Skip to Main

153-Year-Old Shipwreck Found at the Bottom of Lake Superior

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society has found the wreck of a lost ship in Lake Superior.

The 144-foot Barquentine Nucleus was found under 600 feet of water about 40 miles northwest of Vermilion Point.

The Nucleus sank on Sept. 14, 1869 while carrying a load of iron ore. The Shipwreck Society says the ship had actually sunk two times before.


On its last voyage, the Nucleus caught a bad storm on Lake Superior and started to take on water. The crew was forced to abandon ship on a lifeboat, and the Nucleus was lost.

The crew tried to hail a passing ship, but it wouldn’t stop for them. Eventually they were rescued by the schooner Worthington.

“This is a pretty significant shipwreck…considering its age, the fact that it is a barquentine and we can’t overlook the vessel’s checkered past,” said Shipwreck Society Executive Director Bruce Lynn.

The Shipwreck Society says they found the Nucleus in 2021 using a Marine Sonic Technology side-scan sonar. They were able to positively identify it last year.