About Us

The Great Lakes Steamship Society was formed in 2010 with the purpose of preserving the rich maritime heritage that the Great Lakes region offers through its vast industrial network of mines, railroads, bulk freighters, and mills and factories that take the raw materials and turn them into the life blood of this nation. We are a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, consisting of Great Lakes shipping industry professionals and maritime historians who share a common love for our rich maritime heritage.

We foremost are about the preservation of a dwindling number of historic steamships that were built before World War II. Our sights are currently set on the Steamship J.B. Ford which is a historic steamship which pre-dates World War I. Through our preservation efforts we hope to keep valuable pieces of history alive and intact for future generations to observe and enjoy, so that it is not lost and that the personal connection will always remain with the physical objects rather than a fading memory. Our board members especially have extensive experience in the areas of ship repair, maintenance, operation and historic preservation.

We at the Great Lakes Steamship Society hope not only to preserve the physical and material objects in history but as much as possible we hope to preserve the human connection to it all. Without the living breathing men and women to operate all these vessels and load the cargos, and turn the raw materials into a finished product, there would be no history to remember, thus no history for us to study and preserve.