Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes


Type:		Wood Steamer
Length:		244.4 ft. x 35.6 ft. x 14.8 ft., 1108 gt.
Depth:		35 ft.
Location:	DMS  47. 28' 17" / 87. 53' 15"

On November 5, 1910, the package freighter Wasaga was upbound for Fort William with a load of farm machinery, radiators, barbed wire and miscellaneous cargo when she ran into a fierce storm off of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Captain W.A. Glass decided to run for shelter in nearby C opper Harbor and joined several other vessels at anchor there. At 6:00 AM on Sunday the 6th, fire was discovered in the Wasaga's number one hold. The flames quickly engulfed the ship, with the 18 crew members barely escaping in the lifeboats. The crew was picked up by the steamer Westmount and taken to Fort William, while the Wasaga burned to the waterline and sank to the bottom.

Salvage work was immediately undertaken by Captain Croze of Houghton, and much of the Wasaga's cargo was removed as well as her machinery, boilers and engines. The Wasaga had been built at Buffalo in 1876 as the steamer Wissahickon. She was renamed Wasa ga in 1907 after being sold to the Collingwood Shipping Company.

Today, the Wasaga's remains lie just off of the Harbor Haus Restaurant in Copper Harbor. Portions of her keel as well as miscellaneous cargo remain for divers to inspect. Visibility is usually about 40 ft. and water temperatures are in the 40s. The wre ck is best accessed by boat and the Copper Harbor Marina offers a convenient put-in site.

References: Milwaukee Public Library-Herman Runge Collection, Keweenaw Shipwrecks by Fred Stonehouse, Julius F. Wolff Jr.'s Lake Superior Shipwrecks, Divers Guide to Wisconsin by Steve Harrington

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