Speaker: Valerie Van Heest, Diver and Author
On May 21, 1891, the lumber schooner Thomas Hume and its crew of seven sailed out of Chicago into a spring storm, never to be seen again. The vessel’s owners, Charles Hackley and Thomas Hume of Muskegon, Michigan, could not believe the sturdy lumber hooker could be overcome by rough water. The disappearance of the Thomas Hume lingered as one of the great unsolved mysteries of the Great Lakes until, more than a century after its disappearance, the discovery of the wreck solved the mystery of its disappearance. However, the collection of shoes, clothing, jewelry, coins, and tools found inside generated even more questions. An archeological investigation by Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates has attempted to solve the riddles posed by the shipwreck. After survey dives, historical research, and detective-like reasoning, the team pieced together not only the Thomas Hume’s career, but also how its crew lived, worked, and died on the lake.