EagleHerald Staff Writer
MENOMINEE—The West Shore Fishing Museum has been newly added to a major project through the U.S. National Parks Service.
The Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) was started by the National Parks Service in 1969 to document historic sites and structures related to engineering and industry. Noreen Johnson said the fishing museum had been connected to through the Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail, another group associated with the museum. She said this group consists of five museums in Michigan that display historic commercial fishing vessels.
“Our little museum has more vessels (than the others) and among the most complete collections in the state, and even in the region,” she said.
She said the National Parks Service has sent an intern, Cassandra Sadler, to work on the project and gather information for it. She is currently studying for her master’s degree in maritime archaeology at the University of West Florida. She said she had an opportunity to come to Michigan for the summer and work on the Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail project, and this is one of her earlier stops throughout the state.
“I originally went to school for marine biology at the University of Rhode Island,” Sadler said. “I had some wonderful history and anthropology teachers in the maritime focus. I did my first field school in Bermuda working on an Irish wreck and fell in love with the field.”
Sadler is stationed in Alpena, Michigan, for her internship and came to Menominee on Saturday as one of about 10 other places in Michigan where she will be working. She will be in the area working with the museum for several days and was on site Sunday for the museum’s Marvelous Machines and Skills event. Johnson said Sadler will be primarily documenting information on the “Kate A,” which was the fishing tugboat of Orin Angwall, a fisherman and former mayor of the City of Marinette.
“She has a whole protocol that she follows to document as much information as we have,” Johnson said.
Sunday’s event saw demonstrations on a variety of skills and machines, including a blacksmith.
“One of the most exciting things is that we’ll have a working Kahlenberg engine. It was the engine that fishermen prized to power their boats when they went out on the water, and it takes up a whole trailer,” Johnson said.
The museum is located near Bailey County Park, just off of Highway M-35. Johnson said this museum is one of the top three museums of its kind in the State of Michigan.