Arthur C. Frederickson Collection

Identifier: GLMS-0016

Collection Overview


The Arthur C. Frederickson Collection contains information dating from 1872 through 1969 pertaining to the history of various vessels on the Great Lakes and, in particular, Lake Michigan. Included in the collection are: daily logs, shipwreck logs, crew lists, correspondence, photographs, research notes, articles and other publications, speeches, and subject files. The Frederickson Collection is especially valuable because of his experience in saltwater, the Mississippi River, the Erie Canal, the St. Lawrence Seaway, as well as all of the Great Lakes.


  • 1856-1969


11.5 Cubic Feet (16 legal manuscript boxes, 2 records storage cartons, 4 card boxes, 1 clamshell box, and 3 volumes)


Scope and Contents

This 11.5 cubic foot collection documents the research interests of Arthur C. Frederickson, author of books and articles on Great Lakes history for the years 1854-1969. Correspondence discusses projects in progress by the writers Frederickson contacted in preparing his own manuscripts. Vessels and lighthouses are frequently mentioned.

The largest series in the collection contains logbooks from vessels and lighthouses. Daily activities for the years 1874-1957, including wreck reports, are present for lighthouses in Michigan at Point Betsie, Poverty Island, and Manistee. Logs for the vessels ANN ARBOR #3, HYACINTH, and THEODORE ROOSEVELT constitute most of the vessel related material in this series.

Arthur Frederickson's research notes covering 1897-1965 offer readers the compiled information he used to prepare manuscripts for publication. Most of the notes are on vessels, shipping companies, and other marine subjects.

Financial documents from 1873-1940 record operating costs on the ANN ARBOR #3, CITY OF TOLEDO, HYACINTH, PERE MARQUETTE #6, and the GEORGE L. SANFORD. Cashiers books and crew time books are the main records in this series.

A series of book mockups appears near the end of the collection presenting versions of three books by Frederickson. These items provide a view of the research products Frederickson created from his notes.

Biographical Sketch

Arthur C. Frederickson was born in about 1902-03 in Michigan's lower peninsula near Lake Michigan. Captain Frederickson was born into a family that sailed on Lake Michigan for several generations. At age fifteen, the future Great Lakes Captain joined the navy and saw action during World War I. A career in Great Lakes transportation began after military service was completed. By the age of 25, Frederickson had received his Captains papers and was licensed to sail on all the Great Lakes and connecting waterways.

A second career for Frederickson and his wife Lucy developed form an interest in the history of Great Lakes vessels and fleets. Numerous articles and several books were authored by each of the Fredericksons individually and by them together as co-authors. Many years of service on the car ferries departing from Frankfort, Michigan provided the Fredericksons with expertise on such vessels. Histories of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company lake operations and of the Pere Marquette Line resulted from this expertise.

The Fredericksons lived in Frankfort, Michigan for many years while Arthur was sailing on the car ferries to Wisconsin. The Fredericksons helped found the Benzie County, Michigan Historical Society in Frankfort. Arthur C. Frederickson died at home in March 1966.

Conditions Governing Access

No known access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers using this collection assume full responsibility for conforming to the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright, and are responsible for securing permissions necessary for publication or reproduction.

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Separated Materials

A substantial number of photographs were present at the time of donation. These were separated and interfiled into the main photograph collections. Images that were part of the Arthur C. Frederickson Collection are indicated as such with a stamp on the reverse.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Lucy Frederickson Bower donated the collection to Bowling Green State University in November 1969. In 1983, the collection was transferred to the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes. Addition material acquired in July 1995.

Processing Information

The collection was originally processed by Jamie L. Stahl in March 1981. Additional material was acquired in July 1995 and reprocessing was conducted in April 1996 by Mark J. Barnes.

Guide to the Arthur C. Frederickson Collection
Mark Sprang
October 2018
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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