November 5, 2007
Global Underwater Explorers page on diving the Vienna says that although extended range divers often use the Vienna as a “blow-off dive because it’s shallow and near shore, it’s also one of the finest wrecks to dive in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. They write that this 191′ wooden steamer:
…came to her demise the same way that many do in Lake Superior, by collision. On 16 September 1892, she was down bound from Marquette, Michigan, with a load of iron ore. In tow was the schooner Mattie C. Bell. At Whitefish Point, the Vienna met up with the Nipigon. The Nipigon also had schooners in tow. Without warning, the Nipigon suddenly veered and struck the Vienna. Despite the efforts of both crews to save the Vienna, the vessel sank approximately one mile from shore. It was never fully understood why the Nipigon veered off course.
You can get more information about this wreck and others near Whitefish Point including a great photo of the Vienna at the ore docks in Marquette at Nordic Diver’s page on the wreck of the steamer Vienna.
Michael Schout has more photos of diving the Vienna (slideshow) and from diving more Great Lakes wrecks including the William Young, Panther, Minneapolis, Northwest, Sandusky and the Eber Ward in his very cool Diving set.
Much more shipwreck info (along with another great photo from Michael) can be found at the Absolute Michigan word of the week: Shipwreck!