1927 wreck found in Lake Michigan

August 20, 2006

U.S. researchers say they have found a 208-foot wooden vessel that sank in Lake Michigan almost 80 years ago in a storm.

Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates also announced two other discoveries in Lake Michigan, an unidentified barge and a schooner whose identity is uncertain, the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press reported.

Valerie van Hoest, a co-founder of the non-profit associates, announced the finds in a news conference in Holland, Mich. She said that a vessel discovered by divers off South Haven, Mich., has been conclusively identified as the Hennepin, which sank in a 1927 squall while being used as a construction barge.

Divers said the vessel, built in 1888 as a steamship, appears to be in good condition. Its exact location is being kept secret until the group can photograph the ship and its contents, the Press reported.

"Imagine finding a perfectly intact building in Grand Rapids that had been sealed up and forgotten since the 1920s, with all of the tools and essentials of daily life sealed up inside like a time capsule," said Ross Richardson, the group's director. "That's the Hennepin."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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