Thunder Bay Wrecks

Explore the Shipwrecks Beneath the Waters of Lake Huron

Take a virtual dive using our interactive 3D wreck tours

Hundreds of ships have met their fate in the waters of Thunder Bay. We have started by documenting 7 individual shipwrecks, chosen for their history, state of preservation, and accessibility. Simply choose one from the list on the right and start exploring a Great Lakes shipwreck in three dimensions.

History of Thunder Bay

The maritime history of the Thunder Bay region is characterized by the use of, and dependence upon, natural resources. These resources include animal furs, fisheries, forests, farmland, and limestone. The first recorded use of natural resources for transportation, food supplies, and recreation in Thunder Bay was by indigenous people over 3,000 years ago. European activity probably originated with the efforts of Native Americans and French traders to locate and trap beaver during the 1600s.

Trading and supply boats routinely passed Thunder Bay on their way to outposts at Mackinaw, Sault Ste. Marie, and Green Bay. In 1679, LaSalle's Griffon became the first major European vessel to pass by Thunder Bay, and many others were to follow. The need to transport supplies to northern frontier posts stimulated construction of small brigs, sloops, and schooners. Thunder Bay accumulated a large collection of shipwrecks because of its strategic location along shipping lanes, and because the bay and nearby islands provided shelter for vessels in inclement weather.

The shipwrecks of Thunder Bay constitute a microcosm of Great Lakes commercial shipping industry spanning the last two hundred years. The collection reflects transitions in ship architecture and construction, from wooden schooners to early steel-hulled steamers, and several unusual vessel types.

Sailing Vessels

  • E.B. Allen
  • American Union
  • John J. Audubon
  • F.T. Barney
  • Bay City
  • Harvey Bissell
  • Cornelia B. Windiate
  • William H. Stevens
  • H.P. Bridge
  • Corsican
  • Defiance
  • Marion Egan
  • lipire State
  • Fame
  • James H. Hall
  • John F. Warner
  • Alvin Buckingham
  • Ishpliing
  • John T. Johnson
  • Knight Tliplar
  • Light Guard
  • Maid of the Mist
  • Ogarita
  • Lucinda Van Valkenburg
  • E.B. Palmer
  • Panacea
  • Portland
  • Reindeer
  • John L. Shaw
  • Kyle Spangler
  • Typo

Motor Vessels

  • Albany
  • B.W. Blanchard
  • City of Alpena
  • Congress
  • James Davidson
  • Duncan City
  • D.M. Wilson
  • W.P. Rend
  • Pewabic
  • New York
  • Egyptian
  • Joseph S. Fay
  • Oscar T. Flint
  • Florida
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • W.C. Franz
  • Viator
  • Ralph
  • O.E. Parks
  • New Orleans
  • Galena
  • W.H. Gilbert
  • Golden Voyage
  • Grecian
  • D.R. Hanna
  • Loretta
  • W.P. Thew
  • Shamrock
  • Norman
  • New Orleans
  • Marine City
  • W.G. Mason
  • William Maxwell
  • Messenger
  • Monohansett
  • Montana
  • Isaac M. Scott
  • Portsmouth
  • Nordmeer
  • Monrovia


  • Barge 12
  • Detroit
  • Dump Scow
  • Haltiner Barge
  • Heart Failure
  • Lake Michigan Car Ferry Barge No. 1
  • Northern Light
  • Spud Barge
  • Steel Barge