Vessel Type: Sail: three-masted barkentine
GPS Location: N45°21.412’ W83°35.368’
Depth: 10 Feet
Wreck Length: 185 Feet
Beam: 25 Feet
Gross Tonnage: 543
Built: 1862 by Ira Lafrinier at Cleveland, Ohio
Wrecked: May 6, 1894
Description: Larger than the typical sailing craft of the time, the 186-foot, wooden American Union’s giant size ultimately led to its demise. After 30 years of service on the Great Lakes, the American Union encountered a fatal storm on May 6, 1894. Strong winds and pounding waves drove the 3-masted barkentine aground at Thompson’s Harbor. Crew from the Thunder Bay Island Life-Saving Station came to the ship’s aid and rescued the entire crew. Lake Huron eventually tore the American Union to pieces.
Today, the wreckage of the American Union rests a quarter mile from shore in 10 feet of crystal, clear Lake Huron water. The remains of the ship’s hull offer an incredible opportunity for divers, snorkelers and paddlers to explore a workhorse of the Great Lakes.
Great Lakes Maritime Collection digital archive:http://greatlakeships.org/2907653/data?n=1
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