A 142-year-old sunken ship has been found in Lake Michigan

A 142-year-old sunken ship has been found in Lake Michigan

Have you ever wondered what a ship looks like at 142 years old? A ship called the Trinidad has been located off the coast of Wisconsin in Lake Michigan, where it sank. It is so well-preserved that you can see details like the wheel, and even dishes inside the deck house. 

Brendon Baillod and fellow maritime historian Robert Jaeck spent two years looking for the vessel.

“I would rank it as one of the best-preserved sailing ships that’s been found in Wisconsin waters, if not the best,” said Baillod. 

Armed with historical records and using side-scan sonar, they found it in July at a depth of about 270 feet near Algoma, Wisconsin.

“We were so excited. We got our cell phones and started to record the screen on the sonar as it was passing by, because we knew — we knew — we had found the Trinidad,” said Baillod. 

The vessel’s final voyage was on May 11,1881. It was used as a cargo ship in the lucrative grain trade between Milwaukee, Chicago and Oswego, New York. It sank as it was carrying coal and traveling down the coast of Wisconsin. The crew survived — but had no time to rescue their dog, who sank with the ship. The Trinidad will now remain underwater so divers can visit her without impacting her fragile remains.

Baillod is also working on getting the shipwreck nominated to the , which would bring greater significance to the site and the local community.

“This was a ship that was not well known. The people in the local port town of Algoma didn’t know that they even had a shipwreck out there off their port,” he said. 

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