Event: Grounded and torn in half by waves, October 24, 1884
Ship: 231 foot, 1,502 ton iron steamer
Location: From the old rocket launch pad at Keweenaw point, wreckage begins in the shallow bay and extends NW in line with the rocky point. Main stern section is found in 15 feet of water directly in line with the tip of the point and the rocket launch pad about 100 feet out
Coordinates: 47 25.87N 47 42.29 W
Depth: 15 feet
Visible Remains: Many twisted and torn iron plate hull sections with lots of scattered bolts and other assorted iron pieces. The main remaining hull consists of the engine mounts, drive shafts and the stern section with one prop remaining. Other large hull sections are adjacent and scattered around.
Story: The Scotia was built in Buffalo, New York in 1873 and had changed owners on October 14, 1884. She was on her way to Duluth when she encountered fierce winds and blinding snow east of Keweenaw point. At 5:00 A.M. on October 24, 1884, she plowed into the point and was stuck so fast that the twin 600 horsepower engines and props could not back her off. Some of her crew went aboard another steamer which rendered assistance, while others went ashore.
Before wreck tugs could arrive, she was torn in half by rampaging waves and was a total loss. Two years later, a salvage diver burned off the remaining upper works and salvaged the engines, boilers, and 150 tons of scrap metal. In the early 1970's, scuba divers salvaged one of the props which is now on display at Fort Wilkins. The loss after salvage was $80,000.
Reprinted with permission from "An Underwater Guide to Lake Superior's Keweenaw Peninsula" by Mark and Kathy Roberts, P.O. Box 332, Houghton, MI 49931
For more detailed information on The Scotia, visit the Keweenaw Underwater Preserve.
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