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Beyond the Windswept Dunes

The Story of Maritime Muskegon

Elizabeth B. Sherman

Great Lakes, Maritime Studies, Michigan

Great Lakes Books Series

Published: June 2003
ISBN: 9780814331279
Pages: 216 Size: 7 x 10
Illustrations: 60 b&w illus.
Published: June 2003
ISBN: 9780814340011

Beyond the Windswept Dunes takes the reader into a world of maritime adventure as it was experienced by the sailors, passengers, rescue workers, shipping magnates, industrialists, and many other people whose livelihoods revolved around Michigan’s port city of Muskegon. At one time the leading edge of westward expansion, Muskegon was a place where lumbering and lakers merged and where rails met decks, a place situated midway along the coast of a great and sometimes stormy inland sea. Here Elizabeth Sherman offers both a shipping history and a portrait of the city. The events covered range from the visit by the British sloop H.M.S. Felicity in 1779 through Muskegon’s boom years as "Lumber Queen of the World," from the city’s revitalization with the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway to its recent establishment of a floating museum complex for historic naval vessels.

The book’s focus is on the ships themselves—such as the Lyman M. Davis, Salvor, Highway 16, and Milwaukee Clipper—vessels that were noteworthy for being the first of their kind or for their popularity, unusual and distinctive careers, or tragic losses. A number of ships were lost in Lake Michigan near Muskegon Harbor, and the stories of some of the most notable wrecks and rescue missions appear in this book, including the psychic intervention that led the William Nelson to the exciting rescue of the crew aboard the sinking Our Son. The book offers many first-hand statements of shipwreck survivors and other witnesses, lending an authentic voice to the accounts.

Elizabeth B. Sherman, a native of Muskegon who maintains close ties to the region, has spent over a decade pursuing interests related to Great Lakes maritime history. She is on the board of directors for the Great Lakes Maritime Institute, and is a member of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society and the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History.

Elizabeth Sherman has made a notable contribution to Great Lakes maritime literature. Solid research and good reading mark this account of ships and shipwrecks along the Muskegon shore.

– James P. Barry, author of Ships of the Great Lakes and Wrecks and Rescues of the Great Lakes

Beyond the Windswept Dunes is a wonderful contribution to Great Lakes history. It provides a fresh and detached examination of the many maritime disasters of the historic Lake Michigan port of Muskegon. [This book] will be an important part of my Great Lakes library.

– Frederick Stonehouse, Maritime Historian

Beyond the Windswept Dunes is a great treatment of local history. It's well-researched, carefully documented, and appealingly written. It's the most thorough and authoritative discussion I've seen of Muskegon's maritime history and it will be a very valuable resource as a result.

– C. Patrick Labadie, Historian, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary & Underwater Preserve

In telling the story of Muskegon's ships Sherman has made a contribution to the developing story of Lake Michigan history. Her research is solid and her prose is always lively. By focussing on one of the Inland Sea's secondary ports, Sherman has opened up new ground and because of this the book is a worthy addition to the library of any Great Lakes historian.

– International Journal of Maritime History