Maritime Historian, Writer, Lecturer, Teacher    

Updated: 28January2014

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Frederick Stonehouse  has authored over thirty books on maritime history, many of them focusing on the Great Lakes and contributed to several others. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and Great Lakes Lighthouse Tales are regional best sellers. Wreck Ashore, the U.S. Life-Saving Service on the Great Lakes, won a national publishing award and is the predominant work on the subject. Another book, Haunted Lakes, Great Lakes Maritime Ghost Stories, Superstitions and Sea Serpents, has opened an entirely new genre in Great Lakes study. His book, Final Voyage, is the first Great Lakes shipwreck book for children. 

He has been a consultant for both the U.S. National Park Service and Parks Canada and has been an "on-air" expert for National Geographic, History Channel and Fox Family, as well as many regional media productions. Awards for contributions to Great Lakes maritime history have been received from Underwater Canada, Our World Underwater, Marquette Maritime Museum and Marquette County Historical Society. He is also the recipient of the 2006 Association For Great Lakes Maritime History Award for Historic Interpretation. The Award is presented annually in recognition of an individual making a major contribution over many years to the interpretation of Great Lakes maritime history in furtherance of the goals of the Association. In addition he was named the Marine Historical Society of Detroit’s “2007 Historian of the Year.”  The award is the result of election by past MHSD Historians and recognizes persons who have actively contributed to the study of Great Lakes history.  He holds a Master of Arts degree in History from Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan.

Fred teaches Great Lakes maritime history at Northern Michigan University and is an active consultant for numerous Great Lakes oriented projects and programs. In April 2000, he began teaching two Internet based courses on Great Lakes maritime history: Great Lakes Lighthouses and Great Lakes Maritime History. This is the first time such instruction has been offered on the web.

Major presentations have been given at: the National Maritime Conferences, Great Lakes Aquarium, Erie Maritime Museum, Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival, Michigan Lighthouse Conference, Gales of November, (Duluth), Ghost Ships Festival (Milwaukee), Keeper of the Light Festival (Bayfield) Underwater Canada and Our World Underwater among many others.

His articles have been published in  Lake Superior Magazine and Wreck and Rescue Journal  as well as other publications. He is President of the Board of the Marquette Maritime Museum, member of the National Board of Directors of the U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association, Vice Chair of the Michigan Port Collaborative and a former member of the Michigan Iron Industry Museum Advisory Board (Gubernatorial appointment). Fred makes his home in Marquette, Michigan with his wife Lois and son Brandon.

Fred is also active in the Marquette Community and was elected in November 2008 to the position of City Commissioner and currently serves as Mayor Pro Tem.. In addition he is or  has served on several boards and committees, including: Northern Michigan University Alumni Board, Vice President of the Marquette County Economic Club, Marquette Harbor Advisory Committee (past chair), the Northern Michigan University De Vos Art Museum Advisory Board and chaired the Mayor's Ad Hoc Task Force to develop the Marquette Harbor Master Plan. On December 16, 2006 Fred delivered the alumni welcome at Northern Michigan University's graduation .


My son Brandon and I visited London for a couple of days during a cold December. It is my favorite city for many reasons among them the overwhelming sense of history.

While we were in London we took the opportunity to visit the Imperial War Musueum. I could miss the chance for a photo with "Old Fred" WWII Lancaster bomber.

Meeting "St. Vince" at Lambeau Field, a truly religious experience. As the only team in the NFL not owned by some billionaire (the Packers are owned by thousands of folks holding non-dividend paying stock) it is really "America's Team."

There are only two "Francis" surfboats known to exist. This one is in Saugatuck, MI. The Francis boats are an important part of our early Life-Saving Service history.

The Blount Small Ships Adventures ship Grande Mariner at the Arnold Line Dock on Mackinac Island. She is a frequent summer visitor to the island. Over the years I have made many trips on her instructing Elder Hostel programs.

Pulling up to Navy Pier in Chicago on Grande Mariner. Navy Pier is a terrific attraction and a great place to either start or end a Great Lakes cruise.

Sailing along on the tall ship Madeline. It is great just being a passenger with the only job being to relax and enjoy a great day on Lake Superior. Madeline is typical of the early schooners that sailed the Great Lakes.

The tall ship Europa entering Marquette's Lower Harbor. Our (my wife and I) 31 foot cruiser, Superior Spirit is just off her port bow.

On the bridge of the Travel Dynamic International cruise ship Yorktown. Over the years I have lectured aboard her.

The Yorktown in Charlevoix, MI. Small cruise ships like her enable passengers to experience many of the Great Lake's small ports denied to bigger and more cumbersome vessels.

The War of 1812 brig US Niagara moored in Marquette. She is a fine example of the ships that fought for America's freedom on the Great Lakes. Defeat would have meant British domination and quite possibly a far different land than we have today.

I was privledged to be on the bridge of Niagara as we entered Marquette. The captain is on the left and surgeon on the right.