1830s Sloop Discovered off Saugatuck

Stern of Mystery Ship, photo by Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates

Through Absolute Michigan we found out about a cool discovery off South Haven by Holland-based Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates in collaboration with nationally acclaimed author Clive Cussler and his sonar operator Ralph Wilbanks of the National Underwater & Marine Agency (NUMA).

MSRA’s historians have verified that the vessel’s construction and design is consistent with ships built in the 1820s and 1830s, making it perhaps one of the oldest vessels discovered in the southern basin of Lake Michigan. The vessel sits upright and is in surprisingly good condition considering it was built nearly 200 years ago. Exact identification will be difficult as these small, early sloops were rarely documented and most had wrecked or been scrapped before photography became available. MSRA will continue to research and explore the wreck during the 2011 season.

Underwater video of this new discovery will be shown at the annual “Mysteries and Histories Beneath the Inland Seas” evening event on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm at Holland’s historic Knickerbocker Theatre.

We have all the details (including a video and sonar showing the ship) on Absolute Michigan and you can learn about and register for the conference at the MSRA web site!

Check this photo out bigger and see it and a couple more in their slideshow.

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