The SS Edmund Fitzgerald

On Saturday, Oct. 21 the County Line Historical Society of Wayne/Holmes will host John Barnett of Mechanicstown. He will share his recollections of the 1975 sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald.SS Edmund Fitzgerald was an American Great Lakes Freighter that sank in Lake Superior and was the longest ship on the Great Lakes, earning her the title “Queen of the Lakes”.In the summer of 1975 Barnett took a job with the Penn Central Railroad. He worked in Cleveland as a lakefront lift bridge operator and train director for rail traffic. Little did Barnett know he would be part of the history of two events in that time period.The SS Edmund Fitzgerald was a large vessel with a crew of 29 that moved from one Great Lake post to another. On November 10, 1975, a strong storm caused the ship to sink. All 29 crew members perished. Barnett will share his memories of the tragic sinking of the “Titanic of the Great Lakes.” The disaster is one of the best known in the history of Great Lakes shipping. The Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot made it the subject of his 1976 hit song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”Also in the summer of 1975, a mob war broke out on both sides of Cleveland. The five-year war between the Italian Mafia and the Irish Mafia was about gambling and drugs. The famed Danny Greene, mobster, became the subject of the movie, “Kill the Irishman.”Barnett is a 42-year railroad veteran of Penn Central, Conrail and Norfolk Southern. He retired in June 2010. He has written many stories about the railroads, the Civil War and events that took place since Carroll County was created in 1842.Barnett has been a board member of the Carroll County Board of Elections for eight years and former board chairman. He is a Civil War reenactor with the 19th Ohio Light Artillery and the 29th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.The program will take place at 1:00 pm at the historic Shreve Presbyterian Church, 343 N. Market St. in Shreve. Public is welcome and admission is free.


Oct 21 2023


1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
May 22, 2024, 3:10 am