Shipwrecks, Monsters, and Mysteries of the Great Lakes

Shipwrecks, Monsters, and Mysteries of the Great Lakes

by Ed Butts

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In 1679, a French ship called the Griffon left Green Bay on Lake Michigan, bound for Niagara with a cargo of furs. Neither the Griffon nor the five-man crew was ever seen again. Though the Griffon’s fate remains a mystery, its disappearance was probably the result of the first shipwreck on a Great Lake.

Since then, more than six thousand vessels, large and small, have met tragic ends on the Great Lakes. For many years, saltwater mariners scoffed at the freshwater sailors of the Great Lakes, “puddles” compared to the vast oceans. But those who actually worked on the Great Lakes ships knew differently.

Shoals and reefs, uncharted rocks, and sandbars could snare a ship or rip open a hull. Unpredictable winds could capsize a vessel at any moment. A ship caught in a storm had much less room to maneuver than did one at sea. The wreckage of ships and the bones of the people who sail them litter the bottoms of the five lakes: Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior. Ed Butts has gathered stories and lake lore in this fascinating, frightening volume. For anyone living on the shores of the Great Lakes, these tales will inspire a new interest and respect for their storied past.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781770492592
Publisher: Tundra
Publication date: 01/11/2011
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 88
File size: 3 MB
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

ED BUTTS is a writer and editor with a special interest in Canadian history. He lived for several years in the Dominican Republic, where he taught English and social studies and wrote regularly for local magazines. He has published several books of fiction and nonfiction and has written for numerous publications in Canada and the United States. Ed Butts lives in Guelph, Ontario.

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Shipwrecks, Monsters, and Mysteries of the Great Lakes 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
evedeve on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great little book to introduce people to some of the crashes and lore of the Great Lakes. I do wish that map(s) had been included for those who are not familiar with the geography of the lakes. The tales were covered briefly but well, with enough depth to spark interest in further research. I think it is engaging for both YA readers and adults alike. It is a little book, but a great introduction to the myths and shipwrecks of the area. I also appreciated that a selection of wrecks over a span of time were selected rather than just ones from one era. It gives a sense of the ongoing issues surrounding the stormy hazards of the lakes.
Romonko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a thoroughly entertaining little book about some of the mysteries and shipwrecks on the Great Lakes located between Canada and the United States. These lakes are the scene of many deadly storms and many ships have been lost in these treacherous waters. Mr. Butts has 8 or 10 little vignettes about some of these losses from as early as 1804 to the puzzling loss of the big Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975. Some of these ships just seemed to disappear and no flotsam was ever found. I found the book extremely entertaining to read and enjoyed it very much. I love books about the aquatic mysteries, and this little book is full of them.
bnbookgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great starting book for kids who are intersted in doing research on the Great Lakes. Having grown up in Green Bay, WI, and 15 minutes from Lake Michigan, I have heard many of these legends and stories. This book covers many of the big shipwrecks and ghost maritime ghost stories of the Lakes. Alot of time the history of the Great Lakes is overlooked and it is a shame because it is very interesting. Mr. Butts provides small snippets of 10 Great Lake legends; enough to peak the interest of young readers. I will be letting my fellow Great Lake enthusiasts, especially those who are teachers, know about this great addition to their libraries. By the way, great cover art!!
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received this book through Library Thing¿s Early Reviewers. Shipwrecks, Monsters, and Mysteries of the Great Lakes by Ed Butts is a slim volume consisting of ten separate stories. Each story details a story of a ship that met it¿s doom, or gives us the background of one of the many myths that have come from these exceedingly large and exceedingly deep waters.I would definitely class this book as a Young Adult Read and would think it¿s target audience would be someone in Grade Six or Seven. In fact, my 11 year old grandson is very interested in this book and has asked if he can read it next. The stories are told in a straight forward manner and are engaging. My only complaint about the book is the lack of maps. Instead of reading ¿this happened somewhere between the cities of Chicago and Milwaukee¿ or ¿at the location about fifty miles southeast of Passage Island¿, it would be much clearer to have a map of reference with the various wrecks marked.I think my favorite story was the one entitled ¿The Wreck of the Monarch¿ about a freight and passenger steamship that went onto the rocks of Isle Royale during a snow storm. The captain managed to get all but one to shore, kept them alive for days and eventually had to march them across the island where the rescue boats were able to land. Suffering from starvation and frost bite, he still managed to bring them to safety and was highly praised for his efforts.I think this book would suit the casual and/or younger reader. It would be a good jumping off place to start reading about the Great Lakes. The stories are quickly read and meant to hold your interest, but if you are serious about the history of shipping and wrecks on the Great Lakes I am sure there are more detailed books to help you delve into the subject.
katylit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful, quick read of some of the most interesting ship wrecks and mysteries of the Great Lakes. Each of the ten chapters contains the story of one ship wreck or sea monster and is well written, concise and informative. The author starts in the late 1600s and takes the reader right to the present day, including personal accounts, newspaper reports and eyewitness accounts. Having grown up on the shore of Lake Ontario and sailed her waters I found this brief history of some of the tragedies and mysteries very personable, and fascinating.
DivineMissW on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a brief treatise on Great Lakes shipwrecks. High school students would probably enjoy this book most as it has a simple, easy to read style, with a dry non-nonsense delivery. This a small book about a large subject. If you are interested in Great Lakes maritime lore, this is a good place to start. In the 80 pages it explores some the shipwrecks on the Great Lakes and the some of the mysteries behind the wrecks. I enjoyed the pictures of the ships displayed throughout the book. I live in Michigan and have heard the Monsters stories too through the years, but I like most other Michiganers, dismiss them as folklore and over active imaginations.If you thought the lakes are just a serene and quiet getaway spots this book will inform you otherwise. The Great Lakes have and always will be treacherous and those who think otherwise have been sorely misinformed. While not a vast as the oceans, many sailors, passengers and cargo have been lost during the voyages through these waters. Though beautiful to sit along and sail upon, one is remined that even the mighty have fallen in the waters and caution and respect are always necessary.I think this book will whet the interest of those who read it and send readers who want to explore this topic in more depth to other more detailed books.This book was sent to me by Tundra Books publishers for my review.
Prop2gether on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This collection of stories about the Great Lakes is written about junior high/middle school level, and, except for the the last two chapters on monsters, is informative and entertaining reading. Curiously enough, the chapters about monsters get bogged down in repetition and lengthy accounts of sightings on the lake,while the factual accounts are far more interesting. As an Early Reviewer edition, it was rife with typos and it is hoped that a careful proofreader will catch them. It is a good introduction to the hardships of working the ships on the Great Lakes, and it recommended for the "independent reader" level.
Cecilturtle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the diversity of the author's choices: elegant party boats, commercial ships, and impressive prison ships (which I didn't know existed!). Butts has a vivid style which makes these old wrecks come to life and has the courtesy of not boring the reader with technical details (amateurs may be disappointed). This book has a clever way of disguising historical fact (I learned a lot about the region in which I live!) and human drama. I would have liked to see some tourist information: what a great way to discover some of these regions and to know a bit more about the archeological facts - an annex or footnotes would have been appropriate. I didn't miss those too much, however, taking this book as an unpretentious but knowledgeable introduction of navigation in the Great Lakes. Of least interest to me were the monsters; hear-say and impressions are not much to sink one's teeth into, but it does generate curiosity. I'll be on the lookout for Bessie.
charlottem on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I chose this book because I once wrote an essay on peace time sea disasters years ago when I was in school. Research in the library could be an arduous and time consuming task. I wish this little book had been available then! I enjoyed the book very much.