It's a statement I hear a lot. Especially from people who went to public school in the Northern States. I always tell them that it's because they weren't taught the right history, and/or their teachers sucked! SO! I am going to share some of the "COOL" history! From the bizarre to the sad, to the triumphant. Glorious Battles. Strange Occurances. The REAL stories behind some of your favorite Hollywood movies, that sorta 'fing! Here is a little taste...
In the Great Lakes Region many people have heard of the Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald, a giant ore freighter that sank during a brutal storm on November 10, 1975 with the loss of all 29 of its crew. The storm was a freak of nature to be sure, but the ship should not have been lost. While they still argue about exactly why she sank, Marine authorities do know that she should not have been sailing that day due to the poor condition of the ship and human error. But she was not by far the only ship lost on the Lakes.
Estimates place the number of lost ships somewhere between 6,000 and 25,000 since the first European ship, Le Griffon, disappeared on the return trip of her maiden voyage in 1679. In fact, in one day, there were 12 ships lost, a total of 19 destroyed with approximately 250 people killed. Three of those ships have never been found to this day, 14 April 2020. The Storm was called The Great Lakes Storm of 1913, The Big Blow, and The Freshwater Fury. While the story of what happened is a truly horrible and tragic one, with many bizarre and almost paranormal events during it's 3 day rampage, there is one story that got REALLY weird. It's the story of John Thompson.
John Thompson was a crewman aboard the SS James Carruthers, a brand spankin' new 550 foot freighter that was headed from Fort William, Ontario loaded with 375,000 bushels of wheat destined for Midland, Ontario in Georgian Bay. The trip took her down Lake Superior, through the Soo Locks, down the St. Mary's River, south on Huron past Great Duck Island then straight east to Midland. Then the Storm hit.
Somehow, the ship, which was so new the Captain jokingly told his friend that the paint was still sticky in the forecastle, was blown way to the south before disappearing. The ship is one of the 3 that have never been found. Several bodies and lots of debris washed up on the eastern shore far to the south of Georgian Bay. Those bodies were taken to a morgue in Goderich, Ontario where, on Tuesday evening, November 11th, the father of John Thompson came to try to find the body of his dead son.
Lying there on one slab was a body that looked just like his son John. The facial features, while distorted some from being frozen in the water were identical. The body had the tattoo, "JT" on its left forearm, just like John. More telling were several scars, same as John had and TWO BIRTH DEFECTS THAT JOHN WAS KNOWN TO HAVE. The second and third toes on both of his feet were grown together into one large toe, i.e., 4 toes on each foot. Convinced he had the body of his son, Thomas Thompson took the body home, informed his family, paid for a funeral, plot and casket and had the ceremony. BUT.
John Thompson had not been on board the ship when it sank. John had been screwing off in Toronto and had not made it aboard when the Carruthers left port. While there were no cell phones, Book Face, Flitter or InstantGram at the time, nor regular easy accessible phones, he could have wired, (telegraphed) his family that he was fine. Instead he took a train home to Hamilton, Ontario after seeing his name on Death Roster in the Toronto newspaper. When he got off the train, for some reason, he went to visit a buddy who told him he had best get his happy ass home because they were fixing to bury who they thought was him.
Shortly thereafter, John Thompson walked in to his own wake, where his mother fainted, guests screamed, preachers no doubt threw Holy Water, and the entire crowd needed asswipe and new underwear. His father was so pissed after the wave of relief wore off he threw John out until he could figure out what to do with the body, that had the same scars, birth defects and tattoo of his still alive son.
The young man whose body lay in John Thompson's casket has never been identified and rests along side four other sailors lost to The Big Blow in Goderich Cemetery to this day.
I hope this little Tale, all true, will at least give you all a little entertainment from this GAD%$FORK%$#@?><ING Quarantine, and I will keep 'em coming! PLEASE share with your friends!