Dr. Charles D. Beeker will be the featured speaker at a program celebrating and promoting the nomination of the wreck of the Muskegon as Indiana’s second “Shipwreck Nature Preserve”.
This event will be held on Saturday, September 11 at 1:00pm at the Michigan City Public Library, 100 East Fourth St.
The Michigan City Public Library, Michigan City Historical Society/Old Lighthouse Museum & Indiana DNR Lake Michigan Coastal Program have the distinct honor of hosting this most interesting and informative program.
The Muskegon began its life as the 1199 gross ton, 211 ft, long, 39.9 ft. beam, steel hulled passenger freighter, “Peerless” in 1872 at a dockyard in Cleveland Ohio. The ship operated on the great lakes and over the years saw service as a lumber-hooker and dredger or “sandsucker” as well as passenger liner. It was renamed Muskegon after its purchase by the Indiana Transpiration Company. On October 6, 1910 while tied to the company dock in Michigan City the Muskegon caught fire and burned almost to the waterline.
After the fire the wreckage was towed to a point .28 miles off the shore of Mt. Baldy, in what is now the Indiana Dunes National Park and sunk in 35 ft. of water.
According to Beeker, this shipwreck is important because “it represents significant innovations in commerce, engineering, industry and transportation within Indiana waters and the Great Lakes”. The wreck was rediscovered by recreational divers in the 1960’s and became “Indiana’s first shipwreck to be successfully accepted to the National register of Historic Places for its 19th century contributions to Great Lakes maritime innovation and technology”, says Dr. Beeker.
Because of its shallow depth the site of the wreckage of the Muskegon is an exceptional venue for recreational diving. While much of the superstructure of the ship was destroyed in the fire a great deal of the ship remains to be explored by divers. According to Dr. Beeker, “major segments of the ship’s main frame and side walls, steam engine, twin boilers, Bishop Arch assemblies, propeller and drive shaft” remain intact.
Join us on Saturday, September 11th at 1:00pm for an informative talk and slide show highlighting features of the shipwreck Muskegon and learn why it is important to preserve this site as Indiana’s second Underwater Shipwreck Preserve.