A new permanent exhibit is opening soon at the Minnesota Children’s Museum!
It’s called Shipwreck Adventures and I got a behind-the-scenes sneak peek!
Plus I got to chat with Senior Exhibit Developer Mary Weiland about how this exhibit came to be.
Read about my experience AND get the CHEAPEST possible tickets with my special code at the end of this post!
It’s hard not to be fascinated with shipwrecks and underwater life, no matter what our age is. There’s such a story there, and so much to be discovered. And it’s even more fascinating that shipwrecks are so close to home for us here in Minnesota – as there are many in Lake Superior!
I grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, in a house right on Lake Superior, so I got to see ships coming in and out of the harbor all the time. But there is also such history here – and one shipwreck in Lake Superior is used as the inspiration for this new exhibit!
Mary Weiland explored a lot of ideas for what the exhibit could be, but once the idea of a shipwreck was chosen, Mary researched shipwrecks in Lake Superior and discovered the J.S. Seaverns. It was a steam barge that regularly carried food, building supplies and passengers across the lake, but one day in 1884 it hit a rock and sank. Thankfully all of the crew and passengers survived, but the ship sank. After that it was forgotten and actually lost until 2016 when a group of divers searched for it. Mary interviewed and worked with an expert named Ken Merryman, a founder of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society. Ken helped Mary and her team understand things like how the ship landed on the lake’s floor and how ships were built then, to make the exhibit as accurate and interesting as possible.
What’s the exhibit like?
Right where you walk in on the first floor, where Super Awesome Adventures was, you’ll find the Shipwreck Adventures exhibit being finished. Everything is designed and made here in the museum, starting downstairs in their workshop.
Kids and adults will be able to explore a big “sunken ship hull,” learn about plants and animals, and even get to do diving “training.”
There is a big map on the wall that will be full of interesting points in the great lakes, a pilot house with a life-sized ship wheel, and photos and videos which will teach about ship life.