“In trying to identify the wreck, I researched a number of schooners lost off West Michigan, Valerie van Heest, author of several shipwrecks books and a museum exhibit designer, said. “Most went down carrying lumber, a buoyant cargo that normally ripped through the decks of wooded vessels when they sank.”
Van Heest found only one lost ship that corresponded to the features and cargo of this wreck: the St. Peter, a schooner thought to have gone down in Lake Michigan closer to Wisconsin than Michigan. Built in 1868, the St. Peter, named for the Patron Saint of Sailors, was lost in 1874 on route from Chicago to Buffalo, New York, while carrying a load of wheat. The patron saint may well have been looking out for the crew because every man survived and later reported that they abandoned the sinking ship about 35 miles off Milwaukee.
“If this is the wreck of the St. Peter, then it drifted east for some time, coming to rest on the opposite side of Lake Michigan, significantly father east than the crew reported,” Craig Rich, author of two local shipwreck books, noted.
An official document that survived more than a century, indicates the St. Peter had a scroll bow, like found on the wreck.
Click through for more and see an illustration of the wreck as it sits on the Lake Michigan floor from the Grand Rapids Press. Definitely check out the video below from WOOD-TV for some footage of the wreck.