1830’s Sloop Discovered in Lake Michigan
NUMA and the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association discovered the 60-foot sloop last year during its search for Northwest Airlines Flight 2501, which crashed into the lake in 1950. Little is known of the single-masted ship, which could date back as far as the 1830s. The sloop was found in about 250 feet of water southwest of Saugatuck. Three features made it different from sailing vessels dating to the mid- and late-19-century: the lack of a centerboard, the presence of a raised afterdeck and deadlights (a pair of openings) in the stern that allowed light to reach the cargo hold.
MSRA 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 ships discovered in the southern basin of the lake.
The vessel sits upright and is in surprisingly good condition considering it was built nearly 200 years ago.
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