Mich. shipwreck hunters find schooner that sank in 1873

The Associated Press

South Haven – Michigan shipwreck hunters have found the remains of a schooner that sank in Lake Michigan in 1873 during a storm.

The Lizzie Throop, a two masted, 86-foot schooner was built in year 1849, at Mill Point, Michigan.

The Lizzie Throop was found in 280 feet of water along western Michigan’s coastline some 15 miles northwest of the city of South Haven, the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association announced this past week.

The vessel set sail from Muskegon, Michigan, on Oct. 16, 1873, on a lumber run to Chicago, but sank after it began leaking during a squall, Valerie van Heest, the shipwreck association’s director, told Two of its six crewmen died when the two-masted, 86-foot-long (26-meter-long) schooner went down.

The wreck of the Lizzie Throop is shown in this illustration.
The Lizzie Throop's deck floated to shore, similar to this wreck, along with the four surving crew members, while the hull sank to the bottom.

“We realize now that the deck and the masts floated ashore with the survivors, while the hull went to the bottom,” van Heest told WZZM-TV.

Side scan sonar images show the sunken vessel on the lake bottom and other footage obtained by divers reveal the devastation the ship suffered when its deck separated from its hull, she said.

The Lizzie Throop was built in 1849 from wood milled at one of the Grand Haven area’s earliest sawmills and was owned by prominent city resident Nathan Throop. It was named after Caroline Elizabeth Throop, who died in 1869.

This side scan reaveals the footprint of the Lizzie Throop wreck.
The Lizzie Throop was built in 1849 from wood milled at Ferry & Sons, one of the Grand Haven area’s earliest sawmills.

The ruins are the 10th shipwreck the association has found during its ongoing search for a passenger plane that crashed into Lake Michigan nearly 68 years ago. Northwest Orient Flight 2501 crashed on June 23, 1950, killing all 58 aboard the DC-4 propliner.

The association partnered 14 years ago with author Clive Cussler and his National Underwater Marine Agency to search for the aircraft. That search will resume this spring with the help of oceanographer Gregory Busch, who will bring to the quest the latest sonar equipment and a unique search methodology, van Heest said.

“We feel more confident than ever that the discovery of Flight 2501 could happen in 2018,” she said.

The Lizzie Throop was of similar build to this two-masted schooner.