Lake Superior, it’s said, never gives up her dead — unless you look really, really hard. With enough digging (or swimming), it appears that some ships don’t stay buried forever. At least, that’s what the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society is looking to prove, and so far it’s proven Gordon Lightfoot wrong by finding two 109-year-old wrecks at the bottom of the Great Lakes. Next, the Society plans to find a third.
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The ships are the C.F. Curtis and Selden S Marvin, two lumber-hauling ships that sank together in 1914. At the time, the Curtis was towing the Marvin from a port in Michigan out to New York, along with a third ship — the Annie M Peterson. The three wrecked in November of that year, claiming the lives of all 28 sailors aboard.
With the first two ships located and identified, the Society now aims to locate the Peterson. Given that the Curtis and Marvin laid only “a few miles” from each other, that final ship may not be far — sitting on the bed of Superior, just waiting to be tracked down by the Society’s underwater sonar systems.
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Underwater video shows the C.F. Curtis as it now sits, rusted and rotting after a century beneath the waves. But, even after all that time, it’s still recognizable — down to the name printed on the boat’s side. Even some gauges within the ship almost look readable.
The Society hopes that finding the Peterson will help conclusively tell the story of what happened that November night. At least, tell a more descriptive version than “the witch of November came stealing.”