On May 4, 1891, the schooner-barge Atlanta was heading up Lake Superior with a load of coal. It went down in heavy gales. It hasn't been seen since, until now.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society announced Wednesday that they have discovered the barge in 650-feet of water just off the coast of Deer Park.

The discovery was made as part of the mapping of over 2500 miles of Lake Superior by Marine Sonor Technology in conjunction with the GLSHS.

The Story Of The Atlanta

The heavy northwest winds on that day in 1891 broke the towline of the schooner-barge as it was being towed by the steamer Wilhelm.

The crew tried to get the schooner under control in the heavy winds, before abandoning ship and attempting to row to shore in a lifeboat. They hung tough and managed to make it just shy of the Crisp Point lighthouse when the lifeboat overturned. Only two crew members made it to shore.

The Shipwreck Is In 'Pristine Shape' 

Because of its time in the frigid depths of Lake Superior, the Atlanta is a wonderfully preserved shipwreck. "It is rare that we find a shipwreck that so clearly announces what it is and the name-board of the Atlanta really stands out,” said Bruce Lynn, Executive Director of the GLSHS in a press release. “It is truly ornate, and still beautiful after 130 years on the bottom of Lake Superior."

Shipwreck Photos Corroborate Crew Members Story

The two men who made it to shore that miserable afternoon both said the trouble began when all three masts of the Atlanta broke off following the tow break. The photos back that story up, said Director of Marine Operations, Darryl Ertel.

“No one has to ask where the Atlanta is anymore.” The survivors said all three masts broke off during the storm, and video from an ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) proves, all three masts broke off flush with the deck and are nowhere to be found.


1891 Schooner Found At Bottom Of Lake Superior

The shipwreck find was recently announced by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum located in Whitefish Point.



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