Exceptionally Well-Preserved Shipwreck Discovered in Lake Superior


A remarkably well-preserved shipwreck from 132 years ago has been located near the northern shores of Lake Superior, Minnesota's Pioneer Press and Forum News Service report. In 1884, the 130-foot-long J.S. Seaverns sank near the Ontario harbor of Michipicoten, a dangerous area on the northeast side of the lake that had never been surveyed.

While leaving a stop at the port one May night, the 4-year-old ship struck a rock, and sunk while trying to get to shore. Luckily, the whole group of crew and passengers, 60 in all, survived. In addition to passengers, the Seaverns hauled freight shipments between lumber camps and railroad construction sites, and lost more than $30,000 worth of cargo when it went down.

Courtesy Bowling Green State University

The long-forgotten ship was located by a group of shipwreck enthusiasts using sonar in July. Their dives and camera footage show that much of the ship is still intact, including the wheel, some of the lower cabins, dishes still stacked in cupboards, and more. Most of the hull seems to be intact, too, and the divers couldn’t find the hole that sank her. Some of the freight the ship was carrying, like equipment for a planing mill, is still in good shape, too.

However, the wreck-probing group won’t be back to the scene anytime soon, because of the difficulty of getting to the remote and still-precarious location. For now, they’re still examining the data they brought back from their first quest.

[h/t Pioneer Press]