130-year-old shipwreck discovered in Lake Superior

The Atlanta sank on May 4, 1891

The Atlanta. (Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society)

A shipwreck dating back to the 1890s was discovered 650-feet below the surface of Lake Superior.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society (GLSHS) announced the discovery of the Atlanta, a 172-foot schooner-barge that sank on the biggest of the Great Lakes back in 1891.

The Atlanta was found 35 miles off Deer Park, Mich., in 650 feet of water in Lake Superior, GLSHS said.

The Atlanta sank on May 4, 1891. Here’s more background from GLSHS: It was upbound with a load of coal in tow of the steamer Wilhelm when both vessels got caught in a northwest gale. The storm was too much for the towline which snapped, and with no sails, the Atlanta was soon at the mercy of the lake, and the crew took to the lifeboat. They pulled at the oars for several hours and eventually came within site of the Crisp Point Life-Saving Station. While attempting to land their small boat near the station, it overturned and only two of the crew made it safely to the beach.

Related: New interactive map highlights Michigan’s legendary Great Lakes shipwrecks

GLSHS said the ship is well preserved: “It is rare that we find a shipwreck that so clearly announces what it is and the name-board of the Atlanta really stands out,” said Bruce Lynn, Executive Director of the GLSHS. “It is truly ornate, and still beautiful after 130 years on the bottom of Lake Superior.”

The Shipwreck Museum is open to the public seasonally from May 1 to October 31. For more information, click here. (It’s a great place to visit!)

See photos of the discovery below:

The Atlanta. (Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society)
The Atlanta. (Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society)
The Atlanta. (Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society)
The Atlanta. (Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society)
The Atlanta. (Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society)
The Atlanta. (Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society)
The Atlanta. (Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society)

Related: 🔒 161 years later: The PS Lady Elgin -- the deadliest Great Lakes shipwreck


About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.