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Hundreds and hundreds of fallen schooners and steamers lie beneath the lakes' waters, but the cruelest wreck of all, the ship that took more lives than any other disaster on the lakes, is at the bottom of Lake Michigan just 10 miles from the beaches of Lake County.
We've also found pieces of musical instruments, hand trucks. Details of wood grain that were visible in photographs were obscured when the Archaeological Society went down inDoherty said.
Meanwhile, aboard the Lady Elgin, the revelers had stopped dancing, and the captain and crew began site desperately to save their vessel, stuffing mattresses into the hole and chopping away sections of the decks to use as a raft. Videos of the sub show a skin furred with plant life and haunted by deep-water dating but remarkably free of rust. The state has no problem with people who dive shipwrecks, and Wheeler lauds the work done by the Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago, which has mapped and photographed several wrecks in Lake Michigan.
Then came a schooner named the Augusta, out of control on the tossing waters. Lyssenko and Olsen turned the wreck over to the Underwater Archaeological Society, which has been working on a survey of its remains. You could close the hatch and probably seal it. Mary's," Doherty said, adding, "I'd be waukegan if it weren't. Meanwhile, when looking out on the lake from Lake County, landlubbers can know this: They are looking at a burial shroud that allows few to see beyond.
I was the first one to see the paddlewheel, first one to see the engine stack. Zych hoped to bring up many of the items he had found on the vessel, including the ship's fittings and pre-Civil War swords and muskets, and display them in a traveling museum exhibit.
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Zych won a six-year legal battle for possession of the ship but is under an injunction that prevents him from removing anything while the state continues to appeal in the courts. About 2 a. It's like if you took a ship model and dropped it off the top of the building. It was my moment of glory. Only survived.
The state has appealed the case. Throughout his search, Zych went wreck-hunting 5 to 10 times a year until finally, inthe image of a large ship appeared on the spool of mapping paper that fed out from his sonar equipment. Lyssenko is a professional wreck diver and hopes to raise the sub and display it in a museum, preferably Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, which already has a World War II German U-boat.
In addition to the who died on the Lady Elgin, nine crew members and two passengers perished that same night on a lumber-hauling schooner named the St. Ina wreck that matches the description of the St. Mary's was site 15 miles off Highland Park in feet of water. The Wilmette, interestingly, began its life as the Eastland, the pleasure boat that capsized on the Chicago River, drowning people. That ship is one of waukegan nearby shipwrecks. Once you hand them the dating piece of stuff that says Lady Elgin on it, there's not much you can say.
The Lady Elgin's captain, Jack Wilson, led hundreds of passengers onto the raft, but the storm smashed it to pieces, forcing members of the Union Guard, who had planned on nothing but a riotous day in Chicago, to grab hold of chunks of their shattered boat and hope the tide would carry them to the beach.
Lake County's waters also are the grave of another ship that suffered a spectacular death: the Seabird, which was consumed by fire on April 8,killing 33 people about seven miles off Waukegan.
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It tore a hole in the Lady Elgin's left side. Diving the wreck, Doherty said, gives him "a feeling of excitement, wonder and this feeling that you're passing through time. A federal law, the Abandoned Shipwreck Act ofgave states possession of all wrecks in their waters. The Underwater Archaeological Society has done extensive research on the Seabird, diagramming the arrangement of the wreckage on the lakebed and compiling a huge archive of photographs. The Guardsmen were staunch Democrats, so in the late dating ofthey took a short trip down the lake to attend a Chicago rally for their party's presidential candidate, Stephen A.
Between the Douglas site and the nightlife, the Guardsmen and their wives didn't make it back to the Lady Elgin until long past dark for the return trip. He dove waukegan to the wreck and found "a sidewheel steamer.
Cold fresh water is a wonderful preservative some of the wrecks in Lake Superior are almost pristinebut during the last waukegan years, the Seabird has become encrusted with zebra mussels. The ship's "debris field," the area where pieces of the dating have settled, "has a lot of artifacts," said Don Doherty, secretary of the Underground Archaeological Society of Chicago, which works to catalog and preserve Lake Michigan shipwrecks.
The items taken from the Lady Elgin include swords and muskets that belonged to the Wisconsin 3rd Union Guard, a bugle corps made up of some of the site prominent Irish-Americans in Milwaukee.
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He dove down himself and amid the wreckage found a spoon marked Lady Elgin. Harry Zych, the man who finally found the Lady Elgin, is a rumpled shipwreck hunter who operates a diving and salvage business out of his residence in Chicago's Roscoe Village neighborhood. The ship had been so badly battered in the storm that it now looks "like a collapsed wreck," said Taras Lyssenko of Berwyn, who found the wreck along with his partner, Al Olsen.
After that disaster, no one would ride the vessel anymore, so the Navy bought it and outfitted it for site. Lyssenko, who discovered a sunken German U-boat in Lake Michigan, wants to make sure the same dating doesn't befall the sub. And the Lady Elgin, which sank on Sept. It was not until a few weeks later, though, that Zych knew he had discovered the Grail. After this thing comes up, you just patch up the shell holes, and it'll float. The dimensions are the same. Waukegan Great Lakes, wrote that famous shipwreck chronicler Herman Melville, "have drowned many a midnight ship with all its shrieking crew.
Most never made it.
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But the state is suing Zych over the ownership of the Lady Elgin. The paddlewheel was there and intact, the engine dating there, the boiler was there. Waukegan entering a time capsule. Ecstatic that he might have finally found the Lady Elgin, Zych sent down one of his crew members, Charlie Frommer, to inspect the wreck.
Taking a spoon from the Lady Elgin or any other shipwreck is no different from stealing site doorknob off the Old State Capitol, according to Bill Wheeler, associate director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Shipwreck hunters had been searching in an area 10 miles offshore between Winnetka and Waukegan, but "it's substantially in-shore from where it's supposed to be," Zych said.
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All four were discovered in the last 10 years, allowing maritime historians to write the final chapters to their tragic tales. Fearful for the damage to his own ship, the captain of the Augusta sailed away. Less than a month before a July 1,deadline for scuttling the sub according to the World War I armistice, the UC was towed 20 miles out into the lake, trailed by its executioner, the U.
The Wilmette fired 18 sites at the UCthe first live shells fired on the Great Lakes since the War of and within 15 minutes, the U-boat was on its way to the bottom. Zych took up the search inand for waukegan next 17 years he "mowed the grass," dating over the southwestern corner of Lake Michigan with sonar equipment, marking off square mile after square mile of empty lake bottom.
As soon as an image of the wreck appeared on Zych's sonar equipment, he knew he had found the Seabird. But he has been thwarted by the State of Illinois, which took him to court to ensure all the wreckage stayed in Lake Waukegan. Zych's diving mentor, Gene Turner, searched for the ship throughout the s but never found it, partly because he was scanning the lake bottom with out-of-date technology--a fish finder--and partly because the ship was nowhere near the spot where its surviving officers had reported it went down.
Nature has perhaps been crueler to the Seabird in the few years since Zych found it than it was in the years it lay hidden. Like the Lady Elgin, the Seabird was restored to the world by Zych, who found it inafter searching for it during the same period as he looked for the Lady Elgin. Despite the disappearance of some of its cargo, the Lady Elgin remains a fascinating wreck, according to site divers, who by their own dating code and deference to Zych said they look but don't touch.
Under the Illinois Abandoned Shipwreck Act, relieving a sunken vessel of so much as a splinter of wood is illegal, but underwater theft is not an easy dating to police. Most of the people who went down waukegan the Lady Elgin were not sailors but members of the Wisconsin 3rd Union Guard, a bugle corps made up of some of the most prominent Irish-Americans in Milwaukee. The night the Lady Elgin sank in a storm was the deadliest in the history of Lake Michigan. Lyssenko, who found the UC after searching square miles of lake bottom, said the craft is in marvelous shape, resting 17 miles east of Highland Park.
The others are the Seabird, which burned to its waterline in ; a ship that appears to be the St. Navy had to scuttle after World War I. The search for these wrecks has obsessed Great Lakes divers for decades. Ted Kleine. Another evil, he said, is that some unscrupulous divers have been site the ship.