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National Museum of the Great Lakes

1701 Front St, Toledo, Ohio 43605 USA

30 Reviews
Open Now
Wed 10a-5p
  • Independent
  • Wifi
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“National Museum of the Great Lakes”

Willis B Boyer is a lake freighter that served as a commercial vessel on the Great Lakes for much of the 20th Century, and as of 2013 is undergoing renovation as a museum ship in Toledo, Ohio. The steamship Willis B Boyer began life on 1 July 1911 in Detroit as SS Col James Schoonmaker. At the time of her launch she took the title of Queen of the Lakes which is given to the biggest ship on the Great Lakes. She became the flagship of the Shenango Furnace Company. She broke many cargo records for iron ore, grain and coal in her first year. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine which was later replaced by a steam turbine in 1955. She sailed as part of the Shenango's fleet until 1969 when she was sold to the Interlake Steamship Co who chartered Col James Schoonmaker to the Republic Steel Corporation. After a three year charter to that company Interlake decided to sell her to the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Co. They operated the laker for 7 years in the iron trade until she was laid up in 1980 due to a downturn in the steel industry which she served. After sitting unwanted for 7 years, the city of Toledo decided to purchase her for use as a museum.

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Photo of Jeffrey R.

Reviewed by
Jeffrey R.

This is a history buffs dream. Tour the ship and it will only touch the tip of history. I was lucky enough to get a private tour of lots of places. The public can't see. Such a gem. Take your... Read more

Photo of Anthony G.

Reviewed by
Anthony G.

My family and I all went to the National Museum of the Great Lakes. It is a great museum that talks about the geographical and historical significance of this region. It's very educational, and... Read more

Photo of John B.

Reviewed by
John B.

The museum is a moderately sized set of interlocking rooms with educational materials, as well as one large shipping vessel and one smaller boat which are docked nearby. The option was given to... Read more

National Museum of the Great Lakes

1701 Front St
Toledo, Ohio
43605 USA
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Hours

Open now until 5:00 pm
  • Sun: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Mon - Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

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    Pets Allowed
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