Shortly after 7 p.m. on Nov. 10, 1975, the 729-foot bulk cargo vessel Edmund Fitzgerald plummeted 530 feet to the bottom of Lake Superior, just 17 miles from the entrance of Whitefish Point, Michigan. She took with her all of the 29-man crew, including Capt. Ernest McSorley. No distress call was heard and there were no witnesses. It wasn’t the largest marine disaster on Lake Superior, but it has become one of the most famous.
Elle Andra-Warner, Northern Wilds’ Strange Tales columnist and author of Edmund Fitzgerald: The Legendary Great Lakes Shipwreck, has done extensive research on the Fitzgerald. To learn more, read: Edmund Fitzgerald: The Great Lakes Legend that Keeps Growing. Or check out: What Sank the Edmund Fitzgerald.
More than 40 years after its tragic end, the Edmund Fitzgerald is still commemorated with a memorial beacon lighting ceremony at Split Rock Lighthouse in Two Harbors, held annually on November 10. Click here to learn more about this year’s ceremony.