Richard & Jane Manoogian Ship Model Showcase

NOW OPEN in the Richard and Jane Manoogian Ship Model Showcase

The Detroit Historical Society is home to one of the largest collections of Great Lakes ship models in the country. Most of the more than 150 models are five or six decades old, while at least one dates to 1854. The ship models represent over 300 years of North American fresh water maritime history. In many cases, the models themselves are historic; in other cases they represent significant examples of technological advances that powered social and economic aspects of the region’s history.

The Richard and Jane Manoogian Ship Model Showcase is a changing exhibition space. Once a year, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum curators change the ships on display in order to display this significant collection. Models currently on display are:

Artist: John E. Foley
Year: 1978
Ship built: 1882
Donated by: John E. Foley

The Onoko is an early Great Lakes iron-hulled bulk carrier, which carried more cargo than ever before and set many standards for freighters. This ship carried coal, as well as wheat and corn. It sank near Duluth, Minnesota in 1915, where its resting place is now a protected site. An earlier configuration of the ship with four masts can be seen in a model of the Onoko by the Kovach brothers.

Artist: Lt. Comm. Otis W. Howard, USNR
Year: 1937
Ship built: 1905
Donated by: Rear Adm. Leon J. Jacobi, USN

The Dubuque was a U.S. Navy patrol combatant ship that served in both World Wars, in addition to spending time on the Great Lakes.

During World War I, it served as an escort ship, and set up anti- submarine nets in New England. Following the war, it made its way to Detroit, and served as a Naval Reserves training ship, until it was recommissioned to serve in World War I. This model was made as a gift for Captain Brodhead, the ship's commanding officer at Detroit.

Artist: Unknown
Year: c. 1962
Ship built: 1843, renamed 1905
Donated by: Mrs. John H. Lord

Originally named Michigan (not to be confused with the passenger steamer also in this exhibit), this was the first iron-hulled U.S. Navy vessel. It served as a defensive presence in the Great Lakes during the Civil War. Renamed Wolverine in 1905, it was decommissioned by the Navy in 1912, after which it served as a training vessel before eventually being scrapped in 1949.

Prins Willem IV
Artist: Unknown
Year: Unknown
Ship built: 1940
Donated by: Great Lakes Overseas, Inc.

The Dutch Prins Willem IV was launched amid World War I, and shortly into its life it was converted by German Occupation Forces into Sperrbrecher 179. It received heavy damage during the war, and after 1945 was towed back to Holland for repairs. An ocean-bound vessel that operated in the Great Lakes, it was sold to an Italian outfit in 1966 and renamed Citta di Beirut. It was scrapped in 1974.

Artist: U.S. Navy
Year: Unknown
Ship built: 1892
Donated by: Crew of USS Yosemite, through M.W. Campau 

A rare non-Great Lakes model in our collection, the Yosemite was a light armed cruiser that was operated by a Michigan crew during the Spanish-American war, where it served mainly as a blockade ship. Originally called El Sud, the ship served as a passenger steamer running between New York and New Orleans before its acquisition by the Navy in 1898. Following the war and its time in Caribbean waters, it spent time in the Pacific before being scuttled by a typhoon in 1900.