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Long-lost shipwreck from 1880s discovered in Lake Michigan, says historical society

Sep 2, 2023, 6:49 PM

The Wisconsin Historical Society released this image from Lake Michigan. (Courtesy: Wisconsin Histo...

The Wisconsin Historical Society released this image from Lake Michigan. (Courtesy: Wisconsin Historical Society)

(Courtesy: Wisconsin Historical Society)

(CNN) —A ship missing since the late 1800s has been discovered in Lake Michigan, the Wisconsin Historical Society said Friday.

“Shipwreck hunters and historians Brendon Baillod and Bob Jaeck located the wreck of the schooner Trinidad in 270 feet of water off Algoma earlier this year,” read a Facebook post.

The schooner Trinidad, built in 1867 in New York, was a “canaller” or canal schooner “specially built to pass through the Welland Canal that connected Lake Erie and Ontario,” the historical society said. “The vessel was built for the Great Lakes grain trade between Milwaukee, Chicago, Buffalo and Oswego. Trinidad hauled coal or iron from New York and returned with Midwest grain.”

The organization said the ship’s owners did not invest much money into its upkeep, leaving its career relatively short.

“On its final voyage on May 11, 1881, Trinidad was traveling down the coast of Wisconsin towards Milwaukee where the vessel began to fill with water … the Trinidad continued on course until the vessel suddenly and violently lurched and began to sink,” the post read. “The captain and the crew immediately escaped in the ship’s yawl and after battling waves, the cold crew made it into Algoma (then Ahnapee).”

The ship’s mascot, a large Newfoundland dog, was asleep when the ship began to sink and was the only loss on board, the post says.

The historical society praised the “remarkable” discovery. “Although the Trinidad is an obscure in the number of shipwrecks still left undiscovered in Wisconsin waters, it remains a significant shipwreck.”


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Long-lost shipwreck from 1880s discovered in Lake Michigan, says historical society