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In the early 1900s a handful of ships would make late-season runs on Lake Michigan to carry thousands of Christmas trees from Northern Michigan to Wisconsin and Illinois. These ships were lovingly coined Christmas Tree Ships. In November 1912 one of the ships, the Rouse Simmons, left Thompson, Michigan carrying 3,000 to 5,000 evergreen trees headed for Chicago when it sank in a winter storm. The remains of the ship were discovered in 1971 off the shores of Two Rivers, and the shipwreck is remembered each year at Christmas Tree Ship Day by the Wisconsin Maritime Museum at Manitowoc.

Join us on Saturday, December 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc to learn about the history of Christmas Tree Ships with a slice of cookie decorating, a dash of arts and crafts, and of course a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus!

We’ll be there sponsoring the event (did we mention admission is free?) and providing free cookie decorating to spread holiday cheer. We’ll have 350 holiday cookie cutouts for your kiddos to choose from, as well as a variety of colored frosting and sprinkles so your little one can let their creativity shine.

As part of our commitment to investing in our communities, we’re excited to sponsor a day of history and holiday fun! Nothing gets us in the spirit more than seeing our communities coming together to celebrate the season.