A group of underwater archaeologists are preparing for a project off the shores of Empire. The goal is to discover clues about the village's booming history, a history that currently lies several feet below Lake Michigan.
The action will begin on June 8th, when a team of divers will employ the latest electronic and underwater sonar technology to find evidence of a once thriving lumber town.
More than 100 years ago, the small village of Empire boasted one of the largest hardwood millis in the state of Michigan. Dave Taghon, with the Empire Museum built a scale model of the Empire Lumber Company.
Dave Taghon says, "There were two 50 feet wide by 500 feet long docks used in shipping between 1887-1917."
It's those huge piers that has history buffs intrigued. While the lumber company burnt down in 1917, the piers are still out there and a group of underwater archeologists are setting out to rediscover them.
Troy Wilson, who is a part of Northwestern Michigan College's Nautical and Underwater Archaeology Department says, "Instead of taking hand measurements by tape, we will have lasers to do different spots. They will do the math for us."
He says the group could also find old tools and machinery along the way.
The second part of the mission is to plot the position and diameter of tree stumps that are out in 20 feet of water. The tree stumps are more than 10,000 years old and are from the Ice Age.
You can watch this project from the shore. Just go to the public beach in Empire on June 8th through 10th.