Christmas Tree Ship / Thompson

Christmas Tree Ship / Thompson (HM1ZKS)

Location: Manistique, MI 49854 Schoolcraft County
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Country: United States of America
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N 45° 54.403', W 86° 19.477'

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Christmas Tree Ship

The Rouse Simmons was one of the last schooners on the Great Lakes. Built in 1868 to carry lumber, the three-masted vessel became Chicago's "Christmas Tree Ship" when Herman Schuenemann purchased an interest in it in 1910. Around 1876 the Schuenemanns had begun transporting trees from northern Michigan and Wisconsin to Chicago. In November 1898 Herman's brother August perished in the wreck of the schooner S. Thal, but Herman continued the business. Bound for Chicago on November 22, 1912, he boarded the Simmons which was loaded with trees from Thompson's forests, and sailed into a fierce snowstorm that plunged the ship, and its crew and passengers, to the lake bottom. Herman's wife and daughters delivered trees to Chicago each Christmas until around 1934.


The Delta Lumber Company of Detroit, headed by E.L. Thompson, platted the village of Thompson in 1888. Seven different lumber companies ran the mill in the village. By 1907 the population had reached 900. Three churches and four saloons served the residents, as did a general store, a hotel, and a hospital. Stagecoaches carried passengers twice daily to nearby Manistique, located along the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railway. The Thompson
Railroad, used primarily for hauling logs to the docks, also took tours to the Big Spring, Kitchi-ti-ki-pi. Lumbering activities in Thompson died out quickly, and by 1919 the town's population had dropped to only 150. Thompson was the last port of call for the "Christmas Tree Ship," Rouse Simmons, which sank in 1912.
Series This marker is part of the Michigan: Michigan Historical Commission series
Year Placed2006
Placed ByMichigan Historical Commission-Michigan Historical Center
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, July 10th, 2017 at 9:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 552384 N 5083904
Decimal Degrees45.90671667, -86.32461667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 45° 54.403', W 86° 19.477'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds45° 54' 24.18" N, 86° 19' 28.62" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)906
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2726-2736 US-2, Manistique MI 49854, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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