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Steamer Lady Elgin

Lake Name: Lake Michigan
Shipwreck Name: Lady Elgin
Lady Elgin

Vessel Type: Sidewheel steamer
Location: Kenosha, WI
Vessel Build Info: 1851, Bidwell & Banta, Buffalo
Shipwreck Specs: 231x33x12, 819 t
Official Number: none
Names Other: none

Sinking Detail
The luxurious passenger boat collided with the 2-mast schooner AUGUSTA (see COLONEL COOK) in darkness and heavy weather and went to the bottom from a gaping hole in her engine room. The damaged AUGUSTA ran for Chicago, not knowing steamer’s wound would be fatal. Passengers included hundreds of excursionists, a Milwaukee militia group, a group of Milwaukee policemen, two newspaper publishers and a member of the British Parliament. About 100 from the LADY made it to shore on wreckage or in lifeboats. She had been a darling of the lakes for her entire career and her comings and going were reported often in the newspapers of the time, though her insurance rating had slipped in years recent to the loss.
Wreckage was located in 1989, much litigation followed.  She suffered a significant fire on Lake Superior in 1856.
Ashore near Copper Harbor, Lake Superior in the summer of 1858. Thought to be a hopeless case, but removed after several days.

Loss Date: 9/8/1860
Loss Place: off Winnetka,IL
Loss Life: 297 of 400
Loss Reason: Collision
Vessel Cargo: none

Shipwreck Description
This was the “Titanic” of the Great Lakes. Over 300 people lost their lives when the Lady Elgin burned and sank. The wrecks is in pieces.

Dive Type: Recreational
Depth Deck(ft): 40 ft
Depth Bottom(ft): 45 ft
Depth Deck(m): 12 m
Depth Bottom(m): 13 m


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