Site History

1209 Franklin St – Captain’s House 

His name was Captain Edward Carus and this photograph is one of nearly 3,000 in the Carus Collection at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Born in 1860 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Carus began his career on the Great Lakes sailing aboard schooners and spent many years as a captain for the Goodrich Line where he was regarded as “sincere, outspoken, frank, jovial and cordial.” During his career, he also researched and recorded the maritime heritage of the areas where he sailed, particularly the western shore of Lake Michigan. However, by the 1930s Captain Carus was in financial distress which required him to sell his maritime collection to Henry Barkhausen, who eventually donated it to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Captain Carus passed away following a stroke in August 1947 while sitting outside his home at 1209 Franklin Street in Manitowoc. The Carus house was eventually torn down to make way for a Chevrolet dealership parking lot in the 1950s. Today that former dealership and the site of the captain’s former residence are part of the museum’s off-site collections storage facility.

Part of the Maritime Heritage Plaza will include a public archaeology component that will attempt to uncover the foundation of the Carus home. The landscape plan incorporates this house footprint into the design, while an outdoor classroom will encourage visitors to literally dig deeper into the maritime heritage of Manitowoc and its connection to Great Lakes history.

Captain Carus inside a large, round ventilator hood

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