We think of Michigan as the center of the auto industry, but there have been times in our history when production of recreational boats was a thriving industry as well. In fact, many of the best known boat names like Chris-Craft originated here.
People may think of small boats in Michigan starting with the working canoes carrying wares during the fur trade years, but in the mid 1800s, boats started to be used more for recreation.
Current State’s Melissa Benmark speaks with author Scott M. Peters. He’s curator of collections at the Michigan Historical Museum, and his book is “Making Waves: Michigan’s Boat Building Industry, 1865-2000.” It’s published by the University of Michigan Press.