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HomeEvents18th Annual S.S. Meteor Preservation Project 2022

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18th Annual S.S. Meteor Preservation Project 2022

Saturday, April 23, 2022 to Sunday, April 24, 2022
S.S. Meteor Whaleback Museum Ship on Barkers Island
300 Marine Dr
Superior , WI  54880

Event Contact(s):
Megan Meyer
715-394-5712 (p)
Phil Kerber
612-720-2825 (p)
612-720-2825 (c)
GLSPS Events
Registration is recommended
Payment In Full In Advance Only
Please bring respirators, safety glasses, hats, gloves old shoes, an optional hard hat or bicycle helmet, and warm clothes you can get dirty and throw away after the weekend. Please read, understand, sign and submit the Liability Release and Waiver Form to a GLSPS or SPM Representative before you start working. Forms and other information sheets are on the entrance table just inside the Meteor Museum Ship.
Activities/Items    (Click the down-arrow to the left of the activity/item to view the details)
All Weekend
Saturday Only
Sunday Only



of the

S.S. Meteor!

All Hands on Deck!!

This year's Annual S.S. Meteor Preservation Project Work Weekend will again need to be Limited to the Amount of Volunteers.

Because of the Pandemic Restrictions Still in Place, 
Masks, Respirators and Social Distancing
Will Be Required!

Please Register for the 2022 S.S. Meteor Project
Work Weekends ASAP!


Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society (GLSPS)
Superior Public Museums (SPM)
Lake Superior Marine Museum Association (LSMMA)

Wisconsin Underwater Archaeology Association (WUAA)



We will be Sponsoring the "Seventeenth" Annual S.S. Meteor Preservation Project, Saturday and Sunday, April 23 and 24, 2022.   There other that arrive Thursday and Friday April 21 & 22, 2022. 

Everyone is welcome to join us earlier if they so desire.  Please Note:  The special price at the Barkers Inn for lodging is only secured for Friday and Saturday nights.  Any other days are your responsibility.

This is a very worthy cause and if we don't continue to preserve this one-of-a-kind Whale-back ship, it could be lost forever!

Please join us in
preserving one of the only "Whale-back Ships" remaining in the world!

We are looking for a few good men and women to help stabilize and preserve the


Please Click on Above Pictures to Enlarge



S.S. Meteor Project 2021 Photos



Requirements / Recommendations:


1.You must be 16 years of age or older. (Unless other arrangements are made)

2.Have your own Medical Insurance.

3.This is a project that requires the ability to do both light and heavy physical work.

4.Please bring any of your own safety equipment such as safety glasses, respirators, masks, knee guards, gloves, coveralls, shoes, boots, hats, and warm clothes. Optional: Hardhat.

5.A liability release form from SPM will need to signed and handed into the staff before anyone can start working on their assigned tasks.

6. Please 
Note:  Some tools will be provided.  Such as, paint scrapers, brushes, wiping rags, cleaners, and some respirator masks (Limited Quantity).  Please bring your own if you prefer a certain brand and are in good shape.

To speed up the process, please click on the link button to print, read, agree, sign and bring with you to hand into the SPM Staff.




This project is the 18th Annual.  The last sixteen years we put this Project together, we had a great turn out.  Except for the year of the Covid-19 Pandemic in 2020.  We broke a record of 100 volunteers in 2014.  We have an average of 50 plus volunteers for this event every year!   The folks from the Superior's Public Museum's Board of Directors and the City of Superior WI are very appreciative with the efforts of all the organizations that helped make this project successful!  Let’s try making this event another successful year!



Please Note: The below Task List will be much smaller this year because of the number of volunteers we are allowed by the state.  Although the list could be updated right up to the day before the Project!

The below list is the 2021 task list and will only be updated two weeks before the project.  A scouting trip is scheduled for April 9, 2022.  Please check back after this date to see the most current task list for 2022.

2022 Main Tasks List


Updated April 18, 2022


  1. Ramp/Walkway:
    1. Paint to preserve what we replaced.
    2. Repair wood Gate to walkway. (See Dale K) 


  2. Pigeon / Bird Control:
    1. The Starboard side aft deck is working great to keep the pigeons out.  However, now they have taken up residence in the Foaming machinery area which is under the Pilot house.  May need to fill in areas with foam or mechanical wiring?  (see Dara).
  3. Cleaning and Preparation for Season of Tours:  (Office and exhibit areas)
    1. Clean staff office and area.
    2. Clean exhibit areas – sweep, dust, vacuum.
    3. Clean exhibit glass inside and out.
    4. Clean glass on all port holes and other windows
    5. Vacuum all areas that need it. 
    6. Clean up paint drippings as much as possible (always be careful when painting!).
    7. Make all beds and install linens (see Megan about other options with no mattresses available). 
    8. Put out props.
    9. Remove Mini Frig from Office to check and see if it still works and if so, clean it.


  4. Welding:
    1. Patch lots of small holes. 
    2. Weld hole shut above entrance door – (See Phil)
    3. Weld small plate in rust hole in ceiling of aft turret.
    4. Start welding in new plates starboard side under aft crew quarters as there is rust starting through the floor.
    5. Starboard side welding and railing – Rusted off round railing on stairway.


  5. Water Control:
    1. Start from aft deck on down to engine room and aft of engine room.
    2. Patch lots of small holes.
    3. Check all air vents suspected of leaking water into ship.
    4. Re-check water flowing in from prop shaft.  May need to dig out area to weld rust holes to keep water from running into ship.
    5. Cement may need to be removed on the outside of ship to control the water going into the port side forward large doors in forward cargo hold (with wooden walkway to forward turret).


  6. Previsions access Square Cover on Aft Deck & Smokestack
    1.  Remove and reseal after seized bolts are removed (a trip to Menards may be required). 


  7. Pressure Washing:
    1. Entire hull – bird poop and other debris.
    2. Pilot house/chart room roof.
    3. Aft deck if we are painting it.
    4. Replace scupper holes on aft deck with new rubber expansion plugs (Menards).


  8. Bulb and Guard Replacement Around Ship:
    1. Replace all burned out bulbs around the ship museum.  Removing and replacing bulb Guards.  (See Megan Meyer or Dara Fillmore to see how they would like it done).


  9. Re-do/replace Snow Fence Covering Over Lifeboats:
    1. Remove sun faded and damaged orange snow fencing on both lifeboats.
    2. Clean entire insides (Pressure wash).
    3. Replace both Port and Starboard side lifeboats fencing with orange snow fencing again.  The sun faded them, and birds damaged them.  They both need cleaning and replace fencing to keep birds out until Canvas covers are made. 




  10. Air Vents Aft (Red Inside):
    1. Identify all aft vents painted red that are peeling.  Remove peeling paint, clean out calking and reseal with new calking add red paint to air vent scoops. 
    2. Scrape.
    3. Clean.
    4. Reseal.
    5. Two Vents on both port and starboard side need to be able to function for summertime ventilation. (See Dara Fillmore for further Details). 


  11. Exhibit Area:
    1. Prepare, prime, and paint all red railings inside ship that are used on tour. Railing paint was damaged by using required sanitation cleaning methods on them.
    2. Large public head/restroom by engine room – base board removal and install some other means of a baseboard. Vinyl?  (There are some extra base board tiles on shelf near the shower room).
    3. Paint exhibit area ceiling on starboard side that hasn’t had primer on it. 
    4. Paint final white coat on ceiling on port side in exhibit area.  (That had primer on it).



  12. Paint Pilot House Roof:
    1. Make sure all welding is done first.
    2. Seal, primer, and paint that area around the whole perimeter of the pilot house roof. 


  13. 4 Pipes Under Water Tanks - On aft deck that are allowing water to get in the ship. 
    1. Clean. 
    2. Caulked. 
    3. Prime.  
    4. Paint. 


  14. Pilot House/Chart Room:
    1. Re-assess pilot house/chart room water leakage.  How much has it leaked since the roof was welded?
    2. Re-seal with special roofing sealer.
    3. Paint radar mast – before roof is sealed and painted. 
    4. Repair rotten floor below chart room outside door.
    5. If we are confident that the water has been slowed down or completely eliminated, and the above has been completed, start scraping, cleaning, (including blood on port windows from pigeon) prime and paint the chart room (original green historical color.
    6. Polish all brass in Pilot Room and Engine room.
    7. Paint entire aft deck – This is a task for later Sunday or another weekend during the summer. Further discussion is needed as to when this can be performed. Summer 2022?
    8. Pilot House Starboard door corner and ceiling, paint is peeling and needs scraping, cleaning priming and painting.


  15. Captain Quarters:
    1. Measure brown cushions in quarters for protective covers.
    2. Clean Captains Quarters of pigeon poop and blood on port holes.  Touch up any areas that need painting.


  16. Crews Quarters
    1. Galley stove vent hood – scrape, clean, prime and paint entire hood. Also, make sure to scrape paint off the window glass used for lighting.
    2. Mess Hall – clean up rust spots on wall with terry cloth first. If it doesn’t work, then sand, prime and add a coat of white paint. 
    3. Re-hang bulletin board on mess hall wall. (Dale K)
    4. Guest room aft crew’s quarters “Guest Room” (Dean S. Room) – finish, clean, prime and paint.
    5. 12 to 4 room – The nasty sheet of plywood behind bed was removed in 2021.  Now it needs scraping, cleaned, primed and painted around the bed area.
    6. 8 – 12 room will need scraping, cleaning, priming and painting.
    7. Scrape, clean, prime and paint grocery/previsions hatchway after opened and resealed in crew’s quarters hallway.
    8. Clean, scrape peeling paint and paint mess hall floor and hallway leading to it tile red. Possibly officers mess as well.  Make signs and gather rope to seal off the area after painting – Please Note: this will need to be performed later on Sunday!
    9. Chester Drawers in crews’ room on the way down the rear turret needs to have it attached to the wall as it is rocking and could fall over on a tour if bumped.  (See Dara Fillmore). 
    10. 2nd Cook Room – remount life preserver rack.  Falling down, needs to be re-attached to the ceiling.  Possibly scrape, prime and paint room?  Clean mold off Chester Drawers – (Please use respirators not thin masks for this job)!!!
    11. Scrape. Clean primer and paint ceiling in hallway between aft restroom and galley.
    12. Painting Safety Yellow – Entrance of the Meteor, where there is a possible head hit area, trip areas and any work areas that Megan determines as a safety area.
    13. Clean, prep, primer, and paint single spots on expansion deck.  (Battleship gray).
    14. Paint the forward expansion deck machinery with red paint.  They were not painted red yet.  (See Dara F or Megan M).  


  17. Food Storage Locker/Shower Room Hallway Area:
    1. Scrape, clean, primer and paint hallway by shower, laundry and large restrooms.
    2. Concrete floor may need to be removed as it is breaking apart and causing a trip hazard.


  18. Engine Room and Area
    1. Entire Engine room needs the rust streaks and stains touched up by cleaning them with rust removal solution (possible rubbing compound in hard to remove areas) and using terrycloth. Then applying wax after done.   
    2. Make sure all oil is soaked up with oil absorbent pads and dispose of properly. 
    3. Make sure water is drained from bilge with supplied bilge/sump pumps. 
    4. Re-seal cover on vent pipe/post on starboard side mid deck by manual steering pulley mechanism.  It may be causing water to leak in food storage shelving area (red shelves). 
    5. Check both starboard vent (by bench in main engine deck) and port vents for water leakage. The water coming down them may just be condensation. 
    6. A thorough cleaning and vacuuming of the main deck of engine room. 
    7. Please Note: ceiling of upper engine room is forming some surface rust again.  May need touch up for now and repaint again during a future work weekend and after the scaffolding is out back up????
    8. Inspect paint top of metal bench on starboard side in engine room that's gray. to see if it needs another coat?  
    9. Install original barrier behind large main fuse panel to keep small kids/people out from going behind it. (See Megan)
    10. Drill two small holes in oil catch pans (by machines and oil/lube tank with pumps) to drain water that is collecting n them over the winter.
    11. Remove as much debris in lower engine room and crankshaft areas. Seems to be a lot of debris from previous work weekends. 
    12. Polish all brass in engine room.



  19. Food Storage Locker: (By Shower room)
    1. Find where water is coming from and pooling on the floor.  Clean out water, clean floor primer and paint floor, clean primer and paint shelving and other parts in the food room.


  20. Steering Gear Room:
    1. The sign in the steering room needs to be removed and restored later.  A temporary sign will be installed to the time being.
    2. The steering room will need to be cleaned and possibly repainted.  If there is enough help in 2022, we can start on it.  Otherwise, 2023 might be better.  Unless someone want to make it there only project this year at the work weekend and finish over the summer?  Please let Phil Kerber or Megan Meyer know if interested.


  21. Entire Rear Turret:
    1. Paint has been scraped but may still need more scraping.  It needs to be painted from the upper deck to the lower deck.


  22. Main Whistle:
    1. Whistle is not blowing very well again.  Water may be trapped or…...
    2. Air compressor seems to be running all the time and may be leaking somewhere.  Inspection of the compressor and check for leaks.  It was also reported that the compressor was over heating as well.


  23. Ventilation:
    1. Create better air flow.  Two scoop vents need to be functional on both the port and starboard sides.  See Dara Fill more for the two that are being referred to.



      24. Misc. Tasks:

  1. Media Room Proposed – Has been discussed and plans are being mad to create the room (Theater).
    1. Start cleanup discussion on what will need to be done to create a media room
    2. What artifacts will remain and what needs to be removed. 
    3. A discussion will need to be started as to what is needed for videos.
    4. Proposed videos
    5. SS Meteor Documentary
    6. Whaleback historical videos and presentations
    7. Underwater videos of sunken whaleback ships
    8. Narrated presentation on the 20 years when the SS Meteor Preservation Project started in 2001 by WUAA and continued in 2005 in collaboration with the Superior Public Museums, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society and the many volunteers, which is now celebrating its 16th plus years.

Please Note:
  Any cargo holds and other areas that need cleanup, will not take place without SPM Personnel Present!! 

*If you are a leader of a task during the project work weekend and, you were assigned to bring supplies and equipment, please let Phil K or Megan Meyer know who you are and what you were assigned to. 

The large list of tasks continues to grow as the project draws near.

More will be added, please check back later.

Masks/respirators are highly recommended - Although most of the the time you will need to be wearing a safety respirator during the work weekend inside the Meteor while working because of the dust and paint smell.  Please be aware of your environment and if you need to step out for a breath of fresh air, please do so as many times as you need.

Date: Saturday and Sunday, April 23 and 24, 2022
(Ship will be open at 8:00 AM for early riser's and set up).  Some folks will be at the Meteor as early as Thursday morning.  You are welcome to join us earlier if you like.  

9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Saturday and 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM Sunday or until …….

(Saturday: 9:15 AM Project Briefing)!! Please be present for the briefing!! (The briefing will be Outside).

S.S. Meteor Whale-Back Museum in Superior Wisconsin on Barkers Island.


Breakfast:   You will be on your own.  However, anyone that wants to meet for breakfast at the barkers Inn at 7:00 AM, we will be there.

 Lunch will be provided by Bellisio's. (Breakfast you will be on your own).

We will be meeting at Barker's Island Inn Restaurant (Barkers Island near Meteor) both mornings for Breakfast at 7:00 AM.

Dinner:  Will be provided by Famous Dave's at the Fairlawn Mansion. (BYOB)  Starting at 6:00 PM Social 1/2 hour and then Dinner by 6:30 PM

Lodging:  Free lodging is available but limited.  We can provide space for some people in various campers, boats, and houses around the area free of charge, based on a first come first served bases.  Please let us know if you need free lodging ASAP!  Barkers Island Inn / Hotel is offering a $89.00 per night room special only for the S.S. Meteor project participants.  (Rooms available after March 25, 2022 and until April 12, 2022).  Please reserve your room ASAP for they only blocked out a certain amount of rooms.  Please mention "The Whale-back Clean up" to receive your special room discount.  Their phone number is, 715-392-7152

Please Note: If you are staying in any of the campers or boats, please bring your sleeping bag, pillow, and other sleeping accommodations. If you are staying at a marina, the showers are most likely open for use.  Please bring your own towel.

If you prefer to stay in another Hotel, there are a few smaller and inexpensive Hotels in the local area. Please Google “Hotels Superior Wisconsin” Mention you are there for the Whale-back Project. Some hotels will give you a discount.

This year’s Saturday night Get-Together still being determined.  This will be held at the Fairlawn Mansion (Not far from the Meteor).  Please bring your own beverages.


You can also ask the SPM staff of the Museum for a custom tour of the Whale-back Ship you normally don't see on a regular summer tour!

If you are interested in volunteering, please register for the project by clicking on the "Register Now" button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.  Follow the step by step directions.  Or, by contacting the Chairman of the event, Phil Kerber or, the Director of SPM Megan Meyer.   Contact information for both Phil and Megan are below.
Please don't delay in registering ASAP, this will help us determine the headcount for the food and provide email communications for any additional information attendees need to know about the project.

Please confirm your attendance ASAP!

Thank you very much for your time.

Hope to see you there.

Phil Kerber

President - Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society
S.S. Meteor Project Chairman

Megan Meyer
Director - Superior Public Museums