Story of the Great Lakes ~ Free eBook

Story of the Great Lakes by Marie E. Gilchrist is a beautifully illustrated public domain ebook.

The story begins before the arrival of Columbus to the New World and covers:

  • The arrival of European explorers.
  • The War of 1812.
  • Steamboats.
  • The Soo Canal.
  • The timber industry.
  • Mining.
  • A tour of various cities.

Story of the Great Lakes is a 40-page book. The book was published in 1942, and quite a bit has happened since the book’s publication. We have provided suggestions below to help you learn more. However this is a great introductory start to learning more about the Great Lakes region! And it is free.

Free eBook
Swift Rivers
  • There are eleven sections. By covering one section each week you will have enough material for a semester.
  • The book lends itself very well to notebooking.
  • Read one section and have your student narrate (orally or in written form).
  • Name and map the five Great Lakes.
  • Create a flip book listing them by size.
  • Explore the Indians who lived in the region.
  • Learn more about glacial drift. (You may also want to address the various opinions on the geological history of the area.)
  • Learn more about Niagara Falls. In the 58 years since the book was written, how closer (if at all) is it to becoming a “mere geologic memory”?
  • Make a list of the explorers of the area mentioned. Add a page in your notebook for each.
  • What countries sent explorers to the area?
  • Learn more about the War of 1812.
  • Learn about Robert Fulton and his steamboat.
  • How do locks and dams work?
  • View the Soo locks in action.
  • Read Newbery Honor book Swift Rivers by Cornelia Meigs.

Additional Resources
La Salle and the Great Lakes: A Unit Study

The Great Lakes: A Unit Study
You will find many more resources that go with the book in our free unit.

Story of the Great Lakes by Marie E. Gilchrist
Hardcover version for those interested.

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