Author: Clark Sykes
Have you ever dreamed about exploring sunken ships or finding pirates treasure? Do you sometimes imagine the golden age of sail on the Great Lakes and wonder where all those old ships went? Are you curious about what secrets lie beneath the surface of Buffalo Harbor and Lake Erie? Well, here’s your chance to find out!
Ships have been plying the Great Lakes since Sieur de La Salle sailed Le Griffon out of Cayuga Creek on the Niagara River in 1679. War and merchant fleets were critical during the American Revolution and the War of 1812, and commercial shipping on the Great Lakes was a major factor in opening up the American heartland and the rise of Buffalo and other major cities on these inland seas.
It is estimated that more than 6,000 ships and 30,000 lives have been lost in the Great Lakes over the centuries. While some of these shipwrecks are known, many remain to be found. Modern technology has revolutionized underwater archaeology, leading to the discovery in recent years of many more wrecks in deep waters.
One of the leaders spearheading these new discoveries is Cleveland Underwater Explorers (CLUE), of Cleveland, Ohio. On Saturday, November 17th at 11:00 a.m. at the Buffalo Maritime Center, 90 Arthur Street, Buffalo, CLUE will discuss their pioneering work in underwater archaeology and present some of their more spectacular discoveries of Great Lakes shipwrecks. This is a unique and fascinating opportunity to learn about the many shipwrecks in our own “backyard” and the rich maritime past of the Great Lakes.
If you plan to attend this free event ($5 donation appreciated) please email and visit the for more information about this and other exciting events happening at the BMC.
Lead image: Wreck of the Schooner Northerner