Archived Pages from 20th Century!!
Minnesota's Lake Superior Shipwrecks
The cold fresh water of the Great Lakes has preserved
an important part of our history - in shipwrecks! Each one is a unique
and integral part of the fabric of America's maritime heritage. Together,
they provide physical contact with and offer an exciting opportunity to
explore the past. Because they represent a valuable but finite and nonrenewable
resource, we must provide for their protection and preservation. If we
don't, the first generation to have ready access to shipwrecks will be
the last to enjoy them.
In the interest of preserving Minnesota's Lake Superior
shipwrecks and other underwater archaeological sites, the State Historic
Preservation Office of the Minnesota Historical Society has initiated a
program of submerged cultural resource management. The Society hopes you
will join its effort to preserve our maritime heritage.
Tip: Click on the ship's
image or name below for an online exhibit of text and photos.
Tip: Most of the photos have full size versions,
click on the photo to view it.
steel whaleback steamer Thomas
Wilson sank in a collision outside of Duluth harbor on June
9, 1902. With holds still full of Mesabi ore, the steamer lies in 70 feet
of water. Photos
a schooner-barge built in 1900, was one of 20 ships wrecked in a violent
storm near Split Rock in 1905. Photos
log rafting tug Niagara,
built in 1872, sank off Knife Island in 1904. Remains of the Niagara
include a large section of the bow and a section of the side lying in 80
to 100 feet of water. Photos
1915, the first iron-built bulk freighter on the Great Lakes, the Onoko
sank about six miles east of Knife River. The Onoko lies
upside down in 200 feet of water. Photos
wooden freighter Hesper,
battered in a storm, sank on May 3, 1905, en route to Two Harbors. The
well-preserved remains of the hull lie in shallow water near the Silver
Bay breakwater. Photos
Essex (1874-1931), a navy gunboat that burned and sank in shallow
water near Duluth, was one of the last vessels built by Donald McKay, the
master builder of clipper ships. Photos
Coming in February
Amboy (1874-1905), a wooden schooner-barge, sank during the
famous Mataafa Storm south of Taconite Harbor. An archaeological survey
there has located the remains of the George Spencer (1884-1905),
the vessel that had been towing the Amboy.
Coming in February
wooden schooner, the Samuel P. Ely, was wrecked on October
29, 1896 when she broke from a tug at Two Harbors, Minnesota in a gale,
and then blew across the harbor into the stone breakwater then under construction.
Funding for this project was approved by the Minnesota Legislature
(1996-97; ML 1995 Chapter 220, Sec. 19 Sudb. 12 (f); 1992-93, ML 91, Chapter
254, Art. I, Sec. 14 Subd. 3(h), and 1990-91 ML 89, Chapter 335, Art. 1,
Sec. 23, Subd. 9(f))as recommended by the Legislative Commission on Minnesota
Resources from the Minnesota Future Resources Fund.
© 1996 Minnesota Historical Society
MHS Copyright and Use Information