Join the Michigan Maritime Museum for the next segment of their Working Waterfront Lecture Series on January 17 th at 6:30 to learn about the history of the Mackinac Railway Ferries, and their role in ice breaking on the Great Lakes. With South Haven’s Ice Breaker Festival quickly approaching, it is the perfect time to learn about some of the history behind ice breaking with guest speaker Brian Jaeschke and his presentation Wood, Steel, and Ice: History of the Straits of Mackinac Railway Ferries. Mackinac Railway Ferries operated on the Great Lakes from the 1880’s until 1984, with two prominent ships being the Saint Marie and the Chief Wawatam. Equipped with the latest ice breaking technology they became a model for ice breakers around the world. These railway ferries also played a crucial role during World War II, keeping shipping lanes clear for vital material being transported before they were replaced by the United States Coast Guard ice breaker Mackinaw in 1944. Guest speaker Brian Jaeschke is currently the Curator of Collections for Mackinac State Historic Parks. Prior to this Brian worked on Great Lakes freighters as a deckhand, engine room wiper, galley porter and was certified as an able-bodied seaman. His work about the Mackinac Railway Ferries has been published in several publications including Michigan History Magazine and Mackinac State Historic Parks. “Our Working Waterfronts Lecture Series has really given us an opportunity to share new aspects of Michigan’s maritime history with the community,” said Ashley Deming, Director of Education and Administration. “The Mackinac Railway Ferries played a significant role in Michigan’s working waterfront, and our February lecture about Michigan small boat building will continue to build on this idea.” This lecture series is made possible thanks to the Nielsen-Wells Grant Fund and Mike and Susan Smith. Tickets are free for museum members and $10 for non-members. For more information about the Museum’s events, please visit: