Steamboat Anthony Wayne located! Believed to be the oldest steamboat sunk in Lake Erie. Found with side scan sonar in September, 2006. Recent dives confirm the identity of a side wheel passenger steamboat.
The Nineties are now complete! All forty 1990 - 1999 Inlands Seas journals.
The Inland Seas Archival Collection, Nineties Edition is now available.
One of the Great Lakes most valuable sources of
historical information from The Great Lakes Historical Society. Ships, schooners, barges and sailors of our past
in fascinating stories of Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and
Lake Ontario including shipwreck and survival. Keep up to date on the
latest developments in Ohio's underwater preserve efforts on the
An all new Side Scan Sonar page has also been added detailing survey information
and underwater discoveries. Follow the activities of the US Revenue Cutter
ERIE as she executes her duties on Lake Erie
from 1833 - 1846
2012 started early but the weather was unpredictable. We were able to get out and do some scanning, extending the area covered from Marblehead east. Several targets were located but none proved to be shipwrecks. One new discovery was made during the season. From the enrollments and newspaper accounts it appears to be the Scow Lilly. She is described as being built at Mud Creek, Ohio in 1858 but this could be in error. Possibly being built in 1853 by E. Bates of Sandusky. The Sandusky newspaper carried the following report:
2011 was a season mixed with success and failures. The spring started with a return to the Battle site survey War of 1812 project. Expanding the search area by adding more sections to the north and to the west. As usual, many magnetometer targets were recorded and a couple of promising side scan targets were found. Magnetometer use was limited by a very tight schedule and it was decided to focus on searching new areas instead of checking on existing targets. By Memorial Day weekend we had completed the search grid. The primary survey work for this project is now complete. There are many, many anomalies to be checked and lots of dive time will be needed to verify all of these possibilities. We did confirm the side scan targets to be modern debris, probably lost from the Camp Perry aircraft.
Frustration! I just cannot find it. A well documented wreck sunk near South Bass Island continues to elude me. I have extended the search area and still have not located this stubborn wreck. A stone barge was discovered but it is not the shipwreck I am looking for. Lots and lots of time has been spent looking at lake bottom. As the old shipwreck hunters saying goes..... "We know where it's not"
2010 returned to a more normal level of activity with no scheduled survey work on the calendar. The boat required an increased amount of maintenance prior to launch which started the season very, very late. Picking up on survey areas that had been started in prior years, it didn't take long to find the first new shipwreck of the season. A very nice little stone barge close to South Bass Island was discovered. This wreck is unidentified but was probably a local work barge and may not have been in the registry. She is completely open and full of stone. Several targets identified in the BofLE survey were planned for further investigation but scheduling conflicts and other priorities never allowed the trip so that work is now planned for 2011. A number of side scan trips were made to fill in sections of prior search areas and a small boat was located off Kelleys Island among other small debris and objects. Finally, all the potential targets found in previous side scan surveys were checked and verified, unfortunately these all turned out to be natural obstructions.
The 2009 season was consumed by two major projects. The search for the original battle site during the War of 1812 fight between Oliver Hazard Perry and Robert Heroit Barclay in the Battle of Lake Erie, 1813. The Battle of Lake Erie and Vessel Anchorage Survey was set up to utilize sonar and magnetometer technology to survey the bottom of the lake bottom. After analysis of these survey results, the plan was to investigate possible targets with divers and an underwater metal detector. The survey was initially set up to run 100’ line spacing, to hopefully cover about 7 square miles of lake. Since the magnetometer would not likely detect buried cannonballs in 100’ line spacing, we decided to make the lines only 50’ wide. This is a very small, but high intensity scan process. Because the spacing was reduced, we were only able to cover 3 square miles. This area was 3½ miles east to west and about 1 mile north to south. Over the course of 4 weeks and 14 actual work days that we were able to survey, we collected an enormous amount of data. In the end, we noted over 1000 magnetic anomalies, each a possible target and several side scan targets.
Work on the Battle Site was suspended in order to move to the ANTHONY WAYNE wreck site. Work continued with the Texas A&M graduate program team conducting a detailed investigation of the horizontal engine and associated equipment by dredging this area of the wreck. Thirty days were spent in this survey project including a detailed sub-surface scan of the area around the exposed wreckage. Utilizing a sub-bottom profiler, the unexposed portions of the wreck were identified and mapped.
A return to the Battle Site survey area late in the year involved many investigative dives to determine the source of individual anomalies. Many beer cans, shells and miscellaneous junk was located as well as some very interesting iron fragments that remain unidentified.
We did manage to squeeze in some time for side scan searching and were able to find at least one new vessel. A very fine intact schooner/barge yet to be identified.
The 2008 season was filled with shipwreck activities. Early in the year several verification searches were made on sites that showed possible targets from previous side scan surveys. Unfortunately, no new discoveries were made. Beginning is mid June daily dives were made to the steamboat Anthony Wayne. Underwater archaeological studies were completed over four weeks until mid July by Texas A&M University and Great Lakes Historical Society divers. One new schooner was discovered but only two dives were made on this shipwreck. More dives are planned in 2009 with pictures and video documentation to follow. Plans are being developed for the Battle of Lake Erie 1812 survey to begin in the Spring of 2009. Research and study of the actual battle site is expected to be exciting and informative on this historically significant event.
The 2007 season added several new shipwreck discoveries. Over 100 hours of side scanning was completed with the discovery of four new shipwrecks. All of these are believed to be virgin sites. One barge, two schooners, one scow. Additional research will be necessary to confirm details that will provide more positive identification of these wrecks. Until then they will remain unnamed although their location and cargos allow a short list of probable vessels,
If you have information on any of the shipwrecks in Western Lake Erie waters, please share the information here so it can be added to the list of shipwrecks that have been located.
Recent Projects by Lake Electronics
Lake Electronics publishes several "out of print" journals and periodicals in electronic format. Original publications are converted to PDF (portable document format) an ADOBE® product that is universally readable. The advantage is regardless of the computer system in use, the electronic publications will look the same on all systems. The electronic versions of the original documents are identical in every way. Page layout, graphics, text size, font and style are all preserved as the original. Currently, we are working on the Great Lakes Historical Society's INLAND SEAS JOURNALS. A sample of the first publication, January, 1945, can be viewed on another page.
Detroit District Vessel Enrollments 1818 - 1889
List of Merchant Vessels of the United States 1868 - 1910
Logbooks of the US Revenue Cutter Erie 1833 - 1846
Canadian Dept of Transport Records Register of Wrecks
Marine Record 1883 - 1903
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