Christmas Tree Ships

The last ships to dock in Chicago at the end of the shipping season were the Christmas Tree Ships. The late November-early December voyages were extremely hazardous. From 1887 to 1918, Herman Schuenemann or his family sold Christmas trees from the deck of a schooner tied up at the Rush Street bridge. Captain Schuenemann perished with all his crew in 1912 when the schooner Rouse Simmons succumbed to an icy blizzard off the Wisconsin shore.