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Great Stories of the Great Lakes - DVD

Southport Productions, creators and distributors of documentaries about Great Lakes shipwrecks and lighthouses, has released a 25th installment, Great Stories of the Great Lakes, a one-hour documentary revisiting some of the company's most celebrated subjects, as well as presenting new material and entries.

"This production might be our most ambitious to date," says Southport director and producer Mark C. Gumbinger of "We've packed a lot of information into the program, including an assortment of notable shipwrecks, a couple of ghost stories, recollections from two shipwreck survivors, and a tour of a lighthouse not accessible to the public. There's something for everyone in this program."

Great Stories of the Great Lakes, visits all five Great Lakes, and includes accounts of such famous shipwrecks as:

* The Edmund Fitzgerald, subject of a popular song and quite possibly the most famous shipwreck in the history of the Great Lakes. The gigantic ore carrier sank, under mysterious circumstances, in 1975, at a loss of its entire crew of 29 men.
* The Eastland, a passenger ship that rolled over in the Chicago Harbor in 1915, with a loss of 835 lives. It remains the greatest tragedy, in terms of lives lost, in Great Lakes history.
* The Cedarville, a 588-foot freighter that sank in the Straits of Mackinac in 1965 after being rammed by another ship in pea-soup fog. Ten of its crew perished in the accident, which is recalled, in compelling detail, by two of its survivors.
* The Rouse Simmons, also known as "The Christmas Tree Ship," which sank during a storm while carrying a full load of Christmas trees to be sold in Chicago.

Also featured in this fast-paced documentary are visits to some of the most beautiful lighthouses on the Great Lakes, including the Old Presque Isle lighthouse, which offers the haunting story about a light that continued to operate after all electricity and wiring had been removed, and the Toledo Harbor light, which boasts of a most unusual mascot.

Great Stories of the Great Lakes tells these and other tales through the voices of Great Lakes historians, maritime enthusiasts, and shipwreck authorities, and it is packed with rare photographs, beautiful artwork and gripping underwater footage of the sunken ships.


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