great-lakes.jpg (26350 bytes) History of the Great Lakes Vol. 1 & 2 5DIAMOND.jpg (1915 bytes)
by John Brandt Mansfield - This epic two volume set is by far the most important series ever written about Great Lakes maritime history.  Originally written in 1899, this work lists most of the vessels ever to sail the lakes and catalogs most of the shipwrecks up to that date.  It is by far the most cited reference book in all Great Lakes literature and is amazing in both its scope and volume.  Volume 1 tells the story of the Great Lakes and gives a chonological account of developments and wrecks on the lake.  Volume 2 gives biographical sketches of hundreds of prominent marine men.   The original 1899 editions of this set are now museum pieces and are quite valuable.  Even the 1972 Freshwater Press reprint of this book is now rare.  Volume 1 was also reprinted as a three part series in softcover by Cole's Bookstores in Canada in 1980. These are also getting hard to find and are titled "Saga of the Great Lakes", "Trade and Shipping on the Great Lakes" and "Adventures on the Great Lakes" respectively.  Prices for the originals range from $400 to $800 while the 1972 reprints range from $100 to $300.  The Cole's books are much cheaper, usually going for about $20 each..
Search for History of the Great Lakes at Alibris, Barnes & Noble, The Advanced Book Exchange or The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America Now!