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Lake Michigan Coastal Program > Indiana Shipwrecks > Listing of Indiana Shipwrecks Listing of Indiana Shipwrecks

HOME | THE PROJECT | SHIPWRECKS | DIVING | VIRTUAL TOURS
J.D. MARSHALL NATURE PRESERVE

Shipwrecks

Car - Ferry - No - 2
F.W. - Wheeler
George - F. - Williams
Horace - A. - Tuttle
J.D. - Marshall
Material - Service
Muskegon
Unknown - No. - 3
Unknown - No. - 4
Unknown - No. - 5
Unknown - No. - 6
Unknown - No. - 7
Unknown - No. - 8
Unknown - No. - 9

The Car Ferry No. 2

Architectural features, reinforcement timbers, view northwest north, July 28, 2011.Credit: Colin Zylka.

Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name Car Ferry No. 2
Vessel Type Train Car Ferry
Date Built 1895
Where Built West Bay, MI
Size The ship measured 309.9 ft (94.5 m) in length by 44.2 ft (13.5 m) abeam with a draft of 12 ft (3.7 m) and weighed 1548 gross tons.
Usage Transport train cars across Lake Michigan and was part of the Lake Michigan (Railroad) Car Ferry Transportation Company fleet.
Date Sunk * September 29, 1906
Reason for Loss Capsized during a storm
Depth of Wreck 45 feet
Nearest City South Chicago, Illinois
Details Capsized after being released by the tugboat J.C. Ames. Three lives were lost.

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Archaeologist mapping timbers. View northeast north, July 28, 2011. Credit: Colin Zylka. Architectural features, reinforcement timbers, view northwest north, July 28, 2011.Credit: Colin Zylka. Tape measure next to a scarph joint in the hull, view north, July 28, 2011. Credit: Colin Zylka.

Wreck Photos/Drawings Archaeological sidescan sketch map of shipwreck site, 2011.
Other Info Virtual Tour

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The F.W. Wheeler

View of vessel’s port side. Credit: Marine Review, Cleveland, Ohio,

Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name F.W. Wheeler
Vessel Type Bulk Freighter
Date Built 1887
Where Built West Bay City, MI
Size The ship measured 265.5 feet in length by 40.5 feet abeam with a draft of 19.4 feet, and weighed 2300 gross tons.
Usage Cargo transport, industrial materials such as coal
Date Sunk * December 3, 1893
Reason for Loss Stranded during a winter storm
Depth of Wreck 15 feet
Nearest City Michigan City, Indiana
Details It was carrying a cargo of 2,100 tons of coal from Buffalo on its way to Chicago. Local lifesaving crew rescued all 16 sailors in two trips, but ship was a total loss.

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View of vessel’s bow, circa 1890. Used with permission, C.
Wreck Photos/Drawings The F. W. Wheeler archaeological sketch map of circa 1985

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The George F. Williams

View of vessel’s starboard side, circa 1900. Used with permission, Great Lakes Marine Collection of the Milwaukee Public Library / Milwaukee Public Library

Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name George F. Williams
Vessel Type Bulk Freighter
Date Built * July 24, 1889
Where Built West Bay City, Michigan
Size The ship measured 280 feet in length by 41.4 feet abeam with a draft of 21.3 feet, and weighed 1888 gross tons.
Usage Transport of commercial and industrial goods across Lake Michigan
Date Sunk * April 21, 1915
Reason for Loss Abandoned and sunk
Depth of Wreck 15 feet
Nearest City Whiting, Indiana
Details The vessel was abandoned in 1913 and was eventually towed offshore and sunk.

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Southwest corner of boiler at center part of wreck with a bass, 2012. View West. Propeller and rudder, view from port side. View east. Remaining metal gears north of rudder, taken from center. Northwest corner of boiler with port sidewall, at center of wreck, taken from interior of wreck. View southeast.

Wreck Photos/Drawings Achaeological sidescan sketch map of shipwreck site, 2011.

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Horace A. Tuttle

View of vessel’s port side, circa 1898. Used with permission, Great Lakes Marine Collection of the Milwaukee Public Library / Milwaukee Public Library

Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name Horace A. Tuttle
Vessel Type Bulk Freighter
Date Built 1887
Where Built Unknown
Size The ship measured 250 feet in length by 38.7 feet abeam with a draft of 20 feet, and the ship weight is currently unknown.
Usage Transport of agricultural products such as corn
Date Sunk * October 26, 1898
Reason for Loss Stranded during a severe storm in a storm.
Depth of Wreck 24 feet
Nearest City Michigan City, Indiana
Details Following this shipwreck, rotten corn washed up on beach for many years. No lives were lost because all 14 crew members were rescued by the local lifesaving station.
Picture(s) None
Wreck Photos/Drawings View of vessel’s port side after wrecking, October 1898. Used with permission, C. Patrick Labadie Collection / Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Alpena, Mich.

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J.D. Marshall

 View of vessel’s starboard side with cargo of lumber, circa 1908. Used with permission, Great Lakes Marine Collection of the Milwaukee Public Library / Milwaukee Public Library

Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name J.D. Marshall
Vessel Type Cannaler
Date Built 1891
Where Built South Haven, MI
Size The ship measured 154.5 feet in length by 33.5 feet abeam with a draft of 12 feet, and weighed 531 gross tons.
Usage Transport of commercial and industrial goods, such as lumber. Later, the vessel was converted to a sand-sucker or sand barge.
Date Sunk * June 11, 1911
Reason for Loss Capsized in a storm.
Depth of Wreck 29 feet
Nearest City Indiana Dunes State Park, Indiana
Details Four lives were lost when the vessel sunk. After capsizing, the vessel floated close to shore for several days before sinking. The company that owned the Muskegon used the insurance money from that loss to buy the J. D. Marshall.

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Hull planking, east of boiler in the center part of the site. View southeast, July 20, 2011. Boiler in the center part of the site, view southwest.July 20, 2011. Boiler in the center part of the site, view northwest. July 20, 2011. Keelson in the very east part of the site, view southwest. July 20, 2011. Hardware in the center part of the site, view south. July 20, 2011. Shovel artifact in the center part of the site, view southwest. July 20, 2011. The J. D. Marshall boiler, view south. 1985 The J. D. Marshall keel with rudder removed, view northwest. 1985.
Wreck Photos/Drawings Archaeological sidescan sketch map of shipwreck site, 2011. Archaeological sketch map of shipwreck site, circa 1985.
Other Info Dive Video | Virtual Tour | Nature Preserve

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The Material Service Barge

Historic picture, view of vessel’s stern, unloading gravel cargo, circa 1930-1935.Used with permission, Great Lakes Marine Collection of the Milwaukee Public Library / Milwaukee Public Library.

Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name Material Service
Vessel Type Self-unloading barge
Date Built 1929 by Leatham D. Smith for the Smith-Putnam Navigation Company
Where Built Sturgeon Bay, WI
Size The ship measured 239.7 feet in length by 40.1 feet abeam with a draft of 13.9 feet, and weighed 1077 gross tons, or 736 net tons
Usage Built specifically to transport sand and gravel from Lake Michigan to docks up the Chicago River
Date Sunk 1936
Reason for Loss Foundered during a storm
Depth of Wreck 35 feet
Nearest City South Chicago, Illinois
Details On the fateful last journey, the ship departed Lockport, Illinois, headed for South Chicago. Captain Charlie D. Brown commanded the vessel; he did not survive. Reportedly, a large wave washed over the ship, causing it to list sharply, before much of the crew could react and get free of their bunks. At the time of the disaster, the ship had a cargo of 2,500 tons of sand or gravel. It was owned by Material Service Company of Chicago; their loss was estimated at $500,000 in 1936.

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Hatch opening and ladder at the bow of the site of the Material Service, view west. July 28, 2011.Archaeologist documenting air vent at the stern of the site, view northwest. July 28, 2011.Small mouth bass and part of the self-unloader equipment toward the stern of the site, view north. July 28, 2011.Historic picture, view of vessel’s stern, traveling in the Chicago River, circa 1930-1935. Used with permission, Great Lakes Marine Collection of the Milwaukee Public Library / Milwaukee Public Library

Wreck Photos/Drawings Archaeological sidescan sketch map of shipwreck site, 2011.Sidescan image of Material Service Archaelogical Site, view west.
Other Info Dive Video | Virtual Tour

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The Muskegon

The Muskegon [Peerless] historic picture, view of vessel’s port side when it was a passenger vessel, circa 1880. Used with permission, Great Lakes Marine Collection of the Milwaukee Public Library / Milwaukee Public Library

Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name The Muskegon
(also known as the Peerless)
Vessel Type Package Freighter
Date Built 1872
Where Built Unknown
Size The ship measured 211 feet in length by 39.9 feet abeam with a draft of 12.5 feet, and weighed 1199 gross tons.
Usage First as a passenger-steamer ship called the Peerless and then as a transport for commercial goods.
Date Sunk * October 6, 1910
Reason for Loss Burned while at dock and then was towed out into lake Michigan where it was abandoned.
Depth of Wreck 32 feet
Nearest City Michigan City, Indiana
Details The vessel ran between Chicago and Duluth when it was a passenger ship. In 1908, the vessel was renamed the Muskegon and converted to a bulk freighter. Sometime later it was re-converted to a sandsucker. No lives were lost when the ship burned.

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Muskegon, July 19, 2011.Muskegon, July 19, 2011.Hull timbers in the south part of the site, view west July 20, 2011Machinery in the south part of the site, view south. July 20, 2011In between the two boilers of the Muskegon, view east. July 20, 2011Machinery in the south part of the site of the Muskegon, view east. July 20, 2011The Muskegon historic picture, view of vessel’s starboard side when it was a passenger vessel, circa 1870s. Used with permission, Great Lakes Marine Collection of the Milwaukee Public Library / Milwaukee Public Library

Wreck Photos/Drawings Historic picture of vessel at dock after being burned, view of vessel’s starboard side, 1911.Historic picture of vessel at dock after being burned, view of vessel’s bow, 1911.Sketch map of shipwreck site, circa 1985.Archaeological sidescan sketch map of shipwreck site, 2011.
Other Info Dive Video | Virtual Tour

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Unknown No. 3

Unknown No. 3 archaeological sketch map of site, circa 1985.

Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name Unknown No. 3
Vessel Type Canaller
Date Built Unknown, circa 19th to 20th century
Where Built unknown at this time
Size Remaining portion of the main frame measured 83.4 feet in length by 34.6 feet abeam. It was estimated that this vessel would have been 160 to 200 feet long.
Usage Likely, bulk cargo, such as lumber
Date Sunk Unknown
Reason for Loss Unknown
Depth of Wreck Shoreline, possibly buried as of 2011.
Nearest City Pines, Indiana
Details Only a portion of the main frame was identified in the 1980s

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Unknown No. 3 exposed, view northeast, circa 1984.Unknown No. 3 exposed with SAVE members conducting documentation, view northeast, circa 1984.
Wreck Photos/Drawings Unknown No. 3 archaeological sketch map of site, circa 1985.

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Unknown No. 4

Unknown No. 4 archaeological sketch map of shipwreck site, circa 1985.

Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name Unknown No.4
Vessel Type Vessel is a small wooden vessel,
possibly a schooner or a canaller
Date Built Unknown, circa 19th to 20th century
Where Built Unknown
Size The remaining portion of the main frame measured 86 feet long by 18 to 20 feet abeam with a draft of 6 feet and an estimated weight of 2 gross tons
Usage Commercial or industrial transport
Date Sunk Unknown
Reason for Loss Unknown
Depth of Wreck Shoreline to 5 feet deep
Nearest City Portage, Indiana
Details Referred to as the "Alpha" wreck in the 1990s
Picture(s) None
Wreck Photos/Drawings Unknown No. 4 archaeological sketch map of shipwreck site, circa 1985. Unknown No. 4 archaeological sketch map of shipwreck site, circa 1985, detail of bow section.

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Unknown No. 5

Unknown No. 5. North end Wall with metal frame and bolt detail. View Northwest. 2011.

Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name Unknown No. 5
Vessel Type Work Barge
Date Built Unknown, circa 19th to 20th century
Where Built Unknown
Size
Usage commercial or industrial transport
Date Sunk Unknown
Reason for Loss Unknown
Depth of Wreck 4 feet
Nearest City Gary, Indiana
Details Incorporated with wreck Unknown No. 6 as one archaeological site. The vessel consists of three main structural parts and a large debris field.

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Metal structure above water. View east. 2011.South end of east corner with timber frame and spike detail. View east, 2011Unknown No. 5. North end wall with metal frame and bolt detail. View Northwest. 2011.Northeast corner with metal frame and bolt detail. View north, 2011.
Wreck Photos/Drawings None

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Unknown No. 6

Unknown No. 6. Opening in metal sidewall at center of site. View northwest, 2011.

Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name Unknown No. 6
Vessel Type Work Barge
Date Built Unknown, circa 19th to 20th century
Where Built Unknown
Size Unknown
Usage Commercial or industrial transport
Date Sunk Unknown
Reason for Loss Unknown
Depth of Wreck 10 feet
Nearest City Gary, Indiana
Details Incorporated with wreck Unknown No. 5 as one archaeological site

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Unknown No. 6. Opening in metal sidewall at center of site. View northwest, 2011.Timbers and planking at center of site. View south. 2011.Metal framing at south end of site. View west. 2011.
Wreck Photos/Drawings None

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Unknown No. 7

Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name Unknown No. 7
Vessel Type Suggested bulk cargo wooden canaller
Date Built Unknown, circa 19th to 20th century
Where Built Unknown
Size Existing section of the bow measured 40 feet
Usage Unknown
Date Sunk Unknown
Reason for Loss Unknown
Depth of Wreck 3 feet
Nearest City Pines, Indiana
Details Unknown
Picture(s) None
Wreck Photos/Drawings None

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Unknown No. 8

Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name Unknown No. 8
Vessel Type Suggested bulk cargo wooden canaller
Date Built unknown at this time (19th to 20th century)
Where Built Unknown
Size Section of the bow measured 13 feet long, suggested to have measured at least 100 ft
Usage Unknown
Date Sunk Unknown
Reason for Loss Unknown
Depth of Wreck 3 feet
Nearest City Furnessville, Indiana
Details Unknown
Picture(s) None
Wreck Photos/Drawings None

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Unknown No. 9

Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name Unknown No. 9
Vessel Type Suggested bulk cargo wooden canaller
Date Built Unknown, circa 19th to 20th century
Where Built Unknown
Size Section of the bow measured 13 feet long, suggested to have measured at least 100 ft
Usage Unknown
Date Sunk Unknown
Reason for Loss Unknown
Depth of Wreck 3 feet
Nearest City Furnessville, Indiana
Details Unknown
Picture(s) None
Wreck Photos/Drawings None

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Photos are property of Indiana DNR, unless otherwise noted, and not to be used without permission. Please review the DNR photo use policy at http://www.in.gov/dnr/5348.htm if you would like to use the photos.

This work made possible with Section 309 financial assistance to the Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Program under Award NA09NOS4190079, NA11NOS4190094, and NA12NOS4190092 provided by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, administered by the Office for Coastal Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.