Mackinaw City in Cheboygan County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Graveyard of the Deep
Mackinaw City Historical Pathway
The Griffin, the first ship on the Upper Great Lakes, disappeared on its maiden voyage in 1679. Since then the Lakes have swallowed over 10,000 vessels. Early wooden ships were often lost to on-board fires. Many others were destroyed by the Lakes’ large storm waves which are so sharp and closely spaced that a ship may not recover from one before another strikes.
The Steamer Minneapolis collided with an ice floe on April 4, 1894. She sank just west of the south tower of the Mackinac Bridge, but the crew escaped harm.
The Straits of Mackinac have claimed many a ship blown off course onto dangerous shoals submerged outside narrow shipping lanes. Fog, swift currents, and crushing winter ice also have taken their toll. In 1983 the Straits were designated a Michigan Bottomland Preserve to protect shipwrecks as historical and recreational resources.
The Cedarville is one of the more recent Straits wrecks and a popular target for divers. She sank in 1965 after colliding with a Norwegian freighter in dense fog, claiming 10 lives. Almost 600 feet long, she lies on her side 100 feet down.
Erected 2014 by Mackinaw City Historical Pathway.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Disasters • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 45° 47.232′ N, 84° 43.663′ W. Marker is in Mackinaw City, Michigan, in Cheboygan County. Marker can be reached from North Huron Street. Marker is located in Alexander Henry Park, on the shore of Lake Huron, along the Mackinaw City Historical Pathway, looking north toward Lake Huron. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mackinaw City MI 49701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Building Mighty Mac (here, next to this marker); Crossroads of the Great Lakes (within shouting distance of this marker); Shipwrecks in the Straits (within shouting distance of this marker); Alexander Henry Park Kiosk (within shouting distance of this marker); Alexander Henry 1739 - 1834 (within shouting distance of this marker); Fog Signal Station (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse (about 500 feet away); Lighthouses of the Mackinac Straits (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mackinaw City.
Also see . . .
1. Great Lakes Shipwrecks.
There are over 6,000 shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, having caused an estimate loss of 30,000 mariners’ lives. It is estimated that there are about 550 wrecks in Lake Superior, (Submitted on August 18, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Steamer Minneapolis Shipwreck.
The Minneapolis was a wood steamer built in Marine City MI in 1873, originally as a passenger ship but later converted to carry bulk cargo. She was to become another victim of early April ice. She, along with 19 other boats, made out of Chicago harbor on April fools day 1894. The William Barnum was among those 19 other boats and would sink the day before the Minneapolis would go down. (Submitted on August 18, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Cedarville Shipwreck.
In the early morning of May 7, 1965, the Cedarville departed Port Calcite, near Rogers City, headed to Gary, IN with 14,411 tons of limestone with a crew of 35. As they neared the Straits of Mackinac, the fog thickened. Due to a lack of communication, the Norwegian vessel Topdalsfjord collided with the Cedarville on her port side cutting a deep gash in her side between the seventh and eight hatch. (Submitted on August 18, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 18, 2019. It was originally submitted on August 18, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 137 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 18, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 5. submitted on October 17, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.