HAVIGHURST, WALTER [EDWIN] (1901–1994). Walter Havighurst
is known primarily as a historian of the Midwest, but he also wrote fiction,
much of it influenced by his experiences at sea in the 1920s. Havighurst
worked as a deckhand on Great Lakes* freighters and Pacific lumber schooners before going to college and served in the merchant marine before completing graduate school. His first novel, Pier 17 (1935), is about a young
sailor with ambitions of writing fiction who gets caught up in a shipping
strike in Seattle. The Quiet Shore (1937) and Signature of Time (1949) both
describe life on Lake Erie. No Homeward Course (1941) concerns a German
sea raider. The Long Ships Passing (1942), a regional history of the Great
Lakes for which he is best known, draws on his deckhand experiences aboard
Great Lakes freighters.