Katherine V & Our Fisheries Heritage

Visit the Besser Museum to experience this history and see the Katherine V for yourself. 

For a Video Tour of the Katherine V narrated by Clarence "Tuffy" Cross, click the link below.


 Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail: 

Katherine V a lone survivor and fishing legend

By Brandon Schroeder


  A new Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail offers an opportunity to explore the past, present and future of the lakes through the lens of fish and fishing (see Part 1, series introduction). In this article, we visit Alpena, Michigan and the Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan to explore commercial fishing heritage of northern Lake Huron as told through the historic commercial fishing vessel, the Katherine V.


  Read the rest of the article:  here 

To donate to the Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Exhibit, click the link below,  or call us at


Preservation and Restoration

of the Katherine V

The Kahlenberg Engine

   For more information on the engine that was once inside the Katherine V, check out this interview with Dave Robertson, who is currently restoring the engine to working order.


   Video compliments of Association of Lifelong Learners member, Richard Bremer.

For more information on how to become a member, click here.


Our mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit authentic articles and artifacts of art, history, and science to inspire curiosity, foster community pride, and cultivate personal legacy.

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In 1835, several years before the first log drive down the Thunder Bay River, there was already a commercial fishery on Thunder Bay Island. By 1946 thirty-one fishing boats and 160 people were directly involved in the island’s fishing activities. The island’s community of 300 people was then larger than that on the mainland and supported a school and a church. Some 12,000 barrels of salted fish were shipped from the island that year.