Detroit Harbor Wreck
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By The Numbers
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Built
Sank
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Lives Lost
0
Depth (ft)
 
 
Service History

Washington Island was first organized in the 1850s. Settlement and commerce began first at the harbors on the north side of the island. Detroit harbor was not settled until the late 1800s. This harbor was hidden away between Washington Island and Detroit Island, offering a well-protected and sheltered harbor, but its shallow waters only catered to the smaller vessels with shallow drafts. Detroit Harbor quickly became a busy place and by end of the 19ths century had around a dozen docks with grocery stores, saw mills, farming communities, and a large fishing industry. The western end of the Bay, right at the mouth of the harbor, there was even a small shipyard that catered to the vessels that operated there. Later this yard became the home of the ferry service that still runs today.

Because of Detroit Harbor’s shallow water, popular vessels of the area were auxiliary gas schooners. These vessels were small schooners equipped with gasoline engines used to supplement navigation. The auxiliary power prolonged the usefulness of sailing craft. Although unidentified the Detroit Harbor wreck’s remains are a good example of the gas schooner vessel type.
Today

The main wreckage consists of the keelson assembly and floors. More shipwreck debris is scattered around the main section and throughout the harbor.

Other large sections of unidentified hull remains are located 700 feet northwest of the main wreckage.

The name of the shipwreck has not yet been identified. Many gas schooners were abandoned in the Detroit harbor including the Arrow, Laurel, and Flotilla.
 
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