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Christmas Tree Ship the Rouse Simmons sank on Lake Michigan 109 years ago. Wisconsin Maritime Museum will honor its legacy Saturday.

By: Emily Shedal, For USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

It was a brisk and windy afternoon when the schooner Rouse Simmons departed Thompson, Michigan, bound for Chicago.

The vessel, which was owned by Capt. Herman Schuenemann, was weighed down with a load of Christmas trees. The Rouse Simmons received its nickname “The Christmas Tree Ship” from this holiday cargo she carried to southern Lake Michigan cities.

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