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Shipwreck with a fresh, undecorated Christmas tree on its bow

Maritime Image of the Day: “Christmas Tree Wreck”

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – Today’s “Maritime Image of the Day” is titled Christmas Tree Wreck.

In 1910 a man named Captain Herman Schuenemann purchased a 42-year-old lumber schooner named Rouse Simmons. It was an old ship, built in 1868.

Schuenemann’s plan was to make some money on the seasonal Christmas tree business by moving them from Thompson, Michigan to Chicago where the big money was.

By this point in time, most of his competitors had discontinued the practice of sailing boats on Lake Michigan and were instead transporting trees to Chicago by train and selling them in the rail yards.

Schuenemann was a sailor and thought he had a better way to move Christmas trees from point A to point B. His plan was to get people to purchase their tree from the deck of his boat, which was decorated with lights and garlands and anchored in the Chicago River.

Long story short, it was an old ship, poorly maintained and got caught in bad weather. She sank like a stone in 1912.

The wreck is a popular dive site. We don’t know how to credit the prankster who put a Christmas tree on the wreck’s bow but do wish them a very Merry Christmas nonetheless.

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