-624-0274  Museum and achieves of the Sandusky Area Maritime Association, a group dedicated to preserving the maritime heritage of the Sandusky area. Displays include the commercial fishing industry, the ice cutting industry, the Lyman Boat Works, and the G.A. Boeckling (former Cedar Point Ferry)



Submarines Museums 


    • Submarine Force Library & Museum
      1 Crystal Lake Road, Conning Towers-Nautilus Park, Connecticut 06340,  Phone: 800.343.0079 (Local 860.694.3174) The home of “The Natilus”



More Submarine Museums pending


  • St. Mary’s River Centre Sault Ste. Marie, ON  Former Georgian Bay area freight/passenger ferry Norgoma.


  • The Ship’s Wheel Gallery and Museum  234 Ellis St. Kewaunee, WI 54216 The museum’s main focus is on Great Lakes shipwrecks and WWII Naval history. Featured exhibits include an 8ft. Lake schooner model and an 8 ft. Treaty heavy cruiser model. There is also a large collection of pre WWII lead ship miniatures on permanent display.414-388-0777 Thur.-Sat. Noon to 6:30pm



  • The SteamShip Historical Society   300 Ray Drive Suite #4, Providence, RI 02906. Phone 401-274-0805; Fax 401-274-0836.
    Steamship Historical Society of America; devoted to recording, preserving, and disseminating the history of engine-powered vessels. Dues of $25.00 include the society’s quarterly journal Steamboat Bill and the opportunity to participate in a variety of member activities, including two national meetings every year.


  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Museum Soo Locks Visitor Center, Sault Ste. Marie, MI
    Center includes working model of Soo Locks, photos depicting their history, and a 25 minute film. Also, three outdoor observation decks adjacent to the MacArthur Lock provide an up close view of ships locking through. – Free – May-Nov.


  • U.S.S. Silversides Muskegon, MI restored World War II submarine was one of the war’s most highly decorated. 616-755-1230.



  • Wisconsin Maritime Museum  75 Maritime Dr., Manitowoc, WI  Extensive displays on the history of shipbuilding. The exhibit honors submarine building in Maitowoc during World War II. Also on display: Submarine U.S.S. Cobia, built in 1943. 920-684-0218 – A, G, T – Open year round. Vessel Museums in the Great Lakes Area


  • City of MilwaukeeFormer Lake Michigan rail and passenger ferry, built in 1931, now open as a museum.



Vessel Museums


  •  H.M.C.S. Haida World War II  Canadian destroyer is credited with the destruction of 14 enemy ships.


  • Alexander Henry  Operated by the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston, this former Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker is open for tours and as a bed and breakfast.
    613-542-2261 – A,T,G – 55 Ontario St., Kingston, ON. May-Sept.


  •  Willis B Boyer Freifhter Museum
    International Park, Toledo OH. 1911-built Willis B. Boyer, 617′ retired Freighter. 419-936-3070 – Year round


  • Huron This was the last Lightship on the Great Lakes and is open to the public from April through mid-December. 810-982-0891 (ext. 19) or link to – A,T,G April-mid-Dec.


  •  William A. Irvin Built in 1938, the 610-foot-long Irvin is the former flagship of the U.S. Steel fleet. She last sailed in 1972. 218-722-7876 – A,T,G – Duluth & Area Convention Center, 350 Harbor Dr., Duluth, MN.


  •  KeewatinThe coal-burning passenger steamer Keewatin, which sailed the lakes for Canadian Pacific Railway from 1907 until her retirement in 1965, is now open to the public at Douglas, on Lake Michigan’s south shore. Also on display: tug Reiss .616-857-2464 or 616-857-2107 



  •  William G. Mather Harbor Heritage Society  operates the museum ship Mather, a former Cleveland-Cliffs iron ore carrier, at the E. Ninth Street pier in Cleveland. Displays and artifacts help tell the story of the Great Lakes shipping industry. Adjacent to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
    216-694-2000 May-Oct.


  •  Meteor Built in 1897 the Meteor, open for tours on Barker’s Island in Superior, WI, is the last example of the “whaleback” design common on the lakes in the early 1900s. Also on display is the dipper dredge Col. D.D. Gaillard, built in 1916. 715-392-5742 or 715-392-1083 – Head of the Lakes Maritime Society, Superior WI. May-mid-Oct.


  •  Milwaukee Clipper  1905-built passenger steamer (ex. Juniata). The SS Milwaukee Clipper is undergoing restoration in her home port of Muskegon, Michigan. Currently located at the former Grand Trunk Western car ferry docks, volunteers are restoring the 360 foot passenger steamer to her 1940′s appearance. For information on upcoming tours, events, and merchandise items please call the SS Milwaukee Clipper Store at (231) 725-0509.


  •  Niagara Commodore  Oliver Hazard Perry’s flagship, the U.S.S. Niagara, has been extensively rebuilt and opened to the public. From the Niagara’s decks, Perry proclaimed “We have met the enemy and they are ours,” during the War of 1812′s Battle of Lake Erie. 814-452-2744 (phone ahead to make sure
    ship is in port). – A,T – Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, Erie, PA.


  •  Norgoma   Although this former Georgian Bay-area freight and passenger ferry is still undergoing renovation, she is open to the public at Roberta Bondar Park on the Sault Ste. Marie, ON waterfront.
    705-256-7447 – St. Mary’s River Marine Center Mid-April-Oct.


  •  Norisle  This former Georgian Bay-are passenger/freight carrier is open as a museum in Heritage Park, Manitowaning, ON.705-859-3977 – A,T – June 1-Labor Day


  • NashThis Former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tug, built in 1943, is the only know surviving Army vessel associated with D-Day. At the H. Lee White Marine Museum, 1176 Niagara St., Oswego, NY.


  •  Valley Camp Berthed at the foot of Johnstone Street in Sault Ste. Marie, MI, this 1917-built ore and coal carrier is now home of an extensive Great Lakes marine museum operated by Le Sault de Sainte Marie Historic Sites. Cargo holds house artifacts, ship models, photos and other memorabilia, as well as a tribute to the Edmund Fitzgerald that include the ship’s two lifeboats. Historic Sites also operates the nearby Tower of History, a 21 -story observation tower that offers an excellent view of the Soo Locks and Soo Harbor. 888-744-7867- May 15-Oct.15


  •  James Whalen 108-foot Steam Steel Tugboat. Built 1905 Toronto. In service at Port Arthur and Fort William (Now Thunder Bay), Ontario for over 55 years. Moved to the lower lakes in 1960. Returned to Thunder Bay in 1992 for restoration. The vessel was restored and moved to its permanent display site the Kaministiquia River Overlook in Thunder Bay. 

Aditional Museums will be posted as time permits .