Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary


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William H. Rounds
Historic Research Collection

Back to Shipwrecks

GPS Location: N44°50.219'   W83°16.939'
Depth: 11 Feet
Wreck Length: 142 Feet Beam: 25 Feet
Gross Tonnage: 308 Cargo: Coal
Launched: 1875 by Parsons and Humble in Tonawanda, New York
Wrecked: May 2, 1905
Description: In the middle-to-late nineteenth century many canal schooners like William H. Rounds were involved in the grain trade. Built to fit the dimensions of the Welland Canal, aptly-named ‘canal’ schooners made long voyages between Lake Michigan ports, where grain was loaded for eastern ports like Buffalo and Oswego where grain was then distributed by railroad. On their westward return journey, canal schooners typically carried coal that was needed to power emerging cities like Chicago and Milwaukee. It was on one such westbound trip that the William H. Rounds ran aground north of Black River during a May storm in 1905. Today its hull, below the turn of the bilge, remains intact with its coal cargo strewn about the lake bottom nearby. 


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wreck coordinates Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center