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Lake Erie Shipwreck Possibly Identified

Friday, October 5, 2018

Lake Erie ShipwreckTOLEDO, OHIO—According to an Associated Press report, a ship discovered in 2015 in Lake Erie may be Lake Serpent, a schooner that sank in 1829. Newspapers at the time reported that the bodies of three crew members were seen in the lake or washed ashore. Lake Serpent was built in 1821 in Cleveland, when only 1,000 people lived there, and she carried produce, flour, whiskey, and limestone between ports on the Great Lakes. Carrie Sowden of the National Museum of the Great Lakes said the shipwreck is the same size as Lake Serpent, and the wreck's cargo of stone matches historic records. The vessel also has a carved serpent’s head at her bow. “I don’t know what else it could be,” she said, “but there’s still enough unknown that we haven’t seen.” Much of the wreckage is still covered with mud and sediment. Further investigation of the shipwreck site is planned for next year. To read in-depth about shipwrecks of Lake Superior's Thunder Bay, go to “Shipwreck Alley.”

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