The STEAMSHIP WILLIAM G. MATHER MUSEUM, once the flagship of the Cleveland-Cliffs fleet, later served as a floating museum operated by the
After active service and before being brought to Cleveland, the ship was laid up in Toledo's harbor. In 1987 Cleveland-Cliffs donated it, the last of their Great Lakes vessels, to the Great Lakes Historical Society. Under the Society's direction approx. $800,000 of work took place over the next 4 years to restore the ship as well as to convert the vessel into a floating ship museum and educational facility. In May 1991 the ship became
In Sept. 1994 the Great Lakes Historical Society divested itself of the museum. Amid a groundswell of local support to keep the Mather in Cleveland, the Harbor Heritage Society was created to negotiate a new lease agreement with the city. Incorporated in June 1995, Harbor Heritage formally acquired the Mather on 22 July 1995, and in 1996 continued to oversee the Mather's ongoing restoration, promotion, and development as a historic vessel.