St. Andrew – well, formerly 🙁
|Depth:||52′ to 60′|
|Dimensions:||135′ x 31′ x 13′ (Some sources say 143′ length)|
|Cargo:||Corn, from Chicago for Buffalo|
|Cause of Sinking:||Collision with schooner Peshtigo|
|Built:||1857, Milan Ohio by Merry & Gay|
|Date Lost:||June 26, 1878|
|Construction:||Wood, 3 mast schooner|
|Skill Level:||Beginner to Intermediate|
Shipwreck: N45° 42.051′ W084° 31.795′
Mooring: N45° 42.044′ W084° 31.809′
This wreck was long assumed to be the St. Andrew, but always perplexed everyone since the Peshtigo could not be located nearby. Two conflicting sets of newspaper stories gave the accident location in different places, one in Lake Huron near Cheboygan, and the other placed it off Beaver Island in Lake Michigan. In 2019 a pair of deep wrecks below Beaver Island were confirmed to be the St.Andrew and Peshtigo, as they were found to be sunk bow-to-bow, with the masts fallen over each other, just as the Chicago newspapers had reported.
We’ll leave the St.Andrew story up until we are able to make a (somewhat) confident determination of the true identity of our shipwreck. We have a couple of good choices (again, with conflicting newspaper accounts) but are constrained somewhat by the known discovery and recovery of a “stepping coin” found in the mast step of our wreck. The coin, normally placed before the initial launch of a vessel, is dated 1857. Our current “most likely” identity was launched in 1855, so we have some work to do.
The St. Andrew was a 135′ schooner built in Milan OH in 1857. She was carrying corn from Chicago to Buffalo on her fateful voyage in 1878. The St. Andrew sank at night, June 26, after colliding the the schooner Peshtigo. Both were said to have sank together, side by side, but the Peshtigo has never been located or identified.
The “St. Andrew” lies in 65 feet of water 11 miles southeast of the bridge, in Lake Huron. She is moored on her bow. She is upright and fairly broken up. She is a great dive for beginning divers or when the west winds make access to other dive sites difficult. The centerboard, windlass, and major sections of the hull are here, but the deck has fallen to the side, and the hull sides are falling over.
Mooring Buoy Status
Buoyed June 2022. Mooring is just off the bow, using a large, lighted buoy under Coast Guard permit. Mooring is available from late-May to mid-September, the moorings make for easier location, safer diving and protect shipwrecks from damage from anchors and hooks.