Archaeological Institute of America Lecture: Tamara Thomsen
December 3 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pmFree
Myths and Mysteries: Underwater Archaeological Investigation of the Christmas Tree Ship, Rouse Simmons
Tamara Thomsen, Maritime Preservation and Archaeology Program, Wisconsin Historical Society
Sabin Hall Room G90, 3413 North Downer Ave., UW-Milwaukee Campus
Description: On November 22, 1912, the Rouse Simmons departed Thompson, Michigan, with a load of Christmas trees bound for Chicago. She never arrived. Despite desperate searches, no one knew where or why she was lost. It was not until 1971 that the Rouse Simmons was discovered in 170 feet of water. Since that time the story of the Rouse Simmons, better known as the Christmas Tree Ship, has grown to legendary proportions. The Wisconsin Historical Society conducted the first formal survey of the Rouse Simmons wreck site for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Learn what the Society’s dive team found, both at the wreck site and in historical documents, to learn more about what happened that fateful November day in 1912.
Tamara Thomsen is a Maritime Archaeologist with Wisconsin Historical Society’s Maritime Preservation and Archaeology program. Her research has resulted in the nomination of forty-three Great Lakes shipwrecks to the National Register of Historic Places. For her dedicated work, she has received awards from the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society, and in 2014, she was inducted into the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame. Tamara has worked as a photographer, researcher, and research diver on projects including the USS Monitor with NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries, and RMS Titanic with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.