Storm beaches unknown shipwreck in the Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Shipwreck I

Update!! The team hiked out to the wreck yesterday afternoon. Contrary to some published reports, the hike is 4+ miles round trip on the Dune Trail (head straight up the Dune Climb) or about 5 miles round trip on the beach. Time is about the same but the shore route from Glen Haven (go left from either location) would be a lot less strenuous! We got some photos (check out the slideshow) and will hopefully have a video. Photographers Jeff Rabidoux of Life on the 45th and Ken Scott were also there!

TV 9&10 has a nice video report on the shipwreck that recently washed up in the Sleeping Bear Dunes. The wreck  is located about 1/4 mile north of where the Dune Trail reaches Lake Michigan.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle has a feature as well that quotes Laura Quackenbush of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore museum as saying the wreckage appears to be that of a propeller-driven steamer. It goes on to say:

She contacted Steve Harold, director of the Manistee County Historical Museum, who said the shipwreck could be that of the St. Nicholas or the General Taylor — both lost during fall months in the mid-19th century.

The St. Nicholas carried wheat when it started to leak and became stranded in Sleeping Bear Bay in November 1857. The General Taylor was stranded in October 1862 near Sleeping Bear Point.

Both ships were wrecked near where the wooden hull washed ashore, said Harold, author of “Shipwrecks of the Sleeping Bear.” Determining its identity will be harder, since wood can float for miles and no name or serial numbers were recovered.

“The chances are better than 50-50 that this is an early propeller vessel,” he said. “Those are the most logical choices, but there’s no proof.”



3 replies
  1. Linda Groat
    Linda Groat says:

    Its Awesome….My daughter and I came from Mt.Pleasant and walked the shore to see it. Then the next day my husband and 2 other daughters went. It was a trip worth taking and the area is beautiful.

  2. Jed Jaworski
    Jed Jaworski says:

    Jed Jaworski, former Chair of the Manitou Underwater Preserve Committee and Assistant Curator with the Michigan Maritime Museum, will be documenting the shipwreck remains this week (11/14) and reporting findings here and to the SBDNL.


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