As the author of this blog and a university trained historian, I put a great deal of faith, time, and resources in getting my facts correct. For the most part, they are correct. I can’t claim to be perfect, because I am human, but I thoroughly research my material.
Putting many disparate and conflicting sources together is a time consuming and often teeth clenching job. Wading through and analyzing human perspectives, agendas and versions of a story and presenting an at least balanced view of the entire picture is also time consuming and sometimes mind boggling.
I write this blog because I was born and raised in Ecorse and I love my hometown. It makes me very sad to see it look so bedraggled and I believe it has a fascinating history that should be told. I spend a great deal of time and checking scattered and almost non-existent sources trying to preserve Ecorse history.
Again, as a professional historian I was trained to look at all viewpoints and at least try to be objective.
I cannot be objective about a comment that I received today. In fact, I erased it. The comment was about the Edmund Fitzgerald. In the form of an invitation, a gentleman stated that the Fitzgerald was built in the River Rouge yard of Great Lakes Engineering and he invited everyone to attend a ceremony celebrating it there in November.
According to the records at the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes in Bowling Green, Ohio, part of the Edmund Fitzgerald was built in Ecorse. In fact, one person involved told me that some of the sections were assembled in Ecorse and some assembled in the River Rouge Yard of Great Lakes Engineering.
I haven’t seen any factual basis to back up the claim that the Fitzgerald was entirely built in River Rouge.
I ran into this issue once before when I wrote a column for the Herald newspapers. In that case, I had written a column and featured some pictures of the Fitzgerald that John Duguay had taken. In that column, I stated that the Fitzgerald was built and launched in Ecorse. I didn’t just pull this statement out of thin air. I checked with some sources and that’s what they said.
Instead of writing me a polite note and questioning my sources, a gentleman was “kind”- and I use that word sarcastically – enough to go behind my back and take the plans for the Fitz to my editor. According to the gentleman from River Rouge, the Fitzgerald was launched in River Rouge, although that is not what I heard from the archivist at the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes. I apologized and told the editor that’s what my oral sources had said.
This time I’m not apologizing. Until the commenter can prove that the Edmund Fitzgerald was entirely built in River Rouge, my article about Great Lakes Engineering in Ecorse stands as I wrote it and I won’t publish any comments on my blog that I consider to be at least partially incorrect and self serving.
Kathy Covert Warnes