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Published: Saturday, 8/13/2011

Mackinaw City group gets ownership of World War II-era icebreaking ship that's now a museum


MACKINAW CITY, Mich. — A group that turned an icebreaking ship into a museum is finally getting ownership at a ceremony at the tip of the Lower Peninsula.

The Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum in Mackinaw City is to receive the title Saturday.

The museum has met several benchmarks required by the state.

The Icebreaker Mackinaw was turned into a museum after it ended its Coast Guard service in Cheboygan in 2006.

The ship was built to keep shipping lanes open and ensure delivery of iron ore, limestone and coal during World War II. It was finished in 1944 and spent decades on the water.

Museum board president Bill Shepler says the Icebreaker Mackinaw is known as the "queen of the Great Lakes." The museum gets more than 20,000 visitors a year.

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