Monday, July 2, 2012

Maritime Monday: The Milwaukee Clipper

From the Muskegon Chronicle photo files
I am visiting my mother and sister in the Muskegon, MI area this week. My mother grew up in Grand Rapids, MI and told us stories about how as children, she and her brother would go with their parents on the Milwaukee Clipper from Muskegon to Milwaukee. She remembers most clearly running around playing on the deck of the ship. She said they went everywhere on the ship and it was great fun.

My sister mentioned that the Milwaukee Clipper was open as a museum now in downtown Muskegon, so her and I rounded up my daughters and our mother and headed over there yesterday afternoon. My mother is in a wheelchair and wasn't able to run around on any of the decks this time. Instead she explored the museum store and watched the video which included actual footage from back in the day when the Clipper was still in commission. She was hoping to see someone she knew, but didn't recognize anyone. The girls and I took the actual tour up and down the levels of the ship. 

Timmer Family ca. 1940
We had this photograph from my grandmother's collection that at first we thought might have been a family excursion on the Clipper. Included is my mother Helen, her brother John, their mother Theresa and John & Martha Timmer, my mother's grandparents. Upon further investigation, we think the lighthouse in the background is actually the one in Grand Haven, MI instead. I have other photographs back home originally from my great-grandmother from when the family took a trip over to Wisconsin that I will have to study to see if we can tell if it was a trip on the Milwaukee Clipper. 

It was nice to show the girls a historical connection to their Michigan heritage and they seemed to have a good time. They were invited to volunteer sometime to be a soda jerk at the Soda Bowl on the ship during the summertime on the ship and they agreed that if they lived in the area, they would enjoy doing that.

If you're interested in a virtual tour of the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper, click here:


  1. Fabulous photo! So glad you dropped by to comment on those Mankinis!

  2. Thanks, Linda! Glad you stopped in, too :)