Skip to main content

State Library Hosts 2014 Michigan Nautical Gathering

September 2, 2014

LANSING ? It boasts picture-postcard woodlands and stunning seasonal changes, but it’s all that water that truly makes it Pure Michigan.

With more than 3,000 miles of coastline forming a glacier-hewn big mitten and pristine Upper Peninsula surrounded by the Great Lakes' one-fifth of the world's freshwater supply, the centuries-old aquatic and nautical culture, heritage, and lifestyle are being celebrated October 11 in Lansing with the 2014 Michigan Nautical Gathering.

Hosted by the Library of Michigan, the event features speakers discussing such topics as Great Lakes shipping and boating industries; lighthouses; shipwrecks; and other chapters from the state’s maritime past.

"The Great Lakes were the original superhighway of trade for Native Americans and Early-American entrepreneurs," State Superintendent Mike Flanagan said. "Today, along with the ongoing commercial aspects, so many people enjoy beach walking, fishing, swimming, boating, diving, and surfing.

"An event like this is perfect to celebrate and learn more about what makes Michigan unique and wonderful."

Keynote speaker Geoffrey Reynolds of Hope College will talk about Algonac-made Chris Craft boats of classic movie fame.

Glen G. Nekvasil of the Lake Carriers' Association discusses the current state of shipping.

Authors Mikel Classen, Al DeClercq and Scott Peters will discuss lighthouses, shipwrecks and Michigan's boating industry.

Historical museums and organizations, meanwhile, will be represented by the USS Silversides Submarine Museum, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, the Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail, and the Michigan Lighthouse Guide.

Additionally, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality representatives will be on hand to "go deep" about the current make-up and condition of Michigan's lakes.

"This is one of a three-part annual Michigan Travel & Transport series that also focuses on Michigan wheels and Michigan rails," State Librarian Randy Riley said. "Please join us for what proves to be a wonderful tradition of exploring Michigan's nautical past and present."

To register for the event online, visit

Registration the day of the event is from 8:20?9:20 a.m. with light refreshments. Admission is $20 per person. A box lunch is included. Parking at the Michigan Library & Historical Center, located at 702 W. Kalamazoo St. in Lansing, is free on Saturdays.

For more information, contact Edwina Murphy, the Library of Michigan's Michigan Collection Curator, at (517) 373-1300.