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July 25, 2000

For More Information:
Jeff Gray, State Underwater Archaeologist, State Historical Society of
Wisconsin, (608) 271-1382
John Karl, Science Writer, UW Sea Grant Institute, (608) 263-8621


SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (7/25/00) - Thanks to the installation of mooring buoys at
two shipwrecks a few miles off of Sheboygan last spring, Lake Michigan
divers are finding it easy to travel back in time.

The buoys help divers locate and enjoy two "underwater time capsules,"
according to underwater archaeologist Jeff Gray of the State Historical
Society of Wisconsin.  The buoys were installed by the SHSW.

"The Hetty Taylor and the Seleh Chamberlain allow divers to take a trip back
to the 1880s, when schooners and steamers ruled the Great Lakes," Gray said.

The buoys are part of several initiatives that make up the "maritime trails"
program that the State Historical Society of Wisconsin is developing with
help from the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.  Trails in both
Lake Michigan and Lake Superior will educate divers and non-divers alike
about the state's maritime history by featuring shipwrecks, lighthouses,
historic dock works, and other maritime resources.  Shore-side historic
markers, visitors' materials, divers' guides, and shipwreck moorings will be
incorporated into the trails.  

The Hetty Taylor and the Chamberlain join four other Wisconsin shipwrecks
that are marked by seasonal buoys.  In Lake Michigan, buoys mark the Niagara
off Port Washington and the Frank O'Connor near Bailys Harbor in Door
County.  In the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior, buoys help divers locate
the Lucerne and the Noquebay.

The large buoys are anchored to the lakebed and protect the wrecks by
allowing dive boats to tie directly to the buoys instead of dragging anchors
to locate the wrecks, Gray said. Recreational divers will be able to use the
lines attached to the buoys for a safe descent to the wrecks.

On August 26, 1880, the Hetty Taylor sailed from Milwaukee to Escanaba,
Mich., when the two-masted schooner encountered a heavy squall. The storm
overpowered the 84-foot schooner and capsized her about five miles from
Sheboygan in 105 feet of water.  The gentle capsizing and the protective
deep water have spared the Hetty Taylor much of the destruction that befalls
ships wrecked in punishing shallow-water environments, Gray said. Today, she
sits upright with her bow and portside in excellent condition. Built in
1864, the Hetty Taylor offers divers and archaeologists an exceptional
opportunity to explore one of the many small coastal schooners that once
connected the communities of Lake Michigan.

The Selah Chamberlain steamed from Milwaukee on October 13, 1886, bound for
Escanaba, Mich., for a cargo of iron ore. In a thick fog, the Chamberlain
was struck on the port bow by the steamer John Pridgeon Jr.  In the ensuing
confusion, seven of the Chamberlain's crew scrambled into one of the ship's
boats, but the gear became fouled and five members fell into the water,
never to be seen again.  Today much of the Chamberlain's 212-foot long
wooden hull is found resting in 80 feet of water.  Her enormous and
well-preserved steam engine towers 25 feet above the bottom.

These are just two of hundreds of submerged archaeological sites that can be
visited in Wisconsin.  More than 700 shipwrecks and thousands of other
archaeological sites rest in the 22 percent of the state that lies under
water.  Besides their historic and archaeological value, many of these sites
have tremendous recreational appeal, Gray said.

"Underwater archaeology enables a better understanding of maritime
traditions, technology, economics, and culture," Gray said.  "The cold,
fresh water of the Great Lakes preserves shipwrecks and other artifacts.  By
visiting and studying wrecks like the Taylor and Chamberlain, we have rare
opportunities for hands-on exploration of history."

Six shipwrecks in the Apostle Islands, Lake Superior, and seven in Lake
Michigan are featured on a UW Sea Grant-SHSW Web site, "Wisconsin's Great
Lakes Shipwrecks" (www.seagrant.wisc.edu/shipwrecks).  For more information
on Wisconsin shipwrecks, call the State Historical Society of Wisconsin at
(608) 271-1382.

# # # #

Conceived in 1966, Sea Grant is a national network of 29 university-based
programs of research, outreach, and education dedicated to the protection
and sustainable use of the United States' coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes
resources.  The National Sea Grant Network is a partnership of participating
coastal states, private industry, and the National Sea Grant College
Program, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of


John Karl
Science Writer

University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
1975 Willow Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1103

Phone: (608) 263-8621
FAX: (608) 262-0591


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