Also known as: The Christmas Tree Ship
6 miles northeast of Rawley Point, Manitowoc County, Wisconsin

Schooner lost in 1912


Rouse Simmons

From the collection of Bowling Green State University

Public Domain Photo



The Rouse Simmons was built in Milwaukee in 1868 to service the lumber industry. It was named for the primary financial backer who was also the founder of the Simmons Mattress Company.

It lies in 165 feet of water and is mostly intact, with its cargo of Christmas trees still in the hold. The crew of 16 perished in the wreck.

Because the ship was an perennial fixture on the Water Street dock in Chicago each Holiday season, the wreck of the Rouse Simmons holds a special place in history and in the romance of Great Lakes shipwrecks. A book about the ship was written by Rochelle Pennington and there is a link to her page about the book in the "Sources" section, below.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 21, 2007
Reference number
Architectural style
Other architectural type; 3 masted double centerboard
Areas of significance
Archeology - Non-Aboriginal; Maritime History; Commerce
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; D - Information Potential
Property type
Historic function
Periods of significance
1850-1874; 1875-1899; 1900-1924
Significant year

Update Log 

  • February 23, 2015: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated GPS Coordinates
  • February 23, 2015: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status
  • February 23, 2015: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status