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Sturgeon Bay Modern Shipbuilding

A cache by WiscMaritime Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 02/07/2011
3 out of 5
2.5 out of 5

Size: Size: micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

This multicache will take you to three waypoints in Sturgeon Bay related to commercial shipbuilding. The final cache is located on the grounds of Potawatomi State Park, and a fee is required to enter the park. It is approximately seven miles from the first waypoint to the last. The final waypoint is a micro, so please bring your own pen!

Sturgeon Bay has a long history of shipbuilding. Since the early nineteenth-century, Sturgeon Bay shipyards have built schooners, fish tugs, Naval vessels, ore carriers, and some of the finest yachts in the world.

The coordinates of the first waypoint are:
44° 50. 503’
087° 22. 854’

The first waypoint is the main entrance of the Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding Company's yard. Former names include Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay Shipbuilding, Leathem D. Smith Shipbuilding, and the Christy Corporation. Leathem D. Smith Shipbuilding began in 1918 and specialized in pre-WWII Great Lakes vessels. Following Leathem Smith’s death in 1948, the yard was renamed the Christy Corporation. The Manitowoc Corporation closed its yard in Manitowoc in 1967 and acquired Christy Corporation and the adjacent yard, Sturgeon Bay Shipbuilding, to create the Bay Shipbuilding Company. Over its history this yard has built over 370 vessels and undertaken countless repairs. Please do not enter the company property.

Use the weight stamped on the large naval anchor at the first waypoint to decipher the coordinates of the second waypoint:

_ _ _ _Pounds

44° 5B. 121’
BA7° 22.762’

The second waypoint will take you to the former home of another Sturgeon Bay shipyard that specializes in the construction of luxury yacht s- Palmer Johnson Shipbuilding. This company was founded as Johnson and Gmack in 1918 and became known for building and repairing boats for the Great Lakes commercial fishing fleet. During WWII, under the name of Sturgeon Bay Boat Works, this company created over forty 45-foot air-sea rescue boats and four 65-foot "T" class vessels. In 1961, a landmark decision was made to continue construction in welded aluminium - a technique still used by the company well into the 21st century. The company operated in this location until the end of 2015 when it closed its Sturgeon Bay manufacturing facility. In 2016, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding expanded into this space and now occupies the work bays and offices.

Examine the sign on the Kentucky Street business entrance to decipher the coordinates for the last waypoint.

To Enter/Open Door
Please Use Door Bell/12345678 by Side Door
To your Left for Lobby Assess

4E° RI.N40
087° NE.N0R

At the final waypoint you have an excellent view of the Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding Company’s yard and are standing right next to the shipping channel that enters Sturgeon Bay from Green Bay. During the summer there may not be many ships at the yard (they are out sailing) but in the winter the yard is full of ships laid up and getting repaired. During the winter you may also get to watch the Coast Guard’s ice breaking activities.

This cache was placed as a partnership with Wisconsin Historical Society, Potawatomi State Park, Wisconsin Maritime Museum, Door County Maritime Museum, and the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. We hope you enjoyed learning the history of Sturgeon Bay's shipbuilding and how it contributed to the growth of Wisconsin as a state. To learn more about Wisconsin’s maritime heritage attend one of the interpretive programs at the park and visit our other geocaches in Door County and throughout the state, or visit!

The Geocache Notification Form has been submitted to Don McKinnon of the Wisconsin DNR. Geocaches placed on Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource managed lands require permission by means of a notification form. Please print out a paper copy of the notification form, fill in all required information, then submit it to the land manager. The DNR Notification form and land manager information can be obtained at: (visit link)

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59 Logged Visits

Found it 42     Didn't find it 5     Write note 5     Publish Listing 1     Needs Maintenance 1     Owner Maintenance 5     

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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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