Last Year For a Vermilion Landmark?

This summer may be our last chance to visit the wonderful Great Lakes Museum in Vermilion.

The Great Lakes Historical Society has announced plans to move its Inland Seas Museum and society headquarters to the city of Toledo where it will become the main attraction at the recently built Toledo Maritime Center. 

The new facility will be large enough to display all of the societies historical artifacts and will now include the S. S. Willis B. Boyer, a huge lake freighter that has become a Toledo landmark as a museum ship.

In Vermilion the move means the loss of one of the city’s best-known tourist attractions.  The lake front museum is easy to spot with its replica of the 1877 Vermilion Lighthouse and the pilot house from the lake freighter Canopus now attached to the side of the museum overlooking Lake Erie.  The Canopus was once a car carrier that ferried new automobiles from Detroit to car dealers across the Great Lakes.

Inside the museum you can find the history of the lakes from artifacts of the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813 to an exhibit on the famed lake freighter, the Edmund Fitzgerald, that went down in a gale on Lake Superior taking with it all hands.  You can also see the giant lens from various light houses that once guided lake shipping as well as photos and souvenirs of the time when there were also overnight passenger boats that sailed the Great Lakes.

While a closing date for the Vermilion museum has not been announced the plans call for the move to Toledo to be completed by 2012.

You can visit the Great Lakes Museum at 480 Main Street in Vermilion.  or on their website at

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