Ludington shipwreck

Thanks to Mlive for this:

LUDINGTON, MI – Historians are working to identify a shipwreck that recently emerged on the beach near Ludington State Park.

The wreckage, a hull fragment from a wooden vessel, was discovered the evening of Friday, April 24, 2020 on the Lake Michigan beach north of Ludington, according to a press release from the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum.

The construction and measurements are consistent with schooners built between the 1850s and 1880s.

High water tends to reveal long-buried shipwrecks, and several around Lake Michigan have recently become visible. The waters between Big and Little Sable Points are notoriously dangerous. Dozens of ships have become total losses between the points, some in deep water offshore, but many more grounding near shore. Some were salvaged if not too badly damaged, others were left to break up in the surf.

Ludington shipwreck

Over 300 ships have grounded on the west coast of Michigan over the last 170 years, at least 20 of those between the two Point Sables.

Last November, the wreckage of a flat-bottomed wooden barge emerged along the Lake Michigan shoreline just south of Muskegon’s Kruse Park. It’s believed the early 1900s barge was hauling a steam crane that sank in the mid-1930s, according to the West Michigan Underwater Preserve.

On April 19, a wreck was located on a northern Lake Michigan beach near Manistique and identified by the MSRA as the R. Kanters, which blew ashore in September 1903, according to a post on the MSRA’s website. The R. Kanters, named after former Holland mayor Rokus Kanters, was a two-masted schooner built in 1873 that operated for a time out of Holland and Grand Haven.

Ludington shipwreck

The recently discovered Ludington wreckage measures 32 feet by 8 feet and consists of 15 “ribs” with planking on both sides, according to the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum.

In the 1980s, a large wooden rudder, possibly from the same wreck, washed ashore nearby, according to the museum. And a few years ago, staff from Ludington State Park found a large wooden windlass – a type of winch — that also may be from the same wreck that had washed ashore, the museum reported.

Researchers from the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum and MSRA have identified several possible vessels that wreckage could be from: the J.B. Skinner, built in 1841; the J.O. Moss, built in 1863; the Eclipse, built in 1852; the Orphan Boy, built in 1862; and the wooden-hulled tug the Frank Canfield, built in 1875.

Ludington shipwreck

Leave a ReplyCancel reply