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A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Lake Michigan Wreck Is Not 17th-Century Le Griffon

Friday, June 12, 2015

Le Griffon diveFRANKFORT, MICHIGAN—Michigan state archaeologist Dean Anderson and underwater archaeologist Wayne Lusardi, along with Michigan State Police divers, visited wreckage in Lake Michigan found by local enthusiasts who thought it could be Le Griffon, a ship built and lost by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, in 1679. The wooden hull, which is 80 feet long, is too big to be the long-lost ship, however. Lusardi added that steam machinery on the ship suggests it was a tug boat dating to the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. “We’re interested in what’s down there. We encourage people to report when they find a shipwreck,” State Historic Preservation Office spokeswoman Laura Ashlee told MLive.com. To read about and see some amazing pictures of some of the Greak Lakes' most fascinating wrecks, go to "Shipwreck Alley."

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