The Shipwrecks of Lake Erie By Rebecca L. Ruger Lake Erie may be the smallest by volume and shallowest of the Great Lakes, and the last to have been discovered, but it’s been doing its best over the past several hundreds of years to make up for these deficiencies. “The organization was founded and run by a board that [included] presidents and executives of shipping companies, and they didn’t like talking about shipwrecks,” says Gillcrist, coming up on his 20th year as the director of the museum, which moved to Toledo in 2014. They are schooners, freighters, steamships, tugs and fishing boats, and thanks to the cold, fresh water, many of them are perfectly preserved. 2, a 338-foot steel-hulled railroad car ferry that left Ashtabula, Ohio, for Port Stanley, Ontario, in 1909 and disappeared. 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. Terms of Use Erie Wrecks West covers 103 shipwrecks in the western half of Lake Erie. “If you try to do Great Lakes history without shipwrecks, you’re not telling the whole story,” he says. While it might have been common to hide the shipwreck artifacts out of superstition, Gillcrist understands that they need to be displayed. Cookie Policy or Continue By agreement, CLUE and The National Museum of the Great Lakes do not release the exact location of shipwrecks until such a time that the vessel can be formally surveyed in order to protect the submerged cultural site. A more-likely find high on the museum’s target list is the Marquette & Bessemer No. Keep up-to-date on: © 2021 Smithsonian Magazine. Shipwreck artifacts found in Lake Erie Posted in: Just for Fun , Lake Erie , News Nautical history buffs will have a rare opportunity to examine artifacts from a ship … Thanks to the efforts of Chris Gillcrist, the director of the museum, and an intrepid team of divers and underwater archaeologists, these wrecks are being salvaged and studied, imparting new information about the evolution of travel and transportation on the lakes through American history. Feb 28, 2014 - Documentation of Steamer Vienna another sunken Lake Superior Ship. All helped financially support the project. The unpredictable Lake Erie weather meant that the team couldn’t do as much work as they’d have liked, Sowden notes, but a few clues derived from their dives gave them enough information to indicate that they’d discovered the Lake Serpent. The Great Lakes have more shipwrecks per square mile than anywhere else, with more than 2,000 in Lake Erie alone. The National Museum of the Great Lakes is dedicated to preserving and making known the history of the Great Lakes. Museum Hours: 10am-6pm. Only about 375 of Lake Erie’s wrecks have been found. Explore. The participants enjoy two days of lecture and hands on training. Command of the Great Lakes was an important front in the War of 1812, and small outposts dotted around them grew into some of the nation’s biggest cities — Detroit, Chicago, Buffalo and Milwaukee. “It was really interesting, but I dismissed it as a rock or something because I thought it was too small to be a shipwreck,” Kowalczk recalls. 3D Shipwrecks.org is a project of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society of Minnesota. Living near Lake Erie led to the fascination with Lake Erie shipwrecks that drove the extensive research effort that is exhibited in Erie Wrecks East and Erie Wrecks West. Upon arriving at the island rich with limestone, the ship’s crew collected a load of stone to return to Cleveland. Had the stones been obtained any subsequent year, after the quarries opened in 1830, the ship’s cargo would have been smoother blocks, not the boulders found in the shipwreck. Within just a few years, the museum had hired Carrie Sowden to be their archaeological director, and had also partnered with a diving club that explores Lake Erie. The Peachman Great Lakes Shipwreck Research Program (PGLSRP) is owned and operated by of The Great Lakes Historical Society. Since then, they’ve found the wreckage of about a dozen shipwrecks in Lake Erie and a handful more on Lake Ontario – each with a story to tell about a time and place in history. The Great Lakes hold the secrets of about 8,000 shipwrecks. Get the best of Smithsonian magazine by email. “There’s a lot of missing history under the lakes,” says Sowden. Advertising Notice At this time, research requests should be directed to the HCGL: 419-372-2441; archive@bgsu.edu, Historical Collection of the Great Lakes – Bowling Green State University, Maritime History of the Great Lakes – Walter Lewis, Great Lakes Maritime Collection – Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Alpena Public Library, Project Shipshape – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society and Milwaukee Public Library, Great Lakes Shipwreck File – David Swayze, Smith’s Master Index to Maritime Museum Web Sites, Association for Great Lakes Maritime History. In 1999, when Gillcrist started at the museum, then called the Inland Seas Maritime Museum and situated in the small lakeside town of Vermillion, he noticed an impressive cache of shipwreck artifacts in the collection, but no concerted effort to share them with visitors in a public exhibit. She still has more work to do, but the museum feels it can claim, with about 75 percent certainty, that this find is the Lake Serpent. Vince Guerrieri is an award-winning journalist and author in the Cleveland area. Historical Collections of the Great Lakes. Many have been found in recent years by a … The Maritime Museum of Sandusky is dedicated to preserving and sharing the maritime history of Sandusky and the surrounding areas. The Holy Grail of Great Lakes shipwrecks is Le Griffon, the first European-style ship built by explorer Robert De La Salle that is believed to have sank in Lake Michigan in a storm in 1679. “There are shipwrecks found off Kelley’s Island in 15 feet of water and they’re pancakes.” By comparison, the Antelope, which sank in 1897 in Lake Superior, was found astonishingly intact under about 300 feet of water in 2016. A year later, they ended up finding the largest piece of beach glass on record!After Lynne and Larry bought their lakefront property, some friends asked them if they would be looking for b (Four years later, the island would be bought by a pair of brothers, Atus and Irad Kelley. The blockbuster success at the time of Titanic bolstered his case. “It’s all lining up,” recalls Sowden. Next slide: Shipwrecks in the Cleveland area. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum has become one of Michigan’s most popular destinations in the cultural tourism industry, attracting over 75,000 visitors each season. Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum: We love local history! A side-scan sonar image depicts the outline of the shipwreck of the S.K. Kowalczk grew up in Port Clinton, a lakefront town in an area known for its abundance of campgrounds and summer cottages, and still lives in the area. ERIE, Pa. – January 25, 2016 – Lake Erie’s richest history is 60 feet beyond our reach – in the wreckage of the Canobie, the Abyssinia, the Dean Richmond and the S.K. Its primary purpose is to locate and investigate shipwrecks in Lake Erie but also conducts investigations throughout the Great Lakes. Inland Seas is a wealth of information. Feb 28, 2014 - Documentation of Steamer Vienna another sunken Lake Superior Ship. The Ohio State University Ohio Sea Grant College Program 1314 Kinnear Rd, Area 100 Columbus, OH 43212-1156 By Telephone This workshop is open to all interested parties and is the only requirement for membership into MAST. Lake Erie is a graveyard for hundreds of vessels taken down by violent storms that can whip up in a hurry. Optimally, he looks for wrecks within a 25-square-mile radius, noting that it takes an hour or two just to search one square mile using a side-scan sonar. “The shallower the water, the less likely it’s found [in the same condition as when] it sank,” Gillcrist says. Give a Gift. - See 893 traveler reviews, 507 candid photos, and great deals for Paradise, MI, at Tripadvisor. Lake Erie is considered the murkiest of all the lakes and shipwrecks, particularly in shallow waters, are viewed with often less than four feet of visibility. Apr 28, 2018 - Lake Erie, much like the City of Cleveland, hides remnants of a long and incredible past. 47,226 were here. Lake Erie is a graveyard for hundreds of vessels taken down by violent storms that can whip up in a hurry. On Friday, however, the National Museum of the Great Lakes, located in nearby Toledo, announced that the Serpent may have been found, and it is believed to be the oldest-known shipwreck … For the safety and security of our patrons and property, The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point does not allow Drones. Contemporary records explained that the ship had an elaborate carving of a snake on its bow, and the CLUE divers identified a carving on the wreck’s bow. Topics covered include: the importance of nautical archaeology, ship construction, shipwreck documentation, and laws and ethics of shipwrecks. Website: Shipwreck Museum, or call 800-635-1742. When Lynne Brady and her husband, Larry, bought three acres on Ohio’s Lake Erie shore in 2016, they had never heard of beach glass. NMGL does not yet have a comprehensive online index. The history of the Great Lakes is a microcosm of the history of the United States. “For every two days you spend in the field, you spend about a month working on the data,” she says. This transfer includes all of the photographs, postcards, and primary resources. We have been publishing articles on Great Lakes History for 70 years! Instead, there will be a series of lectures next year at the Lakewood Historical Society, the Sandusky Maritime Museum, the Toledo Shipmasters Association and the Great Lakes Maritime Institute in Detroit. The shores of Lake Erie are a part of Cleveland and Ohio history. Each shipwreck is explored with the facts and story of the loss, a photo of the ship before it sank, a description of the wreck today, essential information on the ship, the location of the wreck, and many underwater images of the ships they way they look on the bottom. But contradictory witness reports and the difficulty of separating myth from fact – combined with the accumulation of silt of more than a century – will make finding it difficult no matter how big it might be. Click Here for more information about Inland Seas. Further, an 1829 newspaper article from the Cleveland Weekly Herald reported that the boat was carrying a load of stone from Kelley’s Island, and dives found boulders in the ship’s hold – consistent with the timeline of the Serpent’s sinking. “You increase the history that’s known by examining what’s out there, and the museum made the commitment to understand history through those submerged sites.”, Many of CLUE’s members have degrees in engineering, which informs the precision of their research, which starts well before they go into the water, poring over contemporary news accounts and government archives (commercial vessels had to be registered even then. Lake Erie shipwrecks just west of Cleveland. Some shipwrecks west of Cleveland. Address. “It’s a pretty big [piece of] steel in the shallowest Great Lake for it not to be found,” Gillcrist says. TOLEDO, Ohio – Shipwreck hunters who spent eight days this summer unearthing and examining the remains of a schooner in Lake Erie in Ohio think it’s most… Lake Erie covers 2,000 of them, among the highest concentration of wrecks in the world. The GLSPS is a registered 501.c3 non-profit organization established in 1996 to stabilize and protect our deteriorating shipwrecks of the Great Lakes region. There’s something about them that speaks to people’s interest.”. CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -A new interactive website documents the hundreds of shipwrecks laying at the bottom of Lake Erie, some include erie pictures of the sunken past. Smithsonian Institution. The Lake Serpent represents just the most recent announcement made by the museum, but it’s not even the only one this year. The National Museum of the Great Lakes reveals the varied and fascinating history of our treasured Great Lakes, which make up 84% of all of the fresh water in North America. The Clarence S. Metcalf Great Lakes Maritime Research Library has been donated to the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes at Bowling Green State University. “And shipwrecks draw people in. The Lake Serpent was lost forever at the bottom of the lake. It's at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in … California Do Not Sell My Info As part of our mission, we propose to identify a shipwreck that might be the oldest discovered shipwreck in Lake Erie. TOLEDO, Ohio -- Shipwreck hunters who spent eight days this summer unearthing and examining the remains of a schooner in Lake Erie in Ohio think … In March, the museum announced the discovery of the Margaret Olwill, a 554-foot barge carrying a load of limestone from Kelleys Island. Within five years, the museum hired Carrie Sowden as archaeological director, and shortly after that, partnered with Cleveland Underwater Explorers (CLUE), a diving group that explores Lake Erie. The Lake Serpent, an eight-year-old, 47-foot schooner, left Cleveland in September 1829 for the 55-mile trip to the Lake Erie Islands. The Center also serves as a focal point of organizing maritime archaeology workshops, documenting Lake Erie shipwrecks, and disseminating shipwreck information to the general public and specific user groups. TOLEDO, Ohio - Shipwreck hunters who spent eight days this summer unearthing and examining the remains of a schooner in Lake Erie in Ohio think it's most likely a sailing Today, shipwrecks fill its waters with mystery. A subject index has been attempted – access it here. In addition, the PGLSRP serves as the headquarters for MAST, the Maritime Archaeological Survey Team, Inc., which is an avocational group dedicated to the documentation of Ohio’s underwater historic resources. Posted in Cleveland April 26, 2018 by Nikki Rhoades 8 Sunken Ships That Lie Deep Beneath The Waters Of Lake Erie The history of Cleveland is preserved amid the city’s streets and buildings, but a different sort of history is preserved just a bit north. ), “We come up with a target list,” says David VanZandt, CLUE’s director and chief archaeologist, who feels enough of a kinship to Lake Erie to refer to it as “my lake.” “We get good location data and narrow down and start searching for [the boat].”. For generations, those ships lay at the bottom of the lake, deteriorating little by little as the waters reduced enormous ships to the point where they are nearly indistinguishable from the lake bottom. GLHS/NMGL still has maintained our collection of log books and ship plans, which are currently stored offsite. Many of these ships were never found, so the exact number of shipwrecks in the Lakes is … Gillcrist was able to convince the board that shipwrecks were not just an important part of the museum’s scope, but the last frontier in the history of the Great Lakes. Thank you for respecting our No Drone Zone policy. Shipwreck Exhibit to Focus on. The ship never made it back, one of thousands to sink on the Great Lakes; the bodies of Captain Ezera Wright and his brother Robert washed ashore in Lorain County, just west of Cleveland. “People have been ‘finding’ it for years, and it always ends up being not that vessel,” Sowden says. Dec 12, 2017 - Explore Tabby C's board "Shipwrecks" on Pinterest. Its shallow waters ——Erie is the shallowest of the five Great Lakes — makes it easier for shipwrecks to be spotted, but that comes with the downside of being found in worse condition. Display will open Feb. 1 at Tom Ridge Environmental Center . One day in 2015, something small showed up on a scan near Kelleys Island. Address: Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum - Whitefish Point 18335 N. Whitefish Point Road, Paradise, MI 49768 Open Daily from May 1-October 31. Robb Frederick 814-898-6063 rgf10@psu.edu. He thought initially it was the Lexington, a schooner that sank in the 1840s. Since our founding in 1945, we have published the award winning journal Inland Seas®. It popped up to the surface after the freighter sank in the gales of November 1975. Lake Erie’s Maritime Heritage. Early on, guests diving aboard the Wachter’s boat would ask about the details of a shipwreck while en route to the site. Come explore the history of the world's greatest natural resource—from canoes and schooners to early steamers and freighters—some of which ply the mighty Maumee River right next to the Museum. To suggest links for our Great Lakes Research Page – please submit them to shipwreck@nmgl.org. Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum: Touristy. Privacy Statement TOLEDO, Ohio - The wreckage of a steamer that sank in Lake Erie over a century ago and eluded shipwreck hunters for decades has finally been found off the Ohio Take all the pictures and videos you want, but be sure to leave your drone at home or in your vehicle! Along with the National Museum of the Great Lakes, the Great Lakes Historical Society operates the Peachman Great Lakes Shipwreck Research Program. But the lakes were also quite treacherous, with plenty of vessels falling victim to bad weather or other misfortune and sinking. It’s been known as Kelleys Island since.). A dive later that year revealed it to be a wooden schooner, and its small size, along with it being buried under decades of sediment, led Kowalczk to believe it was a particularly old one. But there are plenty of other shipwreck artifacts — all brought up before current laws were enacted, Gillcrist notes — at the museum in Toledo, items that weren’t displayed in Vermilion and at least one that couldn’t have been displayed because of its size: A lifeboat from the Edmund Fitzgerald, probably the most famous of all Great Lakes shipwrecks. Its primary purpose is to locate and investigate shipwrecks in Lake Erie but also conducts investigations throughout the Great Lakes. See more ideas about great lakes, great lakes shipwrecks, shipwreck. For generations, those ships lay at the bottom of the lake, deteriorating little by little as the waters reduced enormous ships to the point where they are nearly indistinguishable from the lake bottom. Shipwreck hunters are planning to excavate around a Lake Erie wreck this summer that they think could be the remains of a schooner that went down nearly two centuries ago. The lakes became relatively inexpensive methods to ship cargo, from taconite pellets from Minnesota's Mesabi Iron Range to grain from America’s breadbasket. In the meantime, Sowden would like to do more dives to the Lake Serpent site, but Gillcrist notes that because of Ohio law, they can’t bring anything up to display. Martin. Many libraries across the Great Lakes subscribe to Inland Seas, or you can request article re-prints at 419-214-5000. Each year, The Great Lakes Historical Society through PGLSRP and MAST host a Nautical Archaeology Workshop. Vote Now! “If there’s no good information, [the boat] goes to the bottom of the list,” he says, adding that the public may incorrectly assume that his team ventures out to just “play on the water,” without more precise information. Martin, a coal freighter that foundered in a storm on Lake Erie about two … The Peachman Great Lakes Shipwreck Research Program (PGLSRP) is owned and operated by of The Great Lakes Historical Society. - See 907 traveler reviews, 519 candid photos, and great deals for Paradise, MI, at Tripadvisor. Feb 28, 2014 - Documentation of Steamer Vienna another sunken Lake Superior Ship. For information about the upcoming GLHS-MAST Nautical Archaeology Workshop – Click Here. We offer unique exhibits and hands-on, interactive exhibits for hours of family fun unlike any other tourist attraction in the area! Since beginning their partnership, the team has found around 12 wrecks in Lake Erie, and more in Lake Ontario. 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Yet, ironically, that is exactly how Tom Kowalczk, CLUE’s director of remote sensing, found the Lake Serpent. On Friday, however, the National Museum of the Great Lakes, located in nearby Toledo, announced that the Serpent may have been found, and it is believed to be the oldest-known shipwreck in Lake Erie. A small storm turned into a dangerous gale, ultimately capsizing the vessel in 1899. “It had such a tremendous impact on people’s perception of what a shipwreck is,” he says. Bad weather or other misfortune and sinking Bessemer No quite treacherous, with plenty of vessels taken down violent! On a scan near Kelleys Island ‘ finding ’ it for years, and Great deals for Paradise MI! Mission, we propose to identify a shipwreck that might be the oldest discovered in... The National Museum of the United States one day in 2015, something small showed up a!, Gillcrist understands that they need to be displayed misfortune and sinking sure to your... 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