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Century-plus-old shipwreck found near Algoma

As excited as you might get for reeling in a monster fish in Algoma’s harbor, imagine Wisconsin Maritime Historians Brendon Baillod and Robert Jaeck finding Kewaunee County’s latest shipwreck. Baillod and Jaeck located the 156-year-old 140-foot schooner Trinidad on July 15th using a variety of tools including survivor accounts of the shipwreck and side scan sonar technology. According to Baillod, the ship was built in New York in the 1860s and it was primarily used for grain trade between Milwaukee, Chicago, and Oswego New York. The Trinidad sank shortly after leaving the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal in May 1881 about 10 miles from Algoma’s shores. Baillod, who has been chronicling shipwrecks since he was a teenager, says this was a special vessel to find because of its backstory and its condition.

With the assistance of Tamara Thomsen from the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Maritime Archaeology Office, they were able to not just verify the vessel’s identity and document its artifacts, but they were also able to create a 3D photogrammetry model of the Trinidad. Baillod suggests that it will be included on the National Historic Register of Historic Places in the coming months.


First picture: The Trinidad's Intact Deck House, Zach Whitrock, Tamara Thomsen, State Historical Society of Wisconsin


Schooner Trinidad as she appears today; Tamara Thomsen & Zach Whitrock, State Historical Society of Wisconsin


Sonar image of the Trinidad from the Remote Operated Vehicle
Tamara Thomsen, Tom Crossmon


Brendon Baillod, Bob Jaeck and Tom Crossmon Survey the Trinidad
Tamara Thomsen


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