James Davidson

Two divers swim above a shipwreck
Two scuba divers investigate the hull remains of the freighter James Davidson.

Vessel Type: Motor: wooden bulk freighter

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

Mooring Buoy Data

Description: Over 200 feet long, James Davidson was among the first of its ship 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, New York, to Duluth, Minnesota. James 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 today the two largest remaining pieces are the hull and bilge sections. The engine and boiler were salvaged not long after it stranded.

Great Lakes Maritime Collection digital archive: http://greatlakeships.org/2899839/data?n=1

A divers swim above a shipwreck
A diver swims over the flattened hull of James Davidson.
siteplan for james davidson
Archaeological site plan of James Davidson.