Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary


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James Davidson
Wooden Bulk Freighter
Historic Research Collection

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GPS Location : (Hull) N45° 01.944’ 83° 11.563’ (Bilge) N45° 01.877’ W83° 11.764’
Depth: 35 Feet
Wreck Length: 100 Feet Beam: 30 Feet
Gross Tonnage: 1456 Cargo: Coal
Launched: 1874 by James Davidson at Bay City, Michigan
Wrecked: October 4, 1883
Description: Over 200 feet long, the James Davidson was among the first of its type and a giant in its day.  On one of its first trips, it loaded 110,000 bushels of oats at Chicago, the largest load carried on the Great Lakes at the time.  After a relatively short career, it met its end on Lake Huron, while towing the consort-barge Middlesex from Buffalo to Duluth.  The Davidson ran onto the southeastern tip of Thunder Bay Island in hazy weather, severely damaging its hull and becoming a total loss. The wreck has broken up over time and the two largest remaining pieces are the hull and bilge sections.  Her engine and boiler were salvaged not long after it stranded.

James Davidson

James DavidsonJames Davidson

James Davidson

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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wreck coordinates Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center