Explore life on the water

Beaver Island Marine Museum


An authentic net shed built in 1906 houses our growing collection of memorabilia from the days when St. James Harbor was teeming with commercial activity. At one time the water’s edge was ringed with vessels of the fishing fleets and commercial traffic, and for many a Great Lakes’ captain the harbor was home.


The Marine Museum opened in 1980. It tells the story of the busy days in the harbor. Those times included not only fishing, but also the shipping of various products, such as lumber. Some exhibits capture memories of the disasters which overtook the men and ships of the Island, and the efforts of the Coast Guard and Lighthouse Services which came to the aid of those in distress.

The museum contains material about shipbuilding, the vessels which have served the Island, and diving activities. There is information about the other islands in the Beaver Archipelago as well.

Collections and Exhibits


The Life Boat from the Carl D. Bradley
A forge recovered from the Shipwreck Niko
A Chadburn on display in the Marine Museum. A Chadburn, also know as an Engine Order Telegraph was used by the ship pilot on the bridge to signal the engineers below deck to move the ship handles to move to the same position.


Commercial Fishing Half models on display. The half hulls were constructed by ship builders and were exact scale replicas of the actual ship's hull
The Bob S. is a 50 ft. x 13 ft. fish tug, built by Peterson Boat Works in 1935.  Visitors can walk on board and see what the inside of a Gill Net Boat looks like.


The Society has restored a wooden gill-net boat which fished northern waters since 1935. Visitors can go on board to get a sense of what this way of life was like.

Plan your visit

26275 Main Street
Beaver Island, MI 49782

Phone: (231) 448-2254

To plan your trip to Beaver Island, visit: www.beaverisland.org