Rare Edmund Fitzgerald artifact on display in Toledo - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Rare Edmund Fitzgerald artifact on display in Toledo

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Artifacts from the Edmund Fitzgerald will no doubt be one of the biggest draws at the new National Museum of the Great Lakes. The Fitzgerald sank during one of the worst storms in Lake Superior history. The Captain and six of the crewmen on board the freighter were from Northwest Ohio.. The wreck of the Fitzgerald remains one of the greatest mysteries on the Great Lakes.. There has never been an official ruling on what sent the Fitz and her 29 man crew to the bottom of Lake Superior during that wild storm in November 1975.

When she was christened in 1958, the Edmund Fitzgerald became the largest freighter to sail the Great Lakes. During her storied career she set record after record, including most iron ore carried in a single trip and most carried in a season. On that stormy November night she carried her crew to the bottom of the lake without a call for help. Search crews were not able to find a lot from the wreckage site but what they did find included two inflatable life rafts. One of them is the focal point of the Fitzgerald display at the new Toledo museum.This is the very first time it has been on public display.

The life rafts were found fully inflated at the wreckage site but the fact that no one was able to get in them is testament to the theory that whatever caused the ship to sink happened quickly. The Mighty Fitz went down in Canadian waters less than 20 miles from the safety of Whitefish Bay in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Carrie Sowden is the Archeological Director at the museum,"There are no concrete answers but there are so many different theories about why the Fitzgerald sank and everybody has their own opinion. We are presenting some of the prevailing theories and you can look at them all and make your own decision about what may or may not have happened."

The Fitzgerald spent many winters laid up here in Toledo. In fact, she was nicknamed the Toledo Express because she made so many trips to the Glass City. There are a number of other artifacts from the iron ore carrier on display. There's even a computer generated display that allows you to travel to the bottom of Lake Superior to see the wreckage site.

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