Cleveland Tiller Wreck May be Mackinaw
April 17, 2012
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 WWW.eriewrecks.com for more information.