Showing posts with the label Herman Schuenemann

The Christmas Tree Ship

Lake Michigan was not feeling the Christmas spirit in November of 1912.   The big lake wasn’t giving any gifts that year, but rather was taking ships and crew to her cold depths.   Captain Herman Schuenemann knew the Great Lakes could get ornery in November, for it was in November of 1898 that his brother August was lost forever when his schooner sank in a storm near Glencoe , Illinois while attempting to deliver Christmas trees to Chicago .   August had asked Herman to join him on the ill-fated voyage, but he declined after proudly telling August that his wife was giving birth to twin daughters.   After August’s death, Herman was undaunted and carried on in the family Christmas tree business.   Herman Schuenemann became beloved by Chicago residents for brining fresh cut Christmas trees from Michigan ’s Upper Peninsula aboard sailing vessels to Chicago .   Each year the arrival of his ship in port near the Clark Street Bridge would signify the official start of the holiday s