Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary


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Barge No. 1
Wooden Car Ferry Barge
Historic Research Collection

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GPS Location: N45° 00.919’ W83° 18.238’
Depth: 42 Feet
Wreck Length: 309 Feet Beam: 44 Feet
Gross Tonnage:
1544 Cargo: Lumber, Chickens
1895 by James Davidson at West Bay City, Michigan
November 8, 1918
Four huge barges were constructed in 1895 for the Lake Michigan Car Ferry Barge Company, to carry rail cars from Peshtigo, Wisconsin to Chicago.  They were named simply No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4.  In 1910, the Barge No. 1 was sold, subsequently operating out of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, carrying pulpwood and bulk freights.  It ran onto a reef near Thunder Bay’s North Point during a Fall storm, and began breaking up.  Crates of live chickens from its cargo reportedly washed ashore on Thunder Bay Island, where they were recovered and subsequently eaten by lighthouse keepers and the U.S. Life Saving Station's crew. 

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wreck coordinates Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center