Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 28th

The UASC meets the last Wednesday of each month at the Chicago Maritime Museum located at 1200 West 35th Street, Suite OE5010, Chicago, IL 60609. Free event, ALL ARE WELCOME. Refreshments 6:30, Business 7:00, Speaker 8:00.


Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago



October 2016 Minutes PDF Print E-mail

Underwater Archaeological Society Of Chicago

Meeting Minutes

October 2016

Vice President Dean Nolan opened the meeting and welcomed new guests, Brother Christopher, Brother Jake, and Bro Ed of De La Salle.

President Bob Rushman, Treasurer Karen Rushman, and Secretary Carol Summers could not attend.

Jim Jarecki, Scott Reimer, and Dean Nolan attended Wisconsin Underwater Archaeological Associations (WUAA) conference in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Presentations were given on survey projects conducted by Wisconsin state archaeologists, Tammy Thompson & Caitlin Zandt. The degradation of steel shipwrecks due to the presence of zebra mussels and quagga mussels is significant. This was shown through photographic comparison of wreck sites of past and present day.

Jim Jarecki attended a conference held in Alpena, Michigan by the association for great lakes history. Presentations were given from professors of archaeology and other academics in the field. Jim was able to conduct research in the associations archives. Next years conference will be held on the second weekend of September in Sault Ste. Marie.

ICSSD Presidents Night

Saturday, October 29th at the Golden Pheasent in Elmhurst

Tickets are $35

There will be a silent auction, a banquet, and gathering of divers and clubs from around Illinois.

Bring along donations for Toys for Tots. Donations may also be given at the November meeting, see Chuck & Margo for more information.

Dive Projects – No updates

Officer elections – will be held at the November meeting and the ballots are open for nominations. Please volunteer your name to Jim Jarecki if you would like to be considered for an officer position. Current ballot of volunteers; Dean Nolan for President, Colin Bertling for Vice President, John Bell for Treasurer, and Carol Summers for Secretary.  Those looking to hold office in the future are encouraged to speak with and learn from present officers to learn more about their roles and duties.

Jim Jarecki volunteered to drive to Toledo on November 2nd for a conference on the history of whale back ships. He will leave around 5am and be back by 10pm. He has 5 spots available in his car.

The Gales of November conference is Nov. 4th and 5th in Duluth, Minnesota.   

Pursuing 501 c3 – a change to our bylaws and direction of UASC would need board approval to begin the process.

There is a constant need for speakers. Also a need for member speakers to give short, 5 minute presentations before the guest presentations. Everyone in this group should present at meetings throughout the year. Jim Jarecki is the main talent hunter for guest speakers and requests members input for whom they would like to see in the future. This is one way to build UASC’s educational platform.


A Wells Burt monitoring survey and any new surveys can begin in the early spring of next year. Research in the winter months can be conducted at the National Archives, Chicago History Museum, Harold Washinton library and online. Erick’s wreck was presented to be a candidate for surveying. It is a sturdy built ship, with a long and slender bow, having a latticed work of timbers, and other unusual features. There appears to be evidence it was burned or possibly scuttled. NOAA archaeologists may be interested in working with us on a survey of this wreck. Jim Jarecki has more information.

Sam Polonetzky introduced our featured speaker, Norman Krentel. He is the President of the Illinois Railway Museum. Mr. Krentel's presentation was on the interurban railways of east, central, and lower Michigan, and their connections to Lake Michigan steamships going to Chicago, Milwaukee and beyond. This talk was based on an article Mr. Krentel published last year in the Journal of the Shoreline Historical Society [First & Fastest].

The tourism draw of southwest Michigan combined with the ferry boats & interurban railways that transported people helped spur a big industry. With western Michigan’s beaches and resorts growing in popularity among wealthy Chicagoans, there was a great need to transport travelers from Chicago to Holland and beyond. This need was met by the interurban railways and companies such as Graham & Morton Transportation Company, The Grand Rapids, Holland and Chicago Railway, Michigan Railway Company, and the Indiana Transportation Company. Boats would bring people to Holland, were trains would meet them on a 700 foot dock to take them to shuttle boats headed to the Ottawa Beach and Macatowa hotels. This operation grew to include outlying destinations of Saugatuck, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo.

The next meeting will feature Bob Nelson who will speak about his time on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan and his newly released book, Dirty Waters: Confessions of Chicago’s Last Harbour Boss.

Minutes submitted by Colin Bertling

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