Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary


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Benjamin Franklin
Paddle Wheeler
Historic Research Collection

Back to Shipwrecks

GPS Location : N45°01.934' W83°11.529'
Depth: 15 Feet
Wreck Length: 135 Feet Beam: 19 Feet
Gross Tonnage: 231 Cargo: None
Launched: 1842 by Gilman Applebee in Buffalo, New York
Wrecked: October 8, 1850
Description: In 1850 the paddle wheeler Franklin went ashore at Thunder Bay Island. The wreck is highly disarticulated and scattered. No hull sections have yet been discovered, though some machinery and hardware are scattered in depths ranging from 10-55’ of water. One intact and two partially intact cylindrical boilers are located in deeper water. A rudder with traditional secondary post is nearer shore. The two paddle wheel shafts, one with intact cast iron hub still containing portions of the wooden spokes, are slightly different in form reflecting the replacement of one of the wheels at Cleveland.


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wreck coordinates Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center