The schooner, which went down in Lake Michigan in 1891, may be one of the most intact shipwrecks ever found in the Great Lakes.

Explorers have been on a break-neck pace finding historic shipwrecks all over the world. From recently discovered WWII-era battleships and submarines in the Atlantic and Pacific to ancient Greek and Roman ships in the Mediterranean and more, shipwreck hunting is on a roll.

You don't have to travel to the oceans and seas around the world to find them, either. Just head for the nearby Great Lakes, as did shipwreck hunter Ross Richardson.

Ross was in northern Lake Michigan, traveling to South Manitou Island, when his sonar notified him of "something interesting" 300 feet below on the lakebed.

That interesting thing turned out to be what researchers think is a schooner ship called the W.C. Kimball.

The mysterious object was beyond Richardson’s diving range so he called in his friend Steve Wimer, a diver and underwater photographer, to examine the wreck site. On Sept. 30, Richardson, Wimer and their friend Brent Tompkins returned to the site and Wimer swam down to photograph what the website describes as a “mysterious ghost ship.”

After searching through about 6,000 schooner records in the Patrick Labadie Great Lakes Maritime Collection, and cross-referencing with Great Lakes databases and newspaper archives, the researcher said that the ship is likely the W.C. Kimball. The schooner was carrying a cargo of salt and wood shingles when she disappeared in May 1891.

MLive reports that the schooner, which was built in Manitowoc, Wis., in 1888, was lost in a gale with four people aboard.


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