Author Archives: Mike Wills

Ship Shape Exhibit To Add USCG Icebreaker Model

USCG Icebreaker Model

USCG in Exhibit





Wheelhouse From Aft

Icebreaker From Bow

Plans are taking shape for the USCG icebreaker model addition to the Ship Shapes exhibit in the courtyard. This phase of the exhibit is a tribute to the Coast Guard and the important role they play in keeping our Great Lakes safe. Fundraising is under way and volunteers will be organizing to begin building the model in mid-June. To volunteer or donate, contact Mike Wills at 231-922-3000 or

How cool would it be If the cruise ship you see in the Center background were to tie up at Discovery Pier?

Maybe some day they will!

Traffic Calming

Workers from Team Elmer’s and Kent companies are pouring the curb and gutter and pedestrian crossing ramps today. Please slow down and give ’em a brake. 

New Life

This turtle “Parked” herself in the parking lot back by the creek to lay her eggs. Please don’t disturb her.

Sails Up!

Quantum LogoA huge shout-out to Quantum Sails for the donation of a set of custom net sails for the O’Day Mariner in the Ship Shapes Exhibit. Made from an open weave fabric, the intent is to let the wind blow through the sails so we can leave them up at all times. Kids are going to have a blast climbing around on this boat and pulling on the “strings” to set off on imaginary adventures!

The Ship Shape Exhibit is Taking Shape

Volunteer shipwrights from the Maritime Heritage Alliance are building a facsimile of a Mackinaw boat on the ship shape exhibit deck next to a fully rigged modern fiberglass O’day Mariner sloop. 

Eventually the exhibit will include some graphic that tell the story of the evolution of water transportation. 

Kids are going to have a lot of fun here. And I expect adults will, too!

Discovery Center Docks Getting Major Overhaul

The venerable docks were in rough shape after about 40 years of weather and ice damage.  The result will be a flat and level dock for the first time and that many years.

See front page coverage in the Record-Eagle on March 31.

2016 Dock Repair

2016 Dock Repair

2016 Dock Repair

2016 Dock Repair

2016 Dock Repair

2016 Dock Repair