the deck of a wooden schooner vessel where the anchor is still visible near the bow. The forward mast is visible
An anchor rests still attached on the bow of the sunken schooner barge Ironton, lost in a collision in 1894. Today the vessel sits upright and intact, all three masts still standing. Photo: NOAA/Undersea Vehicles Program at University of North Carolina Wilmington

Vessel Type: Schooner barge

GPS Location: TBA

Depth: TBA

Wreck Length: 190.9 feet

Beam: 35.4 feet

Gross Tonnage: 785.56

Cargo: None

Launched: 1873 by George Notter, Buffalo, New York

Wrecked: September 26, 1894

Mooring Buoy: none

Description: In late September 1894, the schooner barge Ironton was traveling light from Cleveland to Marquette and under tow by the steamer Kershaw along with schooner barge Moonlight. The wooden freighter Ohio was steaming from Duluth to Ogdensburg, New York loaded with a cargo of grain. The three ships were heading north when they encountered Ohio in rough conditions, 10 miles north of Presque Isle. It was during this critical moment, with the vessels about to pass each other, that Ironton's towline parted. The vessel broke free, veered off course and collided with Ohio. Both sank in half an hour. Sixteen crewmembers of Ohio got into lifeboats and were later picked up by schooner Moonlight. Another passing vessel, the steamer Hebard, picked up two of Ironton's crew. Lake Huron claimed Captain Girard and four other Ironton crew: Mate Ed Bostwick, Sailor John Pope, and two unidentified sailors.

Learn more about the discovery in this short video

Learn more about the discovery of the Ironton from this webstory.

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a wooden bowsprit extends from a sunken vessel, which is visible in the background
The wooden bowsprit of Ironton reaches into the clear blue water of Lake Huron, a testament to the preservation possible in the cold, fresh water of the Great Lakes. Photo: NOAA/Undersea Vehicles Program at University of North Carolina Wilmington
A lifeboat sits on the seafloor next to a much larger sunken vessel
A lifeboat rests at Ironton's stern. Photo: NOAA/Undersea Vehicles Program at University of North Carolina Wilmington.
a multi-colored image of a sailboat with three masts
Image of the schooner barge Ironton as it sits on the lake floor today. This image is a point cloud extracted from water column returns from multibeam sonar. Photo: Ocean Exploration Trust/NOAA