Sardinia (1856)
Sardinia In Port
Sardinia In Sheboygan Harbor. Sardinia is the schooner on the right.
Another View of Sardinia in Sheboygan Harbor. Sardinia is the schooner in the middle foreground.
An archaeologist hovers over the wreck of the Sardinia
The wreck of the Sardinia
View the wreck of the Sardinia
By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The wooden two masted schooner Sardinia was built in the autumn of 1855 at the village of Coldwater and launched into the Coldwater River in 1956. The Coldwater River drains into south eastern Georgian Bay, Ontario. She was 105.2 feet in length with a 24.7 foot beam, the official registry number was 22583 and she was rated B1 and valued $5,000 in 1874. The Sardinia, under Canadian registry, sailed the Toronto area, Lake Huron, until 1865 when she was sold into the United States registry. After she came to Lake Michigan she hailed out of Chicago and then finally Milwaukee.

The Sardinia was a frequent visitor to Door County ports where she picked up cargoes of ties, shingles, cordwood and bark for ports farther south.

1856: Ashore at Georgian Bay.

Fall 1864: Wrecked on Lake Ontario. Rebuilt in 1865 by George Goble.

1866: Was owned out of Manitowoc and traded lumber between Manitowoc and Chicago.

1869: Lake Michigan, damaged rigging in a storm

1874: Collided with a pier damaging rigging.

September 1874: Collided with the steamer Nebraska and was nearly cut in two and sunk. Later, raised and rebuilt. On April 28, 1875 relaunched with a whole new appearance.

1876: Stranded on a pier in Chicago.

May 1877: Collided with another vessel near Racine.

September 1883: Struck a pier in Whitehall, Michigan.

June 1884: Collided with the tug Alpha near Chicago.

Last Document of Enrollment: Surrendered: Milwaukee: July 30, 1900: "Total Loss".
Final Voyage

June 19, 1900."This formerly British schooner, the Sardinia, owned by Otto Pfeil and Albert Richter, arrived from Milwaukee to pick up a load of wood in Hedgehog Harbor. She dropped her two mud anchors in deep water as a precaution and then tied up to Voight's pier. About midnight, a northwest wind began. Captain Max Pfiel was notified at Hans Tortenson's that his craft was banging against the pier: he quickly ordered that the Sardinia be winched out to her anchors. Unfortunately, both anchors dragged the bottom and the crew was forced to shorten the anchor chains to keep her from hitting shore. At 2 pm on June 29, the winds increased to heavy gale force, whipping the waves almost to the height of the wood stacked on the pier. This increased force against the shortened chains finally broke them an allowed the vessel to hit the rocky shore, stoving two holes into her bottom.
Plum Island Lifesavers tried, unsuccessfully, on the 30th and the 31st to refloat the ship. Eventually she was stripped and abandoned with the intention of selling the rigging to pay off her crew of 5. By September the Sardinia was high and dry on shore. Her remains are still in Hedgehog Harbor about half way between Voigt and Weborg docks." Hirthe

After she was abandoned the Sardinia lay for many years about halfway between the Voight and Weborg docks and was used as a platform for fishing and diving. As a relic of the days of sailing ships she was also a tourist attraction. Today her remains are completely underwater.

The Sardinia is broken up; lies on a cobble/sand bottom in 10' of water. The wreck consists of centerboard trunk and a centerboard, lying next to a small dock crib N of Weborg's Wharf. Historically, it is uncertain whether this is the Sardinia as several other schooners have been wrecked in this area.
Confirmed Location     Unconfirmed location
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