Shipwreck facts: The Muskegon burned at a Michigan City dock in 1911 after which she was scuttled approximately two miles west of the harbor. Reportedly the vessel burned to just above the water line at the Indiana Transportation Company’s dock. The cause of the blaze was believed to be the ignition of kerosene or oil residue that was near the boilers (Ellis 1986a:36). The vessel sank at the dock after the fire and stayed there until June 10, 1911, when the vessel was re-floated and towed out of the harbor to be scuttled. No lives were lost when the ship burned and the Indiana Transportation Company salvaged some of the sand-sucking machinery (Ellis 1986a:36). The Muskegon was purchased by the Independent Sand and Gravel Company (Ellis 1985:5). This vessel was part of a class of package-freighters that were built to serve as multi-purpose non-bulk freight and passenger carriers (Ellis n.d. (a):3). This vessel was re-fitted twice, once as a lumber- hooker and then as a sand-sucker. There was also folklore that the Muskegon served as a floating gambling house and bordello for a very brief time around 1907-1908 (Ellis 1988:6, Ellis personal communication 2011).
Notes from the field:
Day 12 – We did some survey and dove on 2 sites today. We did documentation through video and photography. It was a very productive day. What I am amazed at on the wrecks is not only the structure but the biology. These vessels truly are coated with zebra mussels and… gobies. There are literally thousands of them on the wrecks. They are like gnats or roaches, they are everywhere. We saw virtually no indigenous fish, just one perch and one bass compared to the thousands of gobies. frightening how invasive species really take over the eco system. 2 weeks into the field work and I’m toast! Tomorrow will be an Alterra day (for those Milwaukee’ans).
Thanks and Cheers 🙂