Constructing a Great Lakes Schooner

Sheboygan, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin
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The Lottie Cooper and  thousands of schooners like here were constructed of white oak, which grew in abundance in Wisconsin in the mid 19th century. These ships were built in the small shipyards that existed at the mouths of many rivers on the Great Lakes, including the Sheboygan River.

Each of these beautiful vessels could be built in four months or less by work men skilled in trades that are now all but forgotten. The hardy shipbuilders worked outdoors from sunup to sundown, in all types of weather, performing backbreaking tasks that few workmen today would even consider.

While large shipyards often used steam-powered equipment, small yards depended on hand tools almost exclusively and every timber, frame, plank and spar was cut and shaped by hand. Each piece, some weighing thousands of pounds, was lifted into place with the most rudimentary equipment. As an example of the workmanship invested in the creation of these vessels, consider the effort needed to drive thousands of hand-forged spikes, some over four feet long, to secure the rock-hard white oak structural members.

The Lottie Cooper's preservation is a tribute to the great skill and craftsmanship of these dedicated workmen.
The marker is located on northbound Broughton Drive at the entrance to Deland Park, alongside the ruins of the Lottie Cooper, Sheboygan, Wisconsin 53081.

Use the "Deland Park" label below to identify all markers at or near this location (there are several).

The marker is in the foreground, on the right.

The marker and the remains of the Lottie Cooper are at the entrance to Deland Park.

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