Photo courtesy Wisconsin Historical Society

ALGOMA — A great lakes schooner, the whereabouts of which had been a mystery since it sank in 1881, has been discovered this summer nearly intact near Algoma.

Shipwreck hunters and historians Brendon Baillod and Bob Jaeck located the wreck of the schooner Trinidad July 15, 2023 in 270 feet of water off Algoma, the Wisconsin Historical Society announced earlier this month.

Trinidad still has dishes in its deck house, anchors, a wheel, bell and other deck gear. Not to mention, the crew’s possessions and other artifacts, according to USA Today.

Even the rigging, which in the Trinidad’s case used wire instead of the usual rope that would have rotted away, survives, giving marine archaeologists a very rare chance to directly study how the 19th-century cargo ship was rigged.

Baillod and Jaeck are longtime volunteers and partners with the Wisconsin Historical Society Maritime Archaeology Program and have worked closely together with society maritime archaeologists to document, preserve, and share this remarkable discovery.

The schooner was built in 1867 at Grand Island, New York by Oswego shipbuilder William Keefe.

The shipwas built for the Great Lakes grain trade between Milwaukee, Chicago, Buffalo and Oswego. Trinidad hauled coal or iron from New York and return with Midwest grain.

On its final voyage on May 11, 1881 Trinidad was traveling down the coast of Wisconsin towards Milwaukee where the vessel began to fill with water.

The Trinidad continued on course until the vessel suddenly and violently lurched and began to sink.

The captain and the crew immediately escaped in the ship’s yawl and after battling waves, the cold crew made it in to what is now known as Algoma.

The only loss aboard the Trinidad was the ship’s mascot, a large newfoundland dog who was asleep next to the stove when the ship began to sink.

Wisconsin Underwater Archeology Association – WUAA

Read the story of the discovery TRINIDAD: https://wihist.org/3L8ovZ8

Learn more about Wisconsin Shipwrecks: TRINIDAD: https://wihist.org/3L5Gkbk

View the wreck of the TRINIDAD in 3D: https://wihist.org/45UoTT7

“Flyover” of the wreck of the TRINIDAD: https://wihist.org/45SNRlJ

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By staff