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Low water exposes century-old shipwreck on Grand Haven's Harbor Island
Michigan Live ^ | 12-12-12 | Eric Gaertner

Posted on 12/16/2012 9:22:43 PM PST by shove_it

GRAND HAVEN, MI – The remains of a wooden steamer built 125 years ago recently were uncovered in the Grand River, a surprising benefit of the historically low water levels.

The wooden sections of the 290-foot steamer Aurora, which burned in 1932, and parts of at least four other shipwreck hulks were exposed by the receding water line near the edges of Harbor Island. West Michigan maritime researchers deemed the Aurora the most significant of the finds, as it was once the largest wooden steamer on the Great Lakes.

After being alerted to the wooden pieces by area residents, Holland-based Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates (MSRA) members and officials with the Tri-Cities Historical Museum in Grand Haven investigated and surveyed the larger wreck, featuring the hull, sides and the propeller shaft cradle at the stern. The bow appeared buried and a survey by MSRA east of the visible portion revealed a structure well over 200 feet long, verifying the wreck as that of the Aurora...

(Excerpt) Read more at mlive.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: godsgravesglyphs; michigan

1 posted on 12/16/2012 9:22:46 PM PST by shove_it
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To: shove_it

But I thought Algore said all the sea levels are rising.


2 posted on 12/16/2012 9:24:25 PM PST by w1andsodidwe (Barrak has now won the contest. He is even worse than Jimmah.)
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To: shove_it; SunkenCiv; cripplecreek

A piece of the 290-foot shipwreck Aurora is exposed as seen on December 11, 2012 in Grand Haven due to low water levels in the Grand River. The ship was built in 1887 and lies just east of the public boat launch ramp on Harbor Island.

3 posted on 12/16/2012 9:25:54 PM PST by shove_it (the 0bama regime are the people Huxley, Orwell and Rand warned us about)
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To: shove_it

More photos at article link.

4 posted on 12/16/2012 9:44:53 PM PST by shove_it (the 0bama regime are the people Huxley, Orwell and Rand warned us about)
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To: w1andsodidwe

That evil coal fired power plant in the background of the photo at reply #4 is the culprit.


5 posted on 12/16/2012 9:54:54 PM PST by shove_it (the 0bama regime are the people Huxley, Orwell and Rand warned us about)
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To: w1andsodidwe

Grand Haven is on the land locked sea of Lake Michigan, it is lacking in artic ice the last time I looked. :)


6 posted on 12/16/2012 9:57:00 PM PST by Nailbiter
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To: shove_it
Apparently the owner of that vessel really did lose all his firearms
in a horrible boating accident.
7 posted on 12/16/2012 10:26:02 PM PST by MaxMax
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To: Nailbiter
"Ice Floes" in Lake Michigan ...

Those ice floes stack up pretty tall on the Michigan shore. Lots of photos at Google.

8 posted on 12/16/2012 10:37:22 PM PST by shove_it (the 0bama regime are the people Huxley, Orwell and Rand warned us about)
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To: shove_it

thanks for information


9 posted on 12/16/2012 10:42:44 PM PST by Nailbiter
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To: Springman; cyclotic; netmilsmom; RatsDawg; PGalt; FreedomHammer; queenkathy; madison10; ...
Interesting old stuff.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Weekly/biweekly Michigan legislative activism thread December 7, 2012
10 posted on 12/17/2012 4:59:28 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Springman; cyclotic; netmilsmom; RatsDawg; PGalt; FreedomHammer; queenkathy; madison10; ...
Interesting old stuff.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Weekly/biweekly Michigan legislative activism thread December 7, 2012
11 posted on 12/17/2012 5:00:31 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: shove_it

A couple of yeas ago there was a video posted of the ice crashing through someone’s livingroom window on Saginaw bay I believe.


12 posted on 12/17/2012 5:09:56 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: cripplecreek
We used to live in Menominee right on Green Bay. We never were threatened by ice shoves, but I remember one year they were pretty bad on the north side of town. I bunch of cars at a used car lot were destroyed when the ice came ashore in the spring.
13 posted on 12/17/2012 6:01:48 AM PST by stayathomemom (Beware of kittens modifying your posts.)
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To: shove_it
The April 9, 2011 Google Earth overflight shows the stern half of the wreck distinctly. The forward half is on/under the island. I assume the crew must have beached her, bailed out on land and let her burn to the waterline.

If she ran up the beach, the bow may be essentially gone -- except for a massive amount of those iron connecting members. However, those may well have been 'salvaged' soon after the accident...

(FWIW, Michigan seems to have gotten the short end of the stick on Google-published overflights. All the other dates are of such poor quality as to be essentialy useless for OHI archaeology...


14 posted on 12/17/2012 10:53:28 AM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias... "Barack": Allah's current ally...)
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To: TXnMA
There's another story on this I read last week that tells a much more mundane story. While trapped in the ice in the Detroit River in 1898, she burned down to the water line. The owners refitted the hull as a barge and she was used that way until 1927. when the economy turned bad. She sat unused until 1932, when she was dragged to this spot and burned again. After that, sediment built up and it was basically buried, with scrub vegetation growing over it. Lately, the island's been eroding on that side, uncovering the wreck when the water levels dropped.


15 posted on 12/17/2012 11:07:46 AM PST by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: TXnMA
Here's the before picture ...

I thought the bow was visible but after re-reading the article, that is the stern - you are correct.

16 posted on 12/17/2012 11:12:13 AM PST by shove_it (the 0bama regime are the people Huxley, Orwell and Rand warned us about)
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To: cripplecreek

Mrs. shove_it has friends whose Lake Huron cottage was demolished by ice back in the 1980's. This isn't their cottage in the photo, however.

17 posted on 12/17/2012 11:32:44 AM PST by shove_it (the 0bama regime are the people Huxley, Orwell and Rand warned us about)
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To: shove_it; Bubba Ho-Tep
Yes, it is the stern that is visible. The photos on the website show what appears to be the lower half of a lignum vitae "packing gland" for the propeller shaft at the exposed end.

FWIW, those (~2' thick?) hull walls have a surprisingly complex structure. IMHO, it would be worthwhile to excavate a buried (and intact) section, measure and document it thoroughly, and have a marine architect do a computer reconstruction of that hull wall structure. From that, with adequate measurements of the overall hull remains, a computer (CAD) reconstruction of the hull would be doable.

18 posted on 12/17/2012 11:45:09 AM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias... "Barack": Allah's current ally...)
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To: Bubba Ho-Tep

Thank you for that insight! BTW, that looks like a strange fore-aft attitude — even for an (apparently) unladen wooden ship. Must have been heavy stuff in that aft engine room...


19 posted on 12/17/2012 11:49:13 AM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias... "Barack": Allah's current ally...)
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To: TXnMA
That's a pretty typical example of a Lake Freighter configuration. The Edmund Fitzgerald was the same type. Basically they're bulk carriers--grain, iron ore, gravel, whatever.


20 posted on 12/17/2012 12:16:46 PM PST by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: shove_it

Found a thread with some screen caps (including the pic you posted)

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2202872/posts


21 posted on 12/17/2012 12:23:32 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: cripplecreek

Hah. Thanks for the memories. We don’t get much in the way of ice floes down here in Melbourne Beach.


22 posted on 12/17/2012 12:36:50 PM PST by shove_it (the 0bama regime are the people Huxley, Orwell and Rand warned us about)
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To: Bubba Ho-Tep
I was referring to the Aurora's "squatting" attitude -- bow waterline 'way up out of the water and the stern waterline nearly flush with it. For her to have floated level like the Fitzgerald, she must have been laden "weight forward".

Until I read she was "dragged" to her final position, I had envisioned her being run aground under power. Had she been empty, the bow would have been "high and dry" -- and would have burned clean to the ground

However, your account of her "dragged aground" demise (as a barge) simply means, "WYSIWYG": the bow would have to be excavated to determine its state...

23 posted on 12/17/2012 12:42:08 PM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias... "Barack": Allah's current ally...)
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To: shove_it

It is very cool to see this in person, worth the trip if you are nearby.


24 posted on 12/17/2012 1:45:54 PM PST by exnavy (Got ammo, Godspeed!)
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To: TXnMA

The island has increased in size due to river sediment.


25 posted on 12/17/2012 1:51:05 PM PST by exnavy (Got ammo, Godspeed!)
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To: exnavy
"The island has increased in size due to river sediment."

Apparently typical "delta ridge" growth that occurs where the current slows and sediment falls out...

That's why I was trying to model the initial bow conditions: what are you likely to find if you expend the effort to remove the silt overburden?

I'm working on a ferryboat wreck in the sulphur River in Texas where half of it is buried under as much as 9 feet of silt. Fortunately that (unexposed) buried section is far better preserved than the end that remained out in the water and was sometimes exposed to the air.

However any part of the Aurora that was on dry land probably burned to the ground before it was covered by silt. Not much to be seen or learned from excavating that part of the hull... OTOH, if the island was a submerged sandbar when it was grounded and burned, there might still be a lot there...

26 posted on 12/17/2012 3:41:18 PM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias... "Barack": Allah's current ally...)
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To: SunkenCiv

You might enjoy this one...


27 posted on 12/17/2012 3:42:27 PM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias... "Barack": Allah's current ally...)
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To: Bubba Ho-Tep; TXnMA
While trapped in the ice in the Detroit River in 1898, she burned down to the water line. The owners refitted the hull as a barge and she was used that way until 1927. when the economy turned bad. She sat unused until 1932, when she was dragged to this spot and burned again. After that, sediment built up and it was basically buried, with scrub vegetation growing over it.

It's not generally known today, but Harbor Island used to be the town dump. Anything that anyone didn't want or need ended up at Harbor Island. That's why there's remnants of at least 4 other ship "wrecks" in that area. They're not wrecks..they were dragged there to be disposed of.

Quite a few years ago they brought in a bunch of fill dirt and basically covered up the junk. There's a bunch history buried there.

28 posted on 12/17/2012 3:47:57 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: TXnMA

There is actually trees and shrubs growing over the bow the article at “mlive.com explains it very well. It also has an overhead photo.


29 posted on 12/18/2012 1:30:24 AM PST by exnavy (Got ammo, Godspeed!)
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To: exnavy; Bubba Ho-Tep; DouglasKC
Thanks for the info! I apparently went directly to the photo gallery and missed the two (quite informative) articles.

So, if the Aurora was, indeed, grounded in shallow water when she burned the last time, there should still be parts of her bow remaining beneath the soil of the island - as well as the parts we still see in the water.

I note that the article's OHI (OverHead Image) obscures the wreck with graphics -- so my effort creating the OHI that shows the actual hull wasn't totally wasted... '-)

Glad the folks in MI are treating these wrecks as the historical treasures they are! If any of you see additional articles on the wreck(s) and post them to FR, please ping me!!

Meanwhile, I have more than enough archaeological projects going here in Texas to keep me busier than a retired guy should be... ;-)

Thanks!

TXnMA

30 posted on 12/18/2012 11:18:09 AM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias... "Barack": Allah's current ally...)
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To: DouglasKC

Interesting that it used to be the dump. I’ve driven over it many times on the bridge—my wife’s from Muskegon and I’ve spent a lot of summer days in Grand Haven—and it always struck me as a glorified mud bar.


31 posted on 12/18/2012 12:44:53 PM PST by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: shove_it; TXnMA; cripplecreek

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks shove_it, TXnMA, and cripplecreek. I'll have to check that out if I get a chance.

Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


32 posted on 12/18/2012 8:27:07 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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