Event: Wreck of the Steamer Calumet — History on our Highland Park Shoreline


Wreck of the Steamer Calumet -- History on our Highland Park Shoreline


Highland Park —- The Highland Park Historical Society presents ‘Wreck of the Steamer Calumet’ with Highland Park resident Steven Draska on Thursday, June 28th at 7:00 PM at the Highland Park Library.

On November 28, 1889, Captain Orville Green and crew of 18 found themselves floundering in a tremendous gale, towering waves and wind lashed sleet.  The next morning a Highland Park resident saw the vessel under duress being buffeted by waves and covered in ice.  The precursor to the US coast guard was the Life Saving Service located at Northwestern University’s campus. Using a lifeboat transported by train to the bluffs overlooking the wreck and desperate crew, the Life Saving Service performed a heroic rescue of all 18 men.

This program will bring this wreck off our shores to life with vivid information from Steven Draska’s research. Draska has the only photo ever taken of the Calumet and several artifacts along with research of the construction, ownership and salvage of the steamer Calumet.

Steven Draska is a wreck diver and history buff who grew up in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. While in college, Draska was introduced to scuba while training as a Chicago Park District lifeguard. He has since searched, researched, dived and made recovery’s from as far away as the Black Sea to as close as the Highland Park shoreline. He is an original member of the Chicago Maritime Society and a long-time resident of Highland Park with his wife Judith and twins Chris and Brit.

The Wreck of the Steamer Calumet will be at Highland Park Public Library Auditorium, 494 Laurel Avenue, Highland Park, Illinois.  For further information, please contact the Highland Park Historical Society: 847.432.7090 or  Admission is free.