About Us

Chicago became a busy port city connecting the produce and products of the Midwest with a national distribution system of lake vessels, canal boats, and railroads. The number of ships arriving and leaving the Port of Chicago in 1872 exceeded any port in North America and rivaled all the great harbors of the world including London and Hamburg.

Our mission

To foster learning about the impact of the region’s waterways on Chicago’s evolution.


Board of Directors

Dirk Lohan


David R. Metzger


Doug Walker


Grant Crowley

J.R. Davis

Matthew Howard

Russell Lewis

Louis Sudler

Deane Tank, Sr, Ph.D.

Gerald H. Thomas, Ph.D.
    -President Emeritus

Capt. Dave Truit




Operations Board

Glenn Braun

William Derrah

Lorraine Freeman

Rita Frese

Jim Jarecki

Theodore Karamanski, Ph.D.

Patrick McBriarty

Stan Mehaffey

Mary Ann O’Rourke

William Strauss

Kathleen J. Thomas

Thatcher Waller, Jr.


Kellogg Fairbank, Executive Director

Don Glasell, Curator

Veronica Caminiti, Membership Coordinator

Our publications

The strategic plan was developed in collaboration with David Weisberger Consulting with the generous support of the Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust.

Chicago Maritime Museum US Form 990. Chicago Maritime Society is a 501c3 organization and is exempt from Illinois State sales tax.