A wooden shipwreck rests on its side
The wreckage of Portsmouth is in shallow water, perfect for exploration by paddlers, snorkelers, and divers alike.

Vessel Type: Motor: propeller

GPS Location: N45°11.870' W83°20.030'

Depth: 8 feet

Wreck Length: 182 feet

Beam: 27 feet

Gross Tonnage: 674

Cargo: Pig Iron

Built: 1853 by Bidwell and Banta at Buffalo, New York

Wrecked: November 15, 1867

Mooring Buoy Data

Description: Carrying 418 tons of pig iron, the 183-foot steamer Portsmouth ran aground on Middle Island during a November 1867 storm. The wrecking steamer Magnet tried to salvage the cargo, valued at $16,000, but Portsmouth was encased in ice.

The ship’s owners recovered nearly all the cargo and machinery from Portsmouth the next June. They surrendered its final enrollment at Buffalo in August, leaving the ship to the elements and Lake Huron.

Portsmouth's wreckage is located offshore of the Middle Island Life-Saving Station. Visitors will find the stern and a section of the ship’s keelson, or backbone, along with the engine mounts, and inner and outer hull planking. The shallow depth and crystal-clear water make Portsmouth an ideal place for paddlers, snorkelers, or divers to explore.

Great Lakes Maritime Collection digital archive: http://greatlakeships.org/2895150/data?n=1

A snorkeller smiles next to a shipwreck
A snorkeler examines the Portsmouth shipwreck.
A snorkeller smiles next to a shipwreck
Located in shallow water, the wreckage of the Portsmouth shipwreck is easily visible for paddlers, snorkelers, and divers.