The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society recently shared footage of two shipwrecks discovered in Lake Superior. The pair of vessels, named C.F. Curtis and Selden E. Marvin, were at the bottom of the lake for more than 100 years.
Back in late 1914, a fleet of three ships, Steamship C.F. Curtis towing the schooner barges Selden E. Marvin and Annie M. Peterson, belonging to Hines Lumber industry embarked on a lumber transport trip lumber from Baraga, Michigan, to Tonawanda, New York. At one point during the sail, three ships were caught up in a massive storm and were sunk, with all 28 members of their crew losing their lives.
The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society researchers discovered Curtis in 2021 and then found Marvin a year later. The shipwrecks were located 20 miles from the shores of Grand Marais, Michigan, at 500 feet below water.
The researchers used underwater cameras to capture the exterior of shipwrecks, which are surprisingly well preserved. However, they contain some unusual damage that might indicate they collided at one point during the storm. The footage of both shipwrecks has been recently made available to the public.
“It was a career highlight to have witnessed the discovery of the Marvin,” maritime historian Ric Mixter said. “ … it not only solved a chapter in the nation’s darkest day in lumber history, but also showcased a team of historians who have dedicated their lives towards making sure these stories aren’t forgotten.”
The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society will now focus on finding the third ship from the fleet in order to complete the puzzle and discover more about the tragic event.