Vessel Type: Motor: paddle wheeler
GPS Location: N44°46.237’ W83°17.366’
Depth: 5 feet
Wreck Length: 192 feet
Beam: 28 feet
Gross Tonnage: 695
Cargo: Shingles, fish, and passengers
Launched: 1866 by P.L. and Arnold Lester at Marine City, Michigan
Wrecked: August 29, 1880
Mooring buoy: None
Description: “BURNED ON LAKE HURON” was the headline in the Sarnia Observer (1880). On August 29, 1880, the sidewheel passenger vessel Marine City steamed across Lake Huron. While just off Sturgeon Point, passengers and crew noticed smoke coming from the engine room. In very little time, the fire engulfed the ship. As thick smoke poured from Marine City, panic broke out among the passengers, and they began to leap into the water to escape the fire. Fortunately, the heroic actions of the vessel’s crew, nearby vessels, and the Sturgeon Point Lifesaving Station prevented a total disaster. The entire crew survived, but 5 of the nearly 150 passengers were listed as lost.
The blaze burned the steamer to the waterline. The remains of Marine City now rest in about three feet of water. While the fire devoured most of the upper hull and cabins, the lower hull, boiler fragments, and machinery remain to be explored by divers, snorkelers, and paddlers.
Great Lakes Maritime Collection digital archive: http://greatlakeships.org/2902085/data?n=1