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Who do I contact about an artifact from The Atlantic-Ogsdenburg wreck on Lake Erie in the 1850's which I have from my father?

It is a wooden cribbage board. On the back is a hand written note naming the vessels, the # of passengers and the amount of the gold in the safe; it explains the collison also. It is signed, but I cannot make out the full name. It was found in Ashtabula, Ohio. I am fascinated by the history behind this note. Thanks for your help.

1 Answer

On Aug 20/1852 the side paddlewheeler and the Ogdensburg collided in the eastern part of Lake Erie. After the collision both vessels tried to continue on their way but the Ogdensburg turned around to assist the sinking Atlantic. The Atlantic sunk with a loss of life estimated between 150-250 people. Later a hard hat diver named Johnny Green almost recovered the ships safe. He suffered a bad case of the bends and while in hospital another diver called Elliott Harrington recovered the safe. The collision and sinking have been written about in many books. You can find information in The Great Lakes Diving Guide. Another excellent source is the Erie Wrecks East. Or information should be available on line. Hope this helps and points you in the right direction. Your artifact sounds interesting and might have been made from a piece of wood that floated off the wreck as she plunged to the bottom.
Cris Kohl - Great Lakes Diving Guide
Georgann & Michael Wachter- Erie Wrecks East.

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