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Christmas Tree Ship

Christmas Tree Ship

National Museum of the Great Lakes
1701 Front St.
Toledo, OH 43605

Saturday, December 4, 2021 | 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Make a memory that will last a lifetime by watching Santa arrive at the museum’s dock aboard a Geo. Gradel Co. tugboat delivering a Christmas Tree into your hands or the hands of someone in need.

On November 23, 1912, the schooner Rouse Simmons sank while carrying Christmas trees. Known as the Christmas Tree Ship, her captain, Herman E. Schuenemann (a.k.a. “Captain Santa”), was known for giving trees to families in need. This is the inspiration behind our annual Christmas Tree Ship event.

In partnership with Geo Gradel Co., spectators can watch Santa Claus and a boatload of Christmas trees navigate the Maumee River via Facebook Live and then watch in-person as the decorated tugboat docks behind the National Museum of the Great Lakes and delivers the trees. Once at the museum, Santa will take his place for the remainder of the day atop the deck of the Museum Tug Ohio, where children can deliver Christmas wishes from afar to Santa via “Mail by the Pail.”

Admission to the museum exhibits will be FREE for all who purchase a tree, donate a tree, or donate towards a gift card.

Event Website