Shipwreck from the late 1800s revealed as Lake Michigan's water levels recede.

As Lake Michigan water levels continue to decline from the record levels that remained for nearly two years, shipwrecks and other historically significant items are being revealed.

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On Sunday, March 14, 2021, Kerri Eriskin decided to head to the shoreline near the White Lake channel in Muskegon County.

I wasn’t sure what I was seeing when we visited on Sunday, but researched it later and found an article from MLive in 2018. It was pretty exciting to see remnants of the late 1800s. ~Kerri Erskin

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What Kerri saw and captured on film was this

Courtesy of Kerri Erskin
Courtesy of Kerri Erskin

Buried beneath Lake Michigan and not seen since 2018, the scow schooner Contest was once again revealed. The scow schooner Contest was built in 1863 in Holland, Michigan, and was lengthened at Kenosha, Wisconsin in 1872. The Contest spent her time on western Lake Michigan loaded with cordwood, posts, ties, stone, and general merchandise. Her ports of call were usually Kenosha to the south and Door County to the north; Bailey's harbor, Jacksonport, Laurie's quarry, according to WisconsinShipWrecks.org.

The exact date of when the Contest sank vary. But it is safe to say the flat-bottomed hull that was designed to navigate the shallow waters succumbed to the angry waves of Lake Michigan in the late 1800s. But the Contest was last listed in 1897. Some say the three-masted scow schooner was driven ashore during a gale while attempting to enter Kenosha harbor in Wisconsin.

At some point in the early 1900s, the wreckage was removed from its original watery grave but no accurate records on were it was moved to exist. Today, you can view the wreckage for yourself. At least while Lake Michigan's water levels continue to recede.

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Frozen Lake Michigan - South Haven Feb 2021

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