A Small Press Independent Publisher



By Valerie van Heest

A Story of Daring and Adventure…and it’s True

ICEBOUND! is an inspiring illustrated two-part story of perseverance and bravery that begins in 1885 and concludes in the present day.

Young George Sheldon, a porter aboard the steamship SS Michigan, is drawn into the adventure of a lifetime when his ship becomes trapped in the pack-ice in Lake Michigan during the great winter storm of 1885. Because of George’s heroic efforts, the captain and all twenty-nine crewmen live to tell the saga of how after thirty-nine icebound days, their ship is slowly crushed by the ice and sinks far from Holland, Michigan’s shore.

More than a century later, a determined team of scuba divers spend three long years searching the depths of Lake Michigan until they finally find the wreck of the SS Michigan in 275 feet of water. When they dive down to the shipwreck they discover that it’s a time capsule with everything just the way George and the crew left it when they abandoned their ship to make the dangerous walk across miles of frozen lake. They even find the oil lanterns that young George kept lit through the whole ordeal!

Regional Studies for Young Readers  ISBN: 978-0-9801750-1-1 11″ x 8.5″ 48 page

Sold out. Only available in the used marketplace

Winner of a 2008 Michigan State History Award from the Historical Society of Michigan


Principal in Lafferty van Heest and Associates Exhibit Design Firm, director of Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates (MSRA), and a member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame, Valerie van Heest has explored, documented and interpreted shipwrecks for over twenty years. She is a recipient of multiple awards for the collection, preservation and promotion of state and local history through her interpretation, writing, filmmaking, and exhibit work. She has written several books and magazine articles and written and directed more than a dozen documentary films.. Her work has been featured in numerous books and articles as well. She is a regular presenter at museums, libraries, and film festivals, sharing the dramatic stories of ships (and an airplane) gone missing on the Great Lakes and has appeared on television news networks as well as on the History, Discovery, and Travel Channels. Valerie spearheads MSRA’s search for ships lost off western Michigan, which has resulted in the discovery of many new shipwrecks.

Contact the author at www.ValerieVanHeest.com or at shipwrecked@chartermi.net


2017 Recipient of Joyce S. Hayward Award for Historic Interpretation from Association for Great Lakes Maritime History
2008 State History Award for the book Icebound: The Adventures of Young George Sheldon and the SS Michigan
2009 State History Award for the book, co-written with William Lafferty, Buckets and Belts: Evolution of the Great Lakes Self-Unloader
2009 State History Award for the Exhibit “From Hennepin to the Thousand Footers” at the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center
2006 Induction into Women Divers Hall of Fame
2007 State History Award for the volunteer contributions to the Preservation of Michigan’s submerged maritime heritage