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November’s Fury

The Deadly Great Lakes Hurricane of 1913

2014
Author:

Michael Schumacher

November’s Fury

The first complete—and fully illustrated—account of the deadliest storm in Great Lakes history

The ultimate story of man versus nature, November’s Fury recounts the dramatic events that unfolded over four days in 1913 when a freshwater hurricane of epic proportions became the deadliest in Great Lakes maritime history. Michael Schumacher brings this violent storm to terrifying life, from its first stirrings through its slow-mounting destructive fury to its profound aftereffects, many still felt today.

After 100 years, the definitive book about the Great Storm of 1913 has finally been written. In November’s Fury, Michael Schumacher deftly interweaves the stories of the scores of ships sunk, grounded, or damaged by the freak November hurricane with the tragic stories of a cross-section of the more than 250 Great Lakes sailors that died or were forever psychologically scarred.

Mark Thompson, author of Graveyard of the Lakes

On Thursday, November 6, the Detroit News forecasted “moderate to brisk” winds for the Great Lakes. On Friday, the Port Huron Times-Herald predicted a “moderately severe” storm. Hourly the warnings became more and more dire. Weather forecasting was in its infancy, however, and radio communication was not much better; by the time it became clear that a freshwater hurricane of epic proportions was developing, the storm was well on its way to becoming the deadliest in Great Lakes maritime history.

The ultimate story of man versus nature, November’s Fury recounts the dramatic events that unfolded over those four days in 1913, as captains eager—or at times forced—to finish the season tried to outrun the massive storm that sank, stranded, or demolished dozens of boats and claimed the lives of more than 250 sailors. This is an account of incredible seamanship under impossible conditions, of inexplicable blunders, heroic rescue efforts, and the sad aftermath of recovering bodies washed ashore and paying tribute to those lost at sea. It is a tragedy made all the more real by the voices of men—now long deceased—who sailed through and survived the storm, and by a remarkable array of photographs documenting the phenomenal damage this not-so-perfect storm wreaked.

The consummate storyteller of Great Lakes lore, Michael Schumacher at long last brings this violent storm to terrifying life, from its first stirrings through its slow-mounting destructive fury to its profound aftereffects, many still felt to this day.

November’s Fury

Michael Schumacher has written twelve books, including Mighty Fitz: The Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Minnesota, 2012) and Wreck of the Carl D., and twenty-five documentaries on Great Lakes shipwrecks and lighthouses. He lives in Wisconsin.

November’s Fury

After 100 years, the definitive book about the Great Storm of 1913 has finally been written. In November’s Fury, Michael Schumacher deftly interweaves the stories of the scores of ships sunk, grounded, or damaged by the freak November hurricane with the tragic stories of a cross-section of the more than 250 Great Lakes sailors that died or were forever psychologically scarred.

Mark Thompson, author of Graveyard of the Lakes

November’s Fury is a moving and historically rich account of spectacular survivals, daring rescues, and heartbreaking loss. Michael Schumacher’s meticulous research and adroit storytelling give voice to the hundreds who perished in the Great Lakes storm of the century, revealing a human tragedy of immeasurable magnitude. November’s Fury touches all of our hearts.

Andrew Kantar, author of Deadly Voyage and Black November

I have had the pleasure of reading other titles from Mr. Schumacher and was not disappointed with November’s Fury – he has a way of evoking emotion from the reader so that one can sympathise with the sailors who were experiencing the horrible elements.

Reet Champion Book Reviews

Schumacher’s storytelling is comprehensive, hitting its best notes when it details the stories of the men working that November night.

Star Tribune

Schumacher does a great service to the memories of those who lived through the storm, sharing in their own words their stories of survival.

Chicago Book Review

This is an account of incredible seamanship under impossible conditions, of inexplicable blunders, heroic rescue efforts and the sad aftermath of recovering bodies washed ashore and paying tribute to those lost at sea.

The Detroit News

A masterful storyteller, Schumacher brings the human actors alive in the context of nature and society. His vivid descriptions of mountains of heaving water, violent choppy waves and winds lashing the ships with ice place the reader’s imagine in harm’s way of the storm.

Shepherd Express

November’s Fury

Contents

Ships Wrecked and Stranded during the Great Lakes Hurricane of 1913
Prologue: The Sailor’s Premonition
Introduction

1. “How Could Such a Thing Happen on a Goddamn Lake?”: Lakes Superior and Michigan
2. “So Violent a Storm”: Apocalypse on Lake Huron
3. “You Might Not Have Light Tonight”: The Storm Visits Cleveland
4. “I Might See you in Heaven”: Explorations of Loss
5. “This Was Not Natural”: Discoveries

Glossary
Appendix: Boats Lost or Stranded
Sources and Acknowledgements
Bibliography
Illustration Credits
Index