when i lived in superior, wisconsin this ship was permanently docked across the highway from my house on barker's island. we had a view of it from our living room and i would even play mini golf next to it when i would visit for summer vacation after i moved away. i toured it once when i was 9 but didn't remember anything about it so this year i took another spin.
it's simply fascinating. built in 1896 and used for hauling iron ore and coal across the great lakes, it's the last remaining of the "whaleback" design. unlike tours i've taken elsewhere, you can actually experience this historic monument. there are no ropes and no "do not touch" signs. we started off on the deck and tunneled our way down through the hull and engine rooms with our guide explaining everything along the way. original maps and signs and furniture pieces remain intact. it was haunting, really, and so interesting to see.
then i played a round of mini golf just for old times sake.
photos: j. kurtz