Near Institute in Door County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Scow Schooner Ocean Wave
—Wisconsin's Maritime Trails —
Type: Wooden schooner, two-masted
Built: 1860, Robert Chambers, Harsen's Island, Mich.
Sank: September 23, 1869
Length: 73' Beam 20'
Depth of Wreckage: 110'
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Four miles southeast of here, in 110 feet of water, lie the remains of the Ocean Wave. The two-masted wooden ship was a scow schooner, a boxy, flat-bottomed vessel of the late 1800s. Scow schooners could enter shallower harbors more easily than shapely vessels, and they connected small frontier towns to large city markets.
In the early morning of Sept. 23, 1869, the Ocean Wave was delivering a load of limestone to White Lake, Mich., when she struck a 'deadhead' – a floating log or timber. She sank quickly, barely leaving the crew time to launch the lifeboat. In his haste, Captain Fletcher Hackett reportedly left $160 in his cabin. The crew rowed through the night and finally reached shore near this sign.
Today, the bow of the Ocean Wave is largely intact and displays a figurehead, unusual for small coasting schooners. It is a crudely carved eagle, with open mouth and extended tongue. The sides of the ship have fallen outward, and the aft deck and its intact cabin lie nearby. The wreck of the Ocean Wave is marked
logos of: Wisconsin Historical Society, Sea Grant · University of Wisconsin, NOAA, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program
Title to Wisconsin's submerged archaeological sites is held in public trust by the State of Wisconsin. As steward of these unique historical and recreational resources, the Wisconsin Historical Society encourages responsible diver visitation of these sites. Please leave these sites intact for future generations to enjoy. Wisconsin law prohibits unauthorized disturbance or removal of artifacts, structure, cargo, or human remains. Report archaeological site looting at (800) TIP-WDNR.
A partnership of the Wisconsin Historical Society, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, and the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program. Funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management under the Coastal Zone Management Act, Grant #NA04NOS4190062.
CAUTION: Dive at your own risk. Sea Grant and the Wisconsin Historical Society accept no responsibility for loss of any kind including personal injury or property damage. In case of emergency, contact the Coast Guard by marine radio channel 16 or by phone at (414) 747-7182. For diving emergencies, call Divers Alert
Erected by the Wisconsin Historical Society's Maritime Preservation and Archaeology Program.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin’s Maritime Trails marker series.
Location. 44° 55.586′ N, 87° 10.922′ W. Marker is near Institute, Wisconsin, in Door County. Marker can be reached from Clark Lake Road (County Road WD) 3.8 miles east of State Highway 57, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in Whitefish Dunes State Park. Fee area; a vehicle admission sticker is required. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3275 Clark Lake Road, Sturgeon Bay WI 54235, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Jacksonport United Methodist Church (approx. 3.2 miles away); Reynolds' Pier (approx. 3.6 miles away); The Episcopal Church of the Holy Nativity (approx. 3.8 miles away); Halfway to the North Pole (approx. 5.4 miles away); Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church (approx. 5.7 miles away); a different Halfway to the North Pole (approx. 8.2 miles away); The Orchards of Door County (approx. 8.2 miles away); 8064 Hwy. 57 (approx. 9.8 miles away).
More about this marker. captions:
• Magdalena, a scow schooner similar to the Ocean Wave Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green State University
• The cabin roof remains intact, suggesting quality workmanship.
• The eagle figurehead
• An archaeologist documents the bow construction.
• Archaeological site plan. Cabin roof is in upper right, with companionway labeled.
• Background image: Looking aft through the bow, the windlass and anchor chain are visible.
Also see . . .
1. Wisconsin's Great Lakes Shipwrecks. (Submitted on June 10, 2014.)
2. Wisconsin Maritime Trails. (Submitted on June 10, 2014.)
3. Detailed Information for Ocean Wave. (Submitted on June 10, 2014.)
Categories. • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 10, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 397 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on June 10, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.