Brad Krueger - INA Research Associate, MA Candidate
Nautical Archaeology Program, Texas A&M University
Over the past two years, the Great Lakes Historical Society, the Cleveland Underwater Explorers (CLUE), the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, and Texas A&M University have partnered to closely examine the archaeological remains of Anthony Wayne, a mid-19th century side-wheel passenger and cargo steamer. Wayne, which rests approximately six miles north of Vermilion, OH, was discovered using side scan sonar technology in September 2006 by Tom Kowalczk, a member of CLUE. Divers from CLUE verified this incredible find in May 2007 and announced the discovery of the wreck in association with the Great Lakes Historical Society. At present, Anthony Wayne is thought to be the oldest surviving archaeological example of a steamboat shipwreck in Lake Erie.
The Anthony Wayne Shipwreck Survey is an archaeological investigation to thoroughly document the present-day conditions of the wreck site. Steamboats were a major force in the transportation revolution of the nineteenth century and there is much to learn from the remains of these vessels. There are several overall goals of this project: to learn about early Great Lakes steamboat construction, how passenger and cargo steamers impacted both regional and national economic development, and to learn about those who worked, lived, and traveled aboard these early side-wheel steamboats.
There are several benefits that will result from the historical and archaeological research conducted by the Anthony Wayne Shipwreck Survey.
* Increase our knowledge of early Great Lakes steamboat construction and technology.
* Provide an opportunity to conduct a comparative analysis between Wayne and other archaeological examples of Great Lakes side-wheelers.
* Better understand the social and economic impact of Great Lakes passenger and cargo steamers.
* Learn about life aboard steamboats in the 19th century.
* Get people excited about Great Lakes maritime history and underwater archaeology!