Cleveland Tiller Wreck May be Mackinaw


In 2010 Erie Wrecks authors Mike and Georgann Wachter discovered a two masted tiller steered schooner 18 miles off Cleveland, Ohio.   Besides the 8 foot long tiller the vessel had a beautiful and unusual bow.  No cargo was noted and since the wreck was 40 miles from their harbor only four dives in limited visibility were made on the wreck which is in 70 foot of water. 

Last season the wreck was measured and a gash was discovered in the schooner's starboard side. With this information the Wachters have come up with a likely identification.

On May 31, 1851 the schooner Mackinaw, Captain McKnight, entered the port of Cleveland to load 10,000 bushels of wheat.  It was reported that she cleared Cleveland for Oswego, New York on Wednesday June 4th, but now her captain was listed as McKenzie. She did not get very far on her voyage, as the same paper that reported her departure the day before also detailed her loss.  It was about midnight off Euclid on the east side of Cleveland when she collided with a steamer.  The offending vessel was the 177 foot steamer Princeton which the newspaper said was not very badly damaged.

The Mackinaw was 122" 10 " long and built in 1847 in Oswego, New York by G. S. Weeks.  The location off Cleveland has been released on the Wachter's new Shipwrecks of Lake Erie map. Go to for more information.



Add your comment

by Anonymous - Already have an account? Login now!
Your Name:  

Enter the text you see in the image below
What do you see?
Can't read the image? View a new one.
Your comment will appear after being approved.

Related Posts

The barque, New Brunswick, loaded with a cargo of black walnut lumber with an estimated value of over $100,000, was located in Lake Erie in 1980.  more »

We are pleased to announce that our 36" x 24" laminated "Shipwrecks of Lake Erie" chart is now available. This artistic chart provides accurate GPS locations, paintings of vessels as they sit today, and images of ships before they sank. Many new wreck...  more »

Mike and Georgann Wachter authors of the Erie Wrecks series of books are pleased to announce the discovery of the schooner barge Commodore. This 170 foot long vessel was lost on June 17, 1918 while being towed from Cleveland to Sandwich Ontario. The aging...  more »

Submit your own


Ask a Question

Shipwrecks of Lake Ontario - A Journey of Discovery Book

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is excited to announce the release of a new book titled Shipwrecks of Lake Ontario: A Journey of Discovery. This book contains stories of long lost shipwrecks and the journeys of the underwater explorers who found them, written by Jim Kennard with paintings by Roland Stevens and underwater imagery by Roger Pawlowski.

Buy Now!

Legend of the Lake - New Discovery Edition Book

The recent discovery of the wreck of the British warship Ontario, “the Holy Grail” of Great Lakes shipwrecks, solves several mysteries that have puzzled historians since the ship sank more than two centuries ago. Now, for the first time, the whole tragic story of the Ontario can finally be told.

Buy Now!