In this holiday concert, Lee Murdock and his band celebrate the Christmas holidays steeped in Great Lakes heritage. The story of the Rouse Simmons is a holiday remembrance of loss and renewal, love, and the resilience of the human spirit. The ship’s captain, Herman Schuenemann, was well-known and loved on the Chicago River docks where he sold (and sometimes gave away) the trees brought down from Manistique. The ship was lost in Lake Michigan in November 1912, but the captain’s wife and family kept up this tradition for 22 years more, well beyond the days of the tall ships on the Great Lakes. There were many Christmas tree ships on the Great Lakes, but the Rouse Simmons is famed for her family. Numerous books, children’s stories, and museum exhibits have kept this story alive. Lee wrote and recorded his song about her in 1989, and has presented an annual concert ever since to remember this story and many other songs and stories about family ties, and the holiday season, against a backdrop of mariners and Michigan history.
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