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Thursday, June 24, 2010

112 Year Old Lost Shipwreck Found in Lake Michigan

My mom and stepfather have a home right on the water in Lake Michigan, so imagine their surprise to be right in the middle of some good old fashion archaeology, with a huge chunk of missing history. The 112 year old shipwreck discovered was the result of a century old storm in Lake Michigan.

The discovery of the L.R. Doty, a 300 foot-long steamship, is a monumental event  for Brendon Baillod, the president of the Wisconsin Underwater Archaeology Association. The 112 year old ship is the largest wooden boat unaccounted for and was carrying corn from South Chicago to Ontario, Canada in October 1898. The boat disappeared after 30 foot waves combined with heavy winds engulfed the entire ship.

The Doty should have been able to handle the weather. The ship was only five years old, and the 300-foot wooden behemoth's hull was reinforced with steel arches.

But it was towing a small schooner, the Olive Jeanette, which began to founder in the storm after the tow line apparently snapped, Baillod said. The Doty probably sank when it came to the schooner's aid. All 17 of its crew members died, along with the ship's cats, Dewey and Watson.
Read more about the L.R. Doty shipwreck in Lake Michigan


Mike Golch said...

Cool Thanks for the info.

jo oliver said...

Corn...darn! Was hoping for some treasure:)

Anonymous said...

This is definitely an interesting post. I would love to see it in person. Thank you for sharing.

Richard Wing said...

Unfortunate that these crew members died and the cats, too. But for archeologists, this must be a great underwater discovery for research. On another note, I used to visit Bay City, Michigan. Beautiful state.

Anonymous said...

There are still a number of lost sunken ships in the Great Lakes to be found. Rare, but sometimes items from these wash-up on shore.

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