The Great Lakes are no strangers to shipwrecks, with numbers reaching into the thousands, the lakes harbor hundreds of years of history that one Benzie County man hopes to share.
In July of 2010, Ross Richardson, a diver and local historian, was credited with finding the Westmoreland. It was and still is “one of the most sought after ships in the Great Lakes” (Richardson has kept the location of the vessel hidden in order to preserve the artifacts found aboard the steamer that sank in December of 1865). However, Richardson recently announced that he has discovered three more undocumented ships in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore waters.
Richardson stated that “Only one, the schooner ‘James McBride,’ is a previously documented shipwreck, according to [his] research.” The other two unknown vessels are reported to be over 100 feet long and are estimated to date back to 1860. Richardson reports that one of the ships contains numerous artifacts.
Richardson and a team of officials are working together to learn more about these ships in order to preserve and promote awareness of these ships. Richardson is also working with Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore officials to create an smart phones app that will allow anyone from a novice diver to an underwater archeologist to easily find known shipwrecks in the area.
Watch Richardson’s video of his shipwreck dive to the historic grave.
Learn more about Richardson’s passion for Great Lakes shipwrecks on his website, Michigan Mysteries.