SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- After several months of planning ans research, the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven has a new exhibit, memorializing the 55 passengers and 3 crew members who lost their lives on Northwest Orient Flight 2501.
The DC-4 propliner was travelling from New York to Minneapolis on June 23, 1950, when it encountered severe weather over Lake Michigan and crashed somewhere near the coast of South Haven.
At the time, it was the nation's worst commercial airline disaster.
Despite annual expeditions by NUMA, and members of the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association, the 2501 wreckage has never been found.
Nearly 64-years after the tragedy, the new museum exhibit will take visitors back in time, helping them become more familiar with this incident, as well as with the passengers.
Many of the personal possessions of Merle Barton, who was a passenger on Flight 2501, were collected from the surface of Lake Michigan soon after the crash and returned to his widow.
Six decades later, those artifacts are now all on display at the museum.
"In the exhibit, we'll be able to tell the full story of what happened," said Valerie van Heest, co-founder of the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association. "The story of the 58 people who were lost, and we'll also be able to showcase several of the artifacts that were pulled from the water just days after this accident happened, things that haven't seen the light of day for more than 60 years,"
van Heest, along with Muskegon artist Bryan Snuffer, also unveiled a painting at Saturday's event entitled, "The Disappearance", depicting Flight 2501 in its final moments as it left the shores of South Haven.
The exhibit is called: "Fatal Crossing - the Disappearance of NWA Flight 2501." It will be open to the public beginning Sunday, May 4.