Shipwreck 3: The Schooner Barge, Michigan
October 2, 1901- The steamer M.M. Drake (same vessel which towed the Dot, as noted above) was towing the schooner-barge Michigan in the vicinity of Vermilion Point, 12 miles west of Whitefish Point. Both vessels were struggling in rough weather, when suddenly the Michigan’s hold begins filling with water. Captain J.W. Nicholson maneuvered the M.M. Drake alongside the Michigan, with the latter ship’s crew jumping from their sinking ship onto the Drake. Within minutes, a massive wave smashes the two vessels together, destroying the M.M. Drake’s smokestack, leaving the ship without steam-pressure. Without power, the Drake soon lost headway and waves swept over her decks. Both ship’s crews were now in danger, but two large steel steamers, the Crescent City and Northern Wave, were close by and maneuvered-in to rescue the combined crews. Mr. Harry Brown, the Michigan’s cook, was the only casualty in this unusual double sinking. The remains of the M.M. Drake were discovered in 1978 by the Shipwreck Society, and her rudder is on exhibit at Whitefish Point. The Michigan’s hull is in 650’ of water.
It has been a banner year for the Shipwreck Society!
GLSHS Director of Marine Operations, Darryl Ertel, says much of the success is because he can search wider and faster this year. “We have well over 2500 miles of searching this year alone. We’re searching 100 miles a day. We’re travelling at over 9 miles an hour as we’re searching and we’re seeing great detail on the bottom, it’s amazing.”
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum Executive Director, Bruce Lynn commented, “This has been a great year for us at the Shipwreck Museum, and we have never located so many new wrecks in one season. Each shipwreck has its own story…and the drama of the Drake and the Michigan, and the rescue of both crews…these are fantastic, true stories that we can tell in the museum someday.”
Media Contact: Bruce Lynn, email@example.com or 906-635-1742
The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society was founded in 1978 by a group of divers, teachers, and educators to commence exploration of historic shipwrecks in eastern Lake Superior, near Whitefish Point in Michigan’s scenic Upper Peninsula. Today, this non-profit organization operates two museum sites on historic properties: The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Whitefish Point Light Station, Whitefish Point; and the U.S. Weather Bureau Building, Soo Locks Park, Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. The Shipwreck Museum is open to the public seasonally from May 1 to October 31.