Shipwrecks on Indiana's Lake Michigan Coast

Shipwreck Information

The Car Ferry No. 2

Car Ferry No 2 Shipwreck Photo

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.
Picture(s) Archaeologist mapping timbers at the site of the Car Ferry No 2 (12La642), view northeast north [Date of picture July 28, 2011] Architectural features, reinforcement timbers, at the site of the Car Ferry No2 (12La642), view northwest north [Date of picture July 28, 2011] Tape measure next to a scarph joint in the hull at the site of the Car Ferry No 2 (12La642), view north [Date of picture July 28, 2011]
See the Photos page for additional photos and options.
Wreck Photos/Drawings The Car Ferry No. 2 (12LA0642) archaeological sidescan sketch map of shipwreck site, 2011. (Credit = Kaufmann 2011)


The F.W. Wheeler

F.W. Wheeler Shipwreck Photo-The F. W. Wheeler (12LE0382) Historic drawing, view of vesselís port side. (Credit = Marine Review, Cleveland Ohio, 1893.  Reprinted from Ellis 1986)

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.
Picture(s) The F. W. Wheeler historic picture, view of vesselís bow, circa 1890. (Used with permission, C. Patrick Labadie Collection / Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Alpena, MI.)
See the Photos page for additional photos and options.
Wreck Photos/Drawings The F. W. Wheeler (12LE0382) archaeological sketch map of shipwreck site, circa 1985. (Credit = DHPA, Gary Ellis 1986)


The George F. Williams

George Williams Shipwreck Photo-The George F. Williams (12LA0639) Historic picture, view of vesselís starboard side, circa 1900. (Credit = 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.
Picture(s) The George F. Williams (12LA0639) southwest corner of boiler at center part of wreck with a bass, 2012. View West. (Credit = Kaufmann 2012) Propeller and Rudder, view from port side. View east. (Credit = Kaufmann 2012) Remaining metal gears north of rudder, taken from center of hull. View southeast. (Credit = Kaufmann 2012) Northwest corner of boiler with port sidewall, at center of wreck, taken from interior of wreck. View southeast. (Credit = Kaufmann 2012)
See the Photos page for additional photos and options.
Wreck Photos/Drawings The George F. Williams (12LA0639) archaeological sidescan sketch map of shipwreck site, 2011. (Credit = Kaufmann 2011)


Horace A. Tuttle

The Horace A. Tuttle (12LE0380) Historic picture, view of vesselís port side, circa 1898. (Credit = 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 at this time.
Wreck Photos/Drawings The Horace A. Tuttle historic picture, view of vesselís port side after wrecking, October 1898. (Used with permission, C. Patrick Labadie Collection / Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Alpena, MI.)


J.D. Marshall

J.D. Shipwreck Photo-The J. D. Marshall (12PR0723) Historic picture, view of vesselís starboard side with cargo of lumber, circa 1908. (Credit = 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.
Picture(s) Hull planking, east of boiler in the center part of the site of the J. D. Marshall (12Pr723), view southeast [Date of picture July 20, 2011] Boiler in the center part of the site of the J. D. Marshall (12Pr723), view southwest [Date of picture July 20, 2011] Boiler in the center part of the site of the J. D. Marshall (12Pr723), view northwest [Date of picture July 20, 2011] Keelson in the very east part of the site of the J. D. Marshall (12Pr723), view southwest [Date of picture July 20, 2011] Hardware in the center part of the site of the J. D. Marshall (12Pr723), view south [Date of picture July 20, 2011] Shovel artifact in the center part of the site of the J. D. Marshall (12Pr723), view southwest [Date of picture July 20, 2011] The J. D. Marshall (12PR0723) keel with rudder removed, view northwest  (Credit = DHPA circa 1985)
See the Photos page for additional photos and options.
Wreck Photos/Drawings The J. D. Marshall (12PR0723) archaeological sketch map of shipwreck site, circa 1985. (Credit = DHPA, Gary Ellis 1986) The J. D. Marshall (12PR0723) archaeological sidescan sketch map of shipwreck site, 2011. (Credit = Kaufmann 2011)


The Material Service Barge

The Material Service (12LA0641) Historic picture, view of vesselís stern, unloading gravel cargo, circa 1930-1935. (Credit = 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.
Picture(s) Hatch opening and ladder at the bow of the site of the Material Service (12La641), view west [Date of picture July 28, 2011] Archaeologist documenting air vent at the stern of the site of the Material Service (12La641), view northwest [Date of picture July 28, 2011] Small mouth bass and part of the self-unloader equipment toward the stern of the site of the Material Service (12La641), view north [Date of picture July 28, 2011] The Material Service (12LA0641) Historic picture, view of vesselís stern, traveling in the Chicago River, circa 1930-1935. (Credit = Used with permission, Great Lakes Marine Collection of the Milwaukee Public Library / Milwaukee Public Library)
See the Photos page for additional photos and options.
Wreck Photos/Drawings The Material Service (12LA0641) archaeological sidescan sketch map of shipwreck site, 2011. (Credit = Kaufmann 2011) Sidescan Image of Material Service Archaelogical Site 12-La-641, View West


The Muskegon

The Muskegon Shipwreck Photo-The Muskegon (12LE0381) [aka Peerless] Historic picture, view of vesselís port side when it was a passenger vessel, circa 1900. (Credit = 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.
Picture(s) 0276 19 July 2011 Muskegon 12Le381 0281 19 July 2011 Muskegon 12Le381 Hull timbers in the south part of the site of the Muskegon (12Le381), view west [Date of picture July 20, 2011] Machinery in the south part of the site of the Muskegon (12Le381), view south [Date of picture July 20, 2011] In between the two boilers of the Muskegon (12Le381), view east [Date of picture July 20, 2011] Machinery in the south part of the site of the Muskegon (12Le381), view east [Date of picture July 20, 2011] The Muskegon (12LE0381) [aka Peerless] Historic picture, view of vesselís starboard side when it was a passenger vessel, circa 1880s. (Credit = Used with permission, Great Lakes Marine Collection of the Milwaukee Public Library / Milwaukee Public Library)
See the Photos page for additional photos and options.
Wreck Photos/Drawings The Muskegon (12LE0381) at dock after being burned, view of vesselís starboard side. (Credit = NRHP nomination) The Muskegon (12LE0381) at dock after being burned, view of vesselís bow. (Credit = NRHP nomination) The Muskegon (12LE0381) [aka Peerless] archaeological sketch map of shipwreck site, circa 1985. (Credit = DHPA, Gary Ellis 1986) The Muskegon (12LE0381) [aka Peerless] archaeological sidescan sketch map of shipwreck site, 2011. (Credit = Kaufmann 2011)


Unknown No. 3

Unknown No. 3 (12PR0718) archaeological sketch map of site, circa 1985. (Credit = DHPA, Gary Ellis 1986)

Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name Unknown No. 3
Vessel Type Canaller
Date Built unknown at this time (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 at this time
Reason for Loss unknown at this time
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 1980's
Picture(s) Unknown No. 3 (12PR0718) exposed, view northeast. (Credit = DHPA circa 1980) Unknown No. 3 (12PR0718) exposed with SAVE members conducting documentation, view northeast (Credit = DHPA circa 1980)
See the Photos page for additional photos and options.
Wreck Photos/Drawings Unknown No. 3 (12PR0718) archaeological sketch map of site, circa 1985. (Credit = DHPA, Gary Ellis 1986)


Unknown No. 4

Shipwreck Photo

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 at this time (19th to 20th century)
Where Built unknown at this time
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 at this time
Reason for Loss unknown at this time
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 at this time.
Wreck Photos/Drawings Unknown No. 4 (12PR0640) archaeological sketch map of shipwreck site, circa 1985, detail of bow section. (Credit = DHPA, Gary Ellis 1986)
See the Photos page for additional photos and options.


Unknown No. 5

Unknown No. 5 [12-La-640] North End Wall with Metal Frame and Bolt Detail. View Northwest. (Credit = Kaufmann 2011)

Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name Unknown No. 5
Vessel Type Work Barge
Date Built unknown at this time (19th to 20th century)
Where Built unknown at this time
Size
Usage commercial or industrial transport
Date Sunk unknown at this time
Reason for Loss unknown at this time
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.
Picture(s) Unknown No. 5 (12-La-640) Metal Structure Above Water. View East . (Credit = Kaufmann 2011) Unknown No. 5 (12-La-640) South End East Corner with Timber Frame and Spike Detail. View East. (Credit = Kaufmann 2011) Unknown No. 5 [12-La-640] North End Wall with Metal Frame and Bolt Detail. View Northwest. (Credit = Kaufmann 2011) Unknown No. 5 [12-La-640] Northeast Corner with Metal Frame and Bolt Detail. View North. (Credit = Kaufmann 2011)
See the Photos page for additional photos and options.
Wreck Photos/Drawings None at this time.


Unknown No. 6

Unknown No. 6 [12-La-640] Opening in Metal Sidewall at Center of Site. View Northwest. (Credit = Kaufmann 2011)

Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name Unknown No. 6
Vessel Type Work Barge
Date Built unknown at this time (19th to 20th century)
Where Built unknown at this time
Size unknown at this time
Usage commercial or industrial transport
Date Sunk unknown at this time
Reason for Loss unknown at this time
Depth of Wreck 10 feet
Nearest City Gary, Indiana
Details Incorporated with wreck Unknown No. 5 as one archaeological site
Picture(s) Unknown No. 6 [12-La-640] Opening in Metal Sidewall at Center of Site. View Northwest. (Credit = Kaufmann 2011) Unknown No. 6 [12-La-640] Timbers and Planking at Center of Site. View South. (Credit = Kaufmann 2011) Unknown No. 6 [12-La-640] Metal Framing at South End of Site. View West. (Credit = Kaufmann 2011)
See the Photos page for additional photos and options.
Wreck Photos/Drawings None at this time.


Unknown No. 7



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


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 at this time
Size section of the bow measured 13 feet long, suggested to have measured at least 100 ft
Usage unknown at this time
Date Sunk unknown at this time
Reason for Loss unknown at this time
Depth of Wreck 3 feet
Nearest City Furnessville, Indiana
Details unknown at this time
Picture(s) None at this time.
Wreck Photos/Drawings None at this time.


Unknown No. 9



Shipwreck Identifying Factor Description
Wreck Name Unknown No. 9
Vessel Type suggested bulk cargo wooden canaller
Date Built unknown at this time (19th to 20th century)
Where Built unknown at this time
Size section of the bow measured 13 feet long, suggested to have measured at least 100 ft
Usage unknown at this time
Date Sunk unknown at this time
Reason for Loss unknown at this time
Depth of Wreck 3 feet
Nearest City Furnessville, Indiana
Details unknown at this time
Picture(s) None at this time.
Wreck Photos/Drawings None at this time.
This work and report are made possible with Section 309 financial assistance
to the Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Program under Award NA09NOS4190079 provided by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972,
as amended, administered by the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.