A painting of Grecian
Artistic rendering of the steel freighter Grecian underway by Robert McGreevy.

Vessel Type: Motor: steel bulk freighter

GPS Location (stern mooring buoy) N44° 58.099’ W83° 11.991’

Depth: 100 feet (stern deck at 75 feet)

Wreck Length: 296 feet

Beam: 40 feet

Gross Tonnage: 2348

Cargo: None

Launched: 1891 by Globe Iron Works at Cleveland, Ohio

Wrecked: June 15, 1906

Mooring Buoy Data

Description: Launched in 1891, the steel-hulled Grecian was built during an era of unprecedented industrial growth and dramatic change in shipbuilding technology. Good steel flexes but doesn’t break upon impact. However, in June 1906, when Grecian struck a reef in northern Lake Huron, its steel plating proved brittle. With a hole in its bottom, the nearly 300-foot steamer was being towed to Detroit for repair when it flooded and sank near Thunder Bay.

Just a few miles away rests its sister ship, Norman, a victim of an 1895 collision. Lying nine miles from Alpena in 102 feet of water, Grecian’s intact bow and stern reveal its sleek design. Large portions of the steamer’s midsection have collapsed, providing access to early steel-ship construction details. The propeller, engine, boilers, and deck machinery are all in place. A steel canalon (a lifting device) from a 1909 salvage attempt sits off the vessel’s stern. Grecian is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Great Lakes Maritime Collection digital archive:

The stern of a shipwreck
A diver looks up from the lake bottom at the intact and upright stern of Grecian.
a diagram of a shipwreck
Site plan of the shipwreck Grecian.
a dA diver floats over a shipwreck
A diver hovers mid-water column near the stern mooring buoy line at the site of the shipwreck Grecian.
the intact bow of a shipwreck
A diver peers into the engine compartment near the stern of the steel freighter Grecian.