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The Christmas Tree Ship Disaster



The Christmas Tree Ship Disaster
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.89

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    late-season, oilskin, oilskin-wrapped, powerboat, entice, legacy, universal, evergreen, directly, half-mast, shores, cargo, tugboat, rail, diver, contents
     content words:    Rouse Simmons, Lake Michigan, Herman Schuenemann, Captain Santa, Mother Nature, On Friday, Life Saving Station, Barbara Schuenemann, Two Rivers, Rogers Street Fishing Village Museum


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The Christmas Tree Ship Disaster
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     The Rouse Simmons was a sailing ship built in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1868. This ship had been used for shipping lumber weekly across Lake Michigan in its first twenty years of service.
 
2     Later, the schooner was bought and sold several times before it ended up in the hands of its captain, Herman Schuenemann, and two other men.
 
3     Schuenemann had been marketing Christmas trees in Chicago since the turn of the century. The demand for Christmas trees increased as the German tradition of decorating an evergreen tree for Christmas took hold. Schuenemann always made a late-season run with a load of thousands of Christmas trees to sell. Some years there were more than two dozen vessels at the lake's shores with evergreens to sell to eager customers.

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