Remnants of 140-year-old shipwreck revealed along shore of Lake Michigan

The remnants believed to be that of a ship that sunk 140 years ago have once again appeared along the shore of Lake Michigan.

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Based on the location of the exposed timbers, researchers believe the wreck to be what’s left of the hull from the LC Woodruff, a commercial schooner carrying corn that sunk in November 1878. 

“Having lived on the Great Lakes and having done shipwreck research, no, it did not wash ashore," Allan Dake, a researcher with the Muskegon Heritage Museum, told "It’s in the same place it’s always been.”

Shifting waves and currents exposed what’s left of the vessel, Dake said. Its remnants have appeared twice before, in 1942 and 1974, he said. 

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The 170-foot long barkentine schooner was built in 1866 in Buffalo, New York, and was capable of carrying 550 tons. The ship wrecked after a bad storm sank it in 13 feet of water about a half mile from shore, reported. Three of the 13 crew members died. 

The wreck is not expected to be visible for long. 

"The sands are shifting, big storms will move large bodies of sand then reveal things," Valerie van Heest, president of the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association, told WXMI. "This may be gone with the next storm. It's a small window in time where we can look at these ships, the remains of these ships."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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