Friday, July 15, 2016

Shipwrecked in Lake Michigan

Like most inhabitants of flat lands far from the sea I have a fascination with all things nautical. It's just human nature to stand on the edge of large bodies of water and stare at them.

In Sheboygan Wisconsin recently I got to indulge my rather silly inner Sea Dog by walking around the wreck of the Lottie Cooper.

This was a three masted sailing ship, built locally in 1876.  It hauled cargoes of timber up and down Lake Michigan.

One stormy night in 1894 the ship was battered to bits by a gale as she lay anchored off shore. Five of her six crewmen were saved.  Later much of her cargo of 230,00 board feet of timber was salvaged but the wreck was left in Sheboygan bay until harbor improvements a century later required it to be removed.

It is now up on shore and you can walk around in it.  The "deck" is just a pedestrian path and is solidly planted on the ground but I can imagine just a bit of swaying back and forth....

This box like structure supported a large centerboard.  If I am calling it by the wrong term please don't correct me, remember I am having my little Sea Dog fantasy here.

So very many nails.  I wonder if they needed this much iron to hold it together or if it required frequent repairs over its 18 year career.

Farewell Lottie Cooper, you can sail on in my imagination...


JayNola said...

Seems a little excessive but maybe something else was attached there. I just recently saw this:
The ship was a build by numbers kit, from the 17th century, and you can still see the frame markings in the keel.

a bear said...

According to this, she did in fact have a centerboard, and the "box" it rested in is the "centerboard trunk."

Here's what it looked like when deployed, in sketch form.