Monday, June 26, 2006


Archaeologist examines wreck near Lake Huron lighthouse

June 25, 2006

ROGERS TOWNSHIP, Mich. - An archaeologist and some students are examining a shipwreck about 200 feet from the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse on Lake Huron to see whether they can confirm it is the Joseph S. Fay.

For years, historical accounts have attached the name to the wreck and there is little doubt that the section of ship on the beach is a portion of the wooden steamer, The Alpena News reported Friday.

"I guess I came into this looking at it as an unknown object," said Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Archaeologist Wayne Lusardi. "Is it a shipwreck? ... Can it be identified as the Fay or another ship?"

The Fay, which was built in 1871, broke apart near the lighthouse in 1905.

About 130 feet of wreckage consisting of weather-worn lumber and large metal fasteners lies on the beach in Presque Isle County. More of the wreckage is located just offshore in about 15 feet of water.

"We've been exposing the different layers," said University of Michigan graduate Beth Dykstra, a summer intern with the marine sanctuary.

The dimensions of the ship's hold are consistent with the Fay, Lusardi said. In addition to Dykstra, two current University of Michigan students and a Michigan State University student are assisting.

Information from the excavation may be incorporated into the Joseph S. Fay exhibit at the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse.


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