There are so many places to visit, sites to see, in Michigan. If you're looking for something interesting to do, a quick day-trip can be the answer, and St. Joseph, just down I-196, makes a wonderful destination. This Thursday, July 19, you can re-live one of the deadliest shipwreck's in Great Lakes history.

The Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, at 6:30pm on Thursday, they're having a special program titled “Just 20 Feet from Safety: The Story of the S.S. Eastland.” Nationally known actor Terry Lynch specializes in historical portrayal, giving audiences a new, first-person, one-man, interactive presentation.

Ollie Sanders, a Western Electric employee, was an eyewitness to the disaster of the S.S. Eastland. The “Speed Queen of the Great Lakes” claimed 844 lives when she capsized on the Chicago River on July 24, 1915. Lynch, as Ollie, relives the events, aftermath and ongoing legends that surround the sinking. The Eastland had been a familiar sight in the St. Joe harbor—at the time of the wreck, it was owned by the St. Joseph-Chicago Steamship Company of St. Joseph.

No admission fee is required, but a suggested donation of $5 will help support the mission of the Heritage Museum. The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center is located at 601 Main Street in St. Joseph, Michigan, at the Priscilla U. Byrns Center. Admission to all exhibits is free; exhibit open hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm and Thursday 10am-8pm. For more information, call the Heritage Museum at 269-983-1191 or visit

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