Dr. Matthew Daley

Associate Professor, Grand Valley State Univerisity

Dr. Matthew L. Daley has a Ph.D. in History from Bowling Green State University. He regularly teaches Michigan History, History of the Great Lakes, United States Urban Society, Industrial Archaeology, and others as scheduled. He is a frequent public speaker on a variety of topics including the history of Michigan, Grand Rapids, Detroit, urban issues, and local history. He also conducts directed readings in various topics relating to public history, urban development, crime, and the Great Depression. His students have also completed independent research projects and senior theses on similar subjects. General advising along with internships and careers in history are also a part of his work.

In the Wake of Disaster: Lake Erie's Black Friday Storm of 1916

In the Wake of Disaster: The story of the James B. Colgate, the Merida, and Lake Erie’s Black Friday Storm of 1916. The Black Friday Storm was October 20, 1916 the day a “perfect storm” hit Lake Erie, sinking four large ships, killing forty-nine people. The ships that were dispatched to the depths by the violent weather were the James B. Colgate, Marshall F. Butters, D.L. Filer and the Mérida. In the western part of the lake, “the convergence of two high pressure systems and a minor hurricane” created the devastating force that day. The whaleback freighter James B. Colgate was sailing to Thunder Bay when it sank near Blenheim, Ontario. The ship’s captain was the only survivor. The Mérida was a Canadian steamer. None of the twenty-three crew members survived, though their bodies were recovered, floating in their life vests.