Shipwrecks and Maritime Tales of the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail
Shipwrecks and Maritime Tales of the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail

Explore Shipwrecks: Dundee

Ship Information

Ship Name: Dundee 
Also Known As: None 
Type of Ship: Two deck schooner barge, three mast, made of wood  
Ship Size: 211 x 35 x 16.6 
   
Ship Owner: Kinsman Transit Co., owned by Philip Minch 
Gross Tonnage: 1043 
Net Tonnage: 991 
Typical Cargo: Iron Ore, Coal, Lumber 
   
Year Built: 1893 - James Davidson in West Bay City, Michigan, for Davidson Transportation Company. Davidson Shipbuilding Company and founder Captain James Davidson was recognized as a pioneer in technical advances for the shipbuilding industry. This company was in operation from 1871 through 1929 and was a major source of prosperity for West Bay City. One of the few locations for wooden ship repairs during the early 1900's. In 1992, Captain James Davidson was inducted into the National Maritime Hall of Fame Museum at the U.S. Merchant Academy, Kings Point, New York.  
Official Wreck Number: US157366 
Wreck Location: 41 41.333 N 81 50.629 W (Kohl) Mooring Buoyed by MAST 
Type of Ship at Loss: Same 
Cargo on Ship at Loss: Iron ore 
Captain of Ship at Loss: Captain Martin Elnen, Milan, Ohio 
   
The Shipwreck Today:

This shipwreck is one of six upon which MAST as placed a mooring buoy.

Located in 68-75 feet of water approximately 13.9 miles North of Cleveland, Ohio. The Dundee is one of the most complete shipwrecks in Lake Erie, according to Carrie Sowden, GLHS/PLESRC archeological director. Carrie provides the following description of the shipwreck today from her diving experiences:

"The Dundee today sits upright in about 68' of water about 14 miles north-northwest of Cleveland. It is one of the most complete shipwrecks in the central basin, which, therefore, makes it an impressive site underwater. The bow is deteriorating, with the port planking having sprung away from the stem. When it was first discovered in the 1970's the bow area was complete, but since that time, the heavy windlass and donkey boiler have fallen to the port side, collapsing most of the upper deck. The few remnants are three deck beams caught under the windlass that are now sticking almost upright. There is a lower deck just aft of the windlass with a small hatch opening, approximately 4' below the main deck. Just aft of the lower deck, the main deck begins. The first of six hatch openings is broken up, but the rest are complete. Much of the main deck is intact with decking missing at the edges. Along the railings are three sets of bit posts, as well as turnbuckles opposite from each of the three masts. The openings to the hold are characterized with combing and iron rings for the hatch covers. Several of the hatch openings have monkey ladders leading into the hold. Just forward of hatch one, on the center line, is the remnants of the foremast hole. Between hatches two and three is the crutch for the foremast or the foremast boom. Between hatches three and four is the main mast hole, with a lot of missing decking. Between hatches four and five is the large iron winch, with two wooden cleats and several iron rings on the deck. Between hatches five and six is the crutch for the main mast or main mast boom. Just aft of the sixth hatch is the remnants of the mizzen mast. This mast was cut down, and about 6 feet still protrudes from the deck. It also includes the entire reinforcing ring at the deck level. Just after the mizzen mast is a long section of combing, perpendicular to the axis of the ship. This combing is longer than the hatches. After this, the entire ship drops away into the hold. The combing is believed to be the front of the footprint of the aft deckhouse. The stern section of this ship is quite broken up, with timbers fallen and scattered throughout the area. There are six deck beams left, as well as the center support for the deck. The entire ship ends in the proud rudder post that sits well above the deck line. The stern is an interesting area and one can see the vertical planking of the transom through the mess of fallen beams. On the starboard side, there is a small brass pipe hidden among the many fallen timbers. Underneath the transom, you can shine your light and see the remnants of the rudder.

The zebra mussels have covered this ship. However, diver anecdotes indicate that there is less coverage now than there has been in the past."

 

September 11, 1900. Foundered approximately 11 miles West of Cleveland, Ohio. Crew of seven. One life lost (ship's cook, Katherine Hoffman, Milan, Ohio, who was a close friend of Captain Elnen and his wife). Enroute from Duluth to Ashtabula, Ohio, with a load of iron ore in tow of the steamer John N. Glidden. A massive gale caused the tow ship to free the Dundee, in order to save their own vessel. The Dundee lost her rudder in the high waves, and the captain and crew, along with the ship's cook, clambered up into the rigging and lashed themselves to the masts. Sometime during the fierce storm, the cook, Katherine Hoffman, was lost from the rigging, with her body never recovered. The surviving six crewmen were rescued a few hours later.  
The Dundee had run aground previously on October 11, 1895 the Dundee lost her rudder while under tow during a gale on Lake Superior, running aground at Two Rivers. Although some claim to have found original photos of the Dundee during her time of service, Carrie Sowden, archeological director for the GLHS/PLESRC, states that to the best of her knowledge, a photo of the Dundee afloat has yet to be located. An anchor from the Dundee can be viewed today in the parking area for the Cargo Warehouse in Vermilion, Ohio. (Maybe they can be convinced to have it replaced to the wreck?)  

Great Lakes Historical Society, Peachman Lake Erie Shipwreck Research Center (GLHS/PLESRC), P.O. Box 435, 480 Main Street, Vermilion, Ohio 44089 Historical Files and Photo Collections

The Great Lakes Diving Guide, Cris Kohl 2001, Seawolf Communications, Inc. P.O. Box 66, West Chicago, Illinois 60186

History of the Great Lakes,, Vol. II, J.H. Beers & Co., Chicago, Illinois 1899. Reprinted by Freshwater Press Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. 1972

Maritime History of the Great Lakes, http://www.hhpl.on.ca/Great Lakes/Wrecks/Details

Alpena Public Library, Pat Labadie Collection, Alpena Michigan

Jim Paskert Collection, Medina, U/W Ohio photos

Buffalo Morning Express, October 12, 1895, 3-2

 

Discovery Dive Charters

Captains Vitas and Marlene Kijauskas

Wildwood State Park Marina

East 174th & Lakeshore Blvd.

Cleveland, Ohio 44119

(216) 481-5771

(216) 692-DIVE

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POSITION STATEMENT:
The Ohio Sea Grant College Program is located within The Ohio State University. <Ohio Sea Grant Extension is part of Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Sea Grant College Program>.  Ohio Sea Grant is one of 32 programs in the National Sea Grant College Program, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce, all of which are dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources.  Ohio Sea Grant uses a combination of research, education and outreach projects to address critical environmental, economic and education issues affecting Ohio, the Great Lakes region and the nation. Sea Grant is a true partnership between universities, government and the private sector. Each year the program supports projects at a number of Ohio colleges, universities and agencies. Also part of Ohio Sea Grant is the university's F.T. Stone Laboratory, located on Gibraltar Island at Put-in-Bay, Referred to as Ohio's Lake Erie Laboratory . Stone Lab was created in 1895, and is the oldest freshwater biological field station in the country. The Laboratory is administered by the School of Environment and Natural Resources in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State University.

SHIPWRECK LOCATIONS:
The latitude/longitude locations provided within are to the best of our knowledge, yet approximate.  Our sources include file data from GLHS/PLESRC, The Great Lakes Diving Guide by Chris Kohl ,MAST publicly published coordinates dive centers,  private divers and scuba clubs. However, these coordinates should NOT to be used for navigation. The reason for this is coordinates may vary slightly between each information source; due specifically to the fact that individual GPS instruments may perform slightly different from each other, for a variety of reasons.

If you plan to visit one of the shipwreck sites specifically for scuba diving purposes, we advise you contact one of the following for more up-to-date, exact locations and any new wreck information which may be available:

 

 

Shipwrecks and Maritime Tales of the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail
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