LUCINDA VAN VULKENBURG

GPS Location: N45° 03.380’ W83° 10.180’

Depth: 60 Feet

Wreck Length: 128 Feet 

Beam: 26 Feet

Gross Tonnage: 301 

Cargo: Coal

Launched: 1862 by Albert Little at Tonawanda, New York

Wrecked: May 31, 1887

 

Description: The Lucinda Van Valkenburg was built in 1862.  25 years later it was lost on Lake Huron.  Bound for Chicago with a load of coal, it was struck by the iron propeller Lehigh about 2 miles northeast of Thunder Bay Island.  The crew was picked up by the Lehigh and taken to Port Huron. The sunken Van Valkenburg presented a dangerous obstruction to other vessels, as the masts remained standing high out of the water from just below the crosstrees.

W.G. MASON

GPS Location : N45°24.639' W83°44.833'

Depth: 13 Feet

Wreck Length: 84 Feet 

Beam: 21 Feet

Gross Tonnage: 99 

Cargo: Light

Launched: 1898 by Jenks Shipbuilding Company in Port Huron, Michigan

Wrecked: Circa 1924

 

Description: In 1924 the W.G. Mason was dismantled and its steering gear removed and the tug’s enrollment was surrendered as “abandoned and dismantled at Rogers City” in December 1926. The lower bilge is covered in dropped fasteners, broken machinery, steel grating, angle iron, twisted reinforcement bands, and miscellaneous debris and shows clear evidence of burning. The hull and rudder are sheathed in plate iron.

D.M. WILSON

GPS Location: N45° 03.920’ W83° 10.928’

Depth: 40 Feet 

Wreck Length: 179 Feet 

Beam: 32 FeetGross Tonnage: 758 Cargo: Coal

Launched: 1873 by Simon Langell at St. Clair, Michigan

Wrecked: October 27,1894

 

Description: The D.M. Wilson was headed for Milwaukee with a load of coal when it sprang a leak and began sinking. The steamers Hudson and Samuel Mitchell took it in tow, but it foundered in 40 feet of water two miles north of Thunder Bay Island.  The crew was rescued by a fourth ship.  The Wilson was broken up by a gale 10 days later, when debris was driven as far south as Tawas.  Much of the machinery was later salvaged.  Most of the Wilson’s hull remains intact today, including a large windlass that rests on the bow.  

 

 

THE SHIPWRECKS OF THUNDER BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY
Imaged for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries by David J. Ruck
W.H. ROUNDS

Built 1875, by Parsons & Humble in Tonawanda, NY, Depth: 12'

Wreck Length: 138 feet

Beam 26 feet,

Cargo: Coal 

Wrecked: May 2, 1905

 

Description forthcoming.

W.P. THEW

GPS Location: N45° 02.705’ W83° 09.205’

Depth: 84 Feet

Wreck Length: 132 Feet Beam: 24 Feet

Gross Tonnage: 206 

Cargo: None

Launched: 1884 by H.D. Root at Lorain, Ohio

Wrecked: June 22, 1909

 

Description: The W. P. Thew was one of about 700 19th-century Great Lakes steamers designed to carry forest products like logs, lumber, railroad ties, or shingles.  After a 25-year career, Thew was lost in a "hit and run" accident.  Just off Thunder Bay Island, the ship was struck in a fog by the 545-foot freighter William Livingston and sent to the bottom.  The Livingston didn't stop after the collision.  Although the Thew sank quickly, no lives were lost.  Today its remains lie splayed out on the bottom with all of the machinery and deck equipment displayed at the site. 

DUNCAN CITY

GPS Location : N45°24.787' W83°45.733'

Depth: 15 Feet 

Wreck Length: 104 Feet 

Beam: 19 Feet

Gross Tonnage: 112 Cargo: Light

Launched: 1883 by Rand and Burger in Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Wrecked: circa 1923

 

Description: In 1927 the Michigan Limestone and Chemical Company of Rogers City surrendered Duncan City’s enrollment as “Abandoned as unfit for service.” The tug’s stern portion is largely intact with metal skeg, four bladed cast iron propeller, shaft and coupling still in place. A square iron post, wooden blade rudder is located astern of the propeller. The after deck with iron cleats and transom fashion pieces is disarticulated but somewhat intact. Most of the hull is covered by large cut limestone blocks and rip rap possibly indicating service as a breakwater for the nearby Calcite quarry.

MONTANA

GPS Location: N44° 59.025’ W83° 16.013’

Depth: 63 Feet

Wreck Length: 236 Feet 

Beam: 36 Feet

Gross Tonnage: 1536 

Cargo: None

Launched: 1872 by Muir and Livingston at Port Huron, Michigan

Wrecked: September 6, 1914

 

Description:The Montana was originally a swift package freighter operated by the New York Central Railroad’s Western Transit Company.  In 1909, she was rebuilt as a lumber carrier.   En route from Detroit to Georgian Bay to load lumber in 1914, it caught fire, burned to the water’s edge, and sank off Thunder Bay’s North Point.  Today, the bow is broken open, but many interesting hull features can still be seen at the site.  It's engine, boiler, shaft and propeller are all in place, while the windlass, capstan and rudder also lie among the wreckage.

NEW ORLEANS

GPS Location : N45° 02.579’ W83° 14.425’
Depth: 15 Feet 
Wreck Length: 130 Feet 

Beam: 27 Feet
Gross Tonnage: 610 

Cargo: Passengers and freight
Launched: 1838 by B.F. Goodsell at Detroit, Michigan
Wrecked: June 14, 1849

 

Description: The New Orleans was originally called Vermillion, but it was rebuilt and renamed New Orleans after a disastrous fire in 1842; it was also lengthened from 131 to 165 feet at the time.  During the night of June 13,1849 it was steaming North on Lake Huron when it ran into a heavy fog off Thunder Bay.  Early on the 14th, it strayed from its route and ran onto a reef at Sugar Island.  Her passengers were transferred safely to Thunder Bay Island by local fishermen, and later picked up by a passing steamer. Strong winds and waves destroyed the stranded vessel a few days later. 

NORTH BAY WRECK

THIS WRECK HAS YET TO BE DEFINITIVELY IDENTIFIED.

JOSEPH S. FAY

GPS Location: N45°29.317’ W83° 54.600’
Depth: 17 Feet 
Wreck Length: 216 Feet 

Beam: 34 Feet
Gross Tonnage: 1221 

Cargo: Iron Ore
Built: 1871 by Quayle and Martin at Cleveland, Ohio
Wrecked: October 19, 1905


Description: With the D.P. Rhodes in tow, the giant bulk freighter Joseph S. Fay encountered a strong gale in northern Lake Huron. Fay hit the rocks at 40 Mile Point, the towline parted and the Rhodes met a similar fate at Cheboygan. The Fay broke apart quickly and its lower hull still containing a load of iron ore sits in shallow water not far from shore, while a large portion of the starboard side is located on the beach just up the shore from the lighthouse.

LORETTA

GPS Location : N44°48.903' W83°16.955'
Depth: 7 Feet
Wreck Length: 140 Feet 

Beam: 31 Feet
Gross Tonnage: 394 

Cargo: Chain
Launched: 1892 by Carpenter Brothers in Sebewaing, Michigan
Wrecked: October 7, 1896

 

Description: The steamer Loretta caught fire while lying at a dock and was finally towed into the lake where it burned to the water’s edge. The wreck’s stern is largely complete and features deadwood, shaft log, propeller shaft, skeg, and broken machinery. The wooden keelson is encased in iron to protect it during bulk loading and unloading, and to increase the ship’s longitudinal strength. The bow and all structure above the waterline are missing.

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© 2018 David J. Ruck

1950 Wright Street

Marquette, Michigan

49855 USA

231-329-3107

David.Ruck@gmail.com

www.davidjruck.com

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