Celebrating 20 Years!
In the News
Watch Activity on the Detroit River and Belle Isle Live on the Internet with the Dossin Great Lakes Museum's Webcom
DETROIT -- The Detroit River webcam is back up and running at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle. Now, visitors to the Museum and shipping enthusiasts anywhere in the world can access the Detroit Historical Society's homepage at www.detroithistorical.org and click on "Detroit River Watch" to view the webcam.
The Detroit River Webcam, a special project of the Detroit Historical Society and its Maritime Auxiliary Group, has returned thanks to the efforts of some persistent volunteers and a local business.
After three years of broadcasting views of the Detroit River, Belle Isle, the Ambassador Bridge and the downtown skyline over the worldwide web to viewers around the world via a camera mounted atop the S.S. William Clay Ford pilot house, the camera went off line in March 2006 when the wireless Internet service provider serving the Museum went out of business.
"When our connection went down, the future of the camera looked bleak," said Webcam volunteer project manager Neil Schultheiss. "When the camera went online in 2003, the only economically feasible solution was wireless as the museum's remote location made the cost of a wired connection out of reach.
"We looked at several providers -- including a signal from Canada - however, we were again faced with connection charges that far exceeded our budget," Schultheiss added.
The solution was found courtesy of Paul Huxley with Strategic Staffing Solutions, a Detroit-based IT company known for its charitable work in the community. The company worked with AT&T to have a wired high speed internet connection run to the museum for free with monthly charges equal to the cost formerly paid for the wireless connection.
"Without the assistance of Strategic Staffing Solutions, the installation charges alone would have exceeded the annual budget for the camera," Schultheiss said. The company also donated equipment, and their staff helped install the Internet connection, he added.
The webcam offers a 340-degree view of the passing freighter traffic on the Detroit River and activity in Belle Isle Park. It can be controlled from any online personal computer, and is active 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The camera attracts a large audience, including many transplanted Detroiters who enjoy viewing Belle Isle and the Detroit River from locations in other states and countries. Visitors to the Dossin Great Lakes Museum can also enjoy the webcam views from a kiosk in the popular City on the Straits exhibit.
"It's great to have the webcam back online, and we thank Strategic Staffing Solutions and our volunteers for their support" said Bob Bury, executive director of the Detroit Historical Society. "This is a great use of today's available technologies to present the maritime story of the region, and we hope it encourages people to visit the newly renovated Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle."
The Museum has enjoyed record attendance since reopening last month after a 12-week makeover of exhibits and facilities.
The Dossin Great Lakes Museum, located at 100 Strand Drive on Belle Isle, is open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free at the Museum for the duration of 2007 through the generous support of Masco Corporation, however, donations are welcome. Permanent exhibits include the Miss Pepsi vintage 1940s championship hydroplane, a bow anchor from the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald, the pilothouse from the Great Lakes freighter S.S. William Clay Ford, and the largest known collection of scale model ships in the world. For more information, call (313) 821-2661 or visit www.detroithistorical.org.