Relics of Maritime Tragedy: Objects from Straits of Mackinac Shipwrecks

Mackinac History: A Continuing Series of Illustrated Vignettes, Volume IV, Leaflet #6

The Great Lakes have claimed thousands of shipwrecks since vessels first started traversing these waters in the 1600s. Shipwreck sites are unique as they are time capsules that allow us to look at specific moments in history. Water preserves and protects the ship and its contents in a way not possible on land. Shipwreck sites are less likely to be impacted by development and other factors which alter the historical record of a land site. Shipwrecks provide unique information about their crews, the origin of the objects on board and where the ships were built. When objects are removed from shipwreck sites, these historical links are lost.

The exhibition in the Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Museum interprets maritime tragedies through these objects and educates the public about the importance of preserving underwater cultural resources. In this vignette author Brian Jaeschke presents pictures and descriptions of items found in the Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Museum – all items that were legally recovered prior to 1980.

Author: Brian S. Jaeschke
Publisher: Mackinac State Historic Parks
This publication made possible through the Samuel Bayard Poole Memorial Fund. Illustrated, 20 pages, 2016
Price: $3.77