Vessel Type: Barge
GPS Location: N44° 39.616’ W83° 17.209’
Depth: 2 feet
Wreck Length: 211 feet
Beam: 30 feet
Gross Tonnage: 857
Launched: 1858 by Lafrinier and Stevenson in Cleveland, Ohio
Wrecked: August 1881
Description: Northern Light was originally built in 1858 as a passenger and package freight propeller to service the Cleveland-Lake Superior route. Steamships like Northern Light delivered people, manufactured goods, and supplies to burgeoning Lake Superior ports, returning with passengers and cargos of copper and iron ore. With predictable schedules made possible by the reliability of their steam engines, and the capacity to carry diverse cargo and passengers, these steamships became the vessel of choice to support early industry and communities on Lake Superior.
In its later years, Northern Light served as a barge that carried lumber across the Great Lakes. In 1881, Northern Light ran aground and was stranded at the northern end of present-day Harrisville Marina. It was abandoned and left exposed to the damaging effects of Lake Huron, collapsing beneath the waves two years later. When lake water levels are low, Northern Light’s broken remains occasionally surface and can be seen from the marina’s parking lot.
Great Lakes Maritime Collection digital archive: http://greatlakeships.org/2904041/data?n=13