Higgins Industries

This story of this burgee begins down south in Louisiana, eventually finding its way to the Great Lakes and now being featured in this exhibition. Andrew Jackson Higgins, a well-known boat builder in Louisiana, designed his first boat in 1926, called the Eureka boat. It has a spoonbill bow, where the bow curls upwards, and a recessed propeller allowing it to run up on the river banks and traverse the shallow waters of the Louisiana bayou. 

In the 1940s, during WWII, the US Government commissioned Higgins to design a vessel replicating the functionality of his Eureka boat for a  military application. The result was three types of ramp unloading vessels: Landing Craft Personnel (LCP),  Landing Craft Vehicle (LCV) and the Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel (LCVP), also known as the “Higgins” boat. 

After the war, Higgins switched gears to begin building wood-hulled power boats under the name Higgins Industries, carrying his legacy into the late 1950s before operations closed. Many of his boats were found all across the United States, including quite a few in the Great Lakes. Boat owners liked to fly this flag to let everyone know they were driving a Higgins.

This exhibit is made possible by visitors like you.  Please consider making a donation to the National Museum of the Great Lakes to help us continue our important work of preserving and making know the history of the Great Lakes.