Shipwreck discovery: Missing wooden steamer located

The Steamer New York disappeared in a storm on Lake Huron in 1910.

One of the Great Lakes' largest wooden steamers, which disappeared in 1910, was found in Lake Huron.

The 283' Steamer New York, built in 1879, was found by David Trotter and the Undersea Research Associates (URA), following an extensive search effort that spanned several years.

The New York departed Detroit, Michigan, moving upbound in Lake Huron when she was caught in a violent October, 1910, gale. She lost power and fell into the trough (sideways) where the waves pummeled the ship mercilessly.

The downbound 430' Steamer Mataafa, with the 376' Whaleback Alexander Holley in tow, spotted the New York and realized she was in serious danger. Captain Regan, of the Mataafa, began a turn into the raging seas when its load of iron ore shifted, causing the Mataafa to nearly capsize. She now was 2' lower on one side of the vessel. Despite the risks, the Captain brought the Mataafa around and headed toward the New York.

Although recently rebuilt, New York disappeared in the violent storm, and two small lifeboats could barely be seen. The heroics of Captain Regan and Steamer Mataafa, in saving the New York crew of 14, confirmed that men of iron and "true grit" sailed the steel and wooden ships of the 1900's.

The New York's loss became a mystery unsolved for 100 years. Finally, after an extensive search effort, the dive team descended to explore and confirm the identity of the long missing New York. Extensive underwater video has been taken and the documentary is in production; the program will be available in January, 2013. A short video of the discovery can be seen at:

David Trotter and the URA team have been involved in the discovery and exploration of the Great Lakes shipwrecks for 35 years, and have discovered more than 90 shipwrecks.