Ebar Ward

Depth: 100' to 140'
Beam: 32'
Cause of sinking: Struck an ice flow
Built: 1888, Bay City Michigan
Date Lost:
April 20th, 1909
Construction Type:
Skill Level: Advanced
Location: Lat:  45 48.83’N
Long: 084 40.13’W
The Eber Ward was built 1888 in W. Bay City, MI. She was a 213' long wood steamer. She was named after the Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse keeper. Ironically, Bois Blanc Island is only a few miles from where the Ward sank.

On April 20, 1909 the Ward was enroute to Port Huron, from Chicago, with 55,000 bushels of corn. It was her maiden voyage of the year. There was still ice in the Straits and the Ward's bow was gated by ice and sank within ten minutes, caring five crew to their death. It was nine in the mooring of a bright fair weather day.

The Eber ward lays about 5 miles West of the bridge in 140' of water and sitting upright and intact. She is usually moored at the bow (South) and Stern/engine (North). The bow is in 125' of water and the deck is at 100'. The bow is in 135' with the deck at 110'. Given these depths, she is an advanced dive and careful dive planning is warranted. There is a lot of equipment on her deck, anchors on her bow with a interesting mushroom anchor on the port bow. The engine is visible from the deck. Her smoke stack is off the starboard side and a life boat is off her starboard stern There are penetration opportunities for those that are trained to do so.
Present Condition
Her upper works are gone but the hull remains upright, very well preserved and remarkably intact. Among other features, she has a unique mushroom anchor, two decks, a round stern, engine, boiler, early mechanical unloading equipment, and hand trucks stored in her bow top deck. Her smokestack lies on the starboard bottom and a lifeboat rests off her starboard stern. Topside a porcelain toilet and bathtub sit on the deck.
Mooring Buoy Status: Removed for Season
The Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Preserve maintains seasonal moorings at this site. Mooring are available from May to September, the moorings make for easier location, safer diving and protect shipwrecks from damage from anchors and hooks. Vessels are required to use these moorings when they're present.

Pictures from the Eber Ward

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