Maritime History – Schooner Typo

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Typo, a three-masted schooner, was built in 1873. The vessel was built by Milwaukee’s Wolfe & Davidson. The Typo is a typical “canaler”, built at the time to fit the width and length of the Welland Canal. The Typo had bad luck. She had run aground, (Amherst Island) caught fire, broken a jib-boom, been abandoned, recovered, and repaired.

Schooner Typo
Photo credit: Matt Mandzuik

The Typo’s Final Voyage

Typo’s 26-year career came to an end when it sank in October 1899 southeast of Presque Isle, Michigan, USA. The schooner, loaded with coal bound for Racine, Wisconsin, was struck from behind by the steamship W.P. Ketchum. Only three of the seven crew members escaped from the stern cabin, which served as the crew’s living quarters, before the ship sank in 180 feet of water.

Schooner Typo
Photo credit: Matt Mandzuik

Typo has been remarkably preserved by Lake Huron’s cold, fresh water and stands upright with the foremast still attached to the crosstrees. The main mast has been broken, and topmasts, cross trees, spars, and wire rigging are all over the deck. The ship’s bell is still atop the windlass. Except for the stern damage caused by the collision, nearly the entire hull of Typo is intact. Behind the wreckage on the lake bottom is the coal that Typo was carrying and spilled as she sank.

Schooner Typo
Photo credit: Matt Mandzuik

GPS Co-ordinates: N44°59.480′ W83°02.229′

Thanks to Matt Mandzuik of Dans’ Dive Shop for his photo contributions.

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About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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