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Outdoors: Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Why Gordon Lightfoot's classic song is so memorable

On Nov. 10, 1975 an ore carrier, the Edmund Fitzgerald, sank in Lake Superior during a November storm, taking the lives of all 29 crew members.

Later that month, Canadian singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, inspired by an article in Newsweek Magazine, wrote what is probably his most famous song: Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

To anyone that may remember this wonderful song (it hit #2 on the Billboard pop chart in 1976), written in dedication to the 29 souls that rest forever in the depths of Lake Superior, you only have to hear the first few lines before the haunting melody becomes stuck in your mind and heart.

It was the gales of November on Lake Superior that sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald. The November Gales are a phenomenon that each year brings photographers and artists to the shores of this great lake to capture the energy, power and emotion of this great body of water as it surges and fights the coming winter.

Today, whether by canvas, or by point-and-shoot, acclaimed and novice artists gather to capture the strength of Lake Superior as it cascades and crashes into shorelines that, just a few short months earlier, were filled with sunbathers on those hot, sultry summer days in Algoma.

It's a body of water that commands respect and that can turn on you if you fail to show her deference, when the calendar rolls to November.

- Carol Caputo

Read more about the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.