WHITEFISH POINT, Mich. - Two vessels that sank more than a century ago have been discovered in Lake Superior, according to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society (GLSHS).
On Nov. 18, 1914, the steamship C.F. Curtis and the schooner barge Selden E. Marvin – one of two barges being towed by the Curtis that day – sank during a trip to deliver lumber from Baraga, Michigan, to Tonawanda, New York.
The stern and rudder of the Marvin. (The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society/FOX Weather)
According to the GLSHS, the boats encountered a storm with howling winds, snow squalls and punishing waves. Both vessels and the 28 people on board were lost to the dark waters of Lake Superior for more than 100 years.
In the summer of 2021, the GLSHS located the Curtis. One year later, the group discovered the Marvin within a few miles of the Curtis.
The nameboard of the Marvin. (The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society/FOX Weather)
"Finding the Curtis and the Marvin are significant historic discoveries in American history as they were all part of the Hines Lumber industry, one of the biggest lumber companies of that era," the GLSHS said.
The group noted that, during the storm that sank the ships 109 years ago, the lumber company lost nearly a quarter of its fleet.
In red letters are some of the words in "Edward Hines Lumber Company" on the Curtis. (The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society/FOX Weather)
"It was a career highlight to have witnessed the discovery of the Marvin as 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," said Ric Mixter, GLSHS board member and maritime historian.
A triple expansion engine and brass gauge panel on the Curtis. (The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society/FOX Weather)
The group now hopes to discover the other schooner barge towed by the Curtis that fateful day, the Annie M. Peterson.