Yesterday I found another massive scrim hidden (fittingly enough) on the back wall of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary‘s dive locker. Check out this earlier post on the other scrims along Alpena, Michigan’s Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Trail. The photograph also appears in the visitor center’s exhibit space.
The diver is Henry Halvorsen and his picture was taken during the salvage of the passenger steamer Eastland in the summer of 1915. More than 800 people died when the Eastland rolled over in the Chicago River while still tied to the dock. (For more on the Eastland click.) The photograph printed on the scrim is part of the Chicago Daily News’s negatives collection held by the Chicago History Museum and available online at American Memory. There are at least six images of Halvorsen working around the Eastland‘s overturned hull. It took the salvors three weeks to right the steamer, which was sold to the Illinois Naval Reserve, renamed the Wilmette and served as a training ship until being scrapped in 1946-7. Special thanks to Russ Green, Deputy Superintendent and Research Director, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, for sending info and images image my way.