Since 1961, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum has celebrated the maritime history of the Great Lakes. Located on Belle Isle along the Detroit River, this quaint setting holds quite a few exhibits including the world’s largest collection of scale model ships, the bow anchor from the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald and the Gothic Room from the City of Detroit III.
In addition to the two vintage vessels on display, there are new and remodeled exhibits celebrating everything from Detroit’s days as a fur-trapping capital to how the river played a role in the Underground Railroad. The main exhibit is called “Built by the River,” a permanent display about the Detroit River. You can even take a stroll through your childhood in the awesome Boblo Island exhibit.
As you can
imagine, a 50 year old museum collects a little dust. It was the hope of the
Detroit Historical Society that renovating the museum would attract more
visitors to the area. So, after closing for 6 months and a $12-Million renovation,
the Museum was reopened in May 2013 and now includes touch screen display
technology and high-definition imagery on the Detroit River-cam.
Also really cool is the distress calls of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald which sank in 1975 in Lake Superior. On a side note, do you agree that it’s nearly impossible to say the name “Edmond Fitzgerald” without singing it Gordon Lightfoot style?! Here's a refresher. You're welcome in advance.
Back to the museum - the renovations were a much needed improvement to the attraction to bring it into the 21st century. Accompanied with the Belle Isle Aquarium, this would be a fantastic way to spend an afternoon with the family! “This is a great place with a great history,” said Detroit Historical Museum Executive Director Bob Bury about Detroit. “The more you give the community a sense of place and an appreciation for where they are and where they live, the better it is.”
The greatest way to build an appreciation for our Great Lakes is through education and spending time in and around the water. Remember, you can always SHOW your appreciation by displaying your Great Lake Proud sticker! Show up to the parking lot of the Dossin with that sticker on your car and people will know you mean business . . .please send us your pictures and reviews!