BENZONIA ACADEMY LECTURE: Car Ferries in Ice Presented by Grant Brown
Date and Time
Thursday Jun 8, 2023
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM EDT
Thursday, June 8, 7:00 p.m.
The Mills Community House
Steven Veatch, BAHS Board & Communications Team Member
(719) 213-1475 or firstname.lastname@example.org
“Car Ferries in Ice” will be presented on Thursday, June 8, at 7:00 p.m. by car ferry historian Grant Brown, Jr. as part of the Benzie Area Historical Society’s Benzonia Academy Lecture Series. The lecture will be offered in person at The Mills Community House in Benzonia, live online via Zoom, and recorded for later viewing on the Historical Society’s website www.benziemuseum.org. In most winters the Ann Arbor car ferries ran across Lake Michigan with ease. There were occasional bouts with ice and Green Bay was often a problem but, by and large, the big ships ran without difficulty. Yet there were exceptions! Grant Brown, Jr., author of Ninety Years Crossing Lake Michigan, talks about some of those exceptions. He’ll begin by discussing the various forms of ice—windrows, sheet ice, ice fields, etc.—and how the boats broke ice, how they became stuck, and how they broke each other out. He’ll then tell of some of the worst winters on Lake Michigan, years in which the lake froze shore to shore, and the heroics of the men fighting the ice. They never stayed in port but did get stuck in the ice for prolonged periods of time—eight and one-half days off Frankfort in 1917 and 63 days on Green Bay in 1900. They battled the ice around the clock but there were times when the ice was simply too powerful. Special attention will be given to the conditions on Green Bay, which froze earlier and stayed frozen longer than the rest of Lake Michigan. Brown describes how the Ann Arbor largely conquered the bay with larger, more powerful ships, but never completely won the battle. It is a fascinating story of men fighting severe elements with weapons that were not always up to the task by today’s standards. This presentation is part of Benzie Area Historical Society’s Benzonia Academy Lecture Series, held on the second Thursday of each month, at The Mills Community House, 891 Michigan Avenue, Benzonia (Benzonia Public Library). Note that the series has moved to its summer schedule, and lectures will be offered at 7:00 p.m. through September. Admission is by donation, and $5 is suggested.. To learn more about the June 8 lecture, including the Zoom link, visit the Benzie Area Historical Society’s website benziemuseum.org, InstaGram or Facebook page; call the Museum at (231) 882-5539; or email email@example.com.