A team of three archeologist-enthusiasts from New York State discovered the wreck deep at the bottom of Lake Ontario.
Adventurers Jim Kennard, Roger Pawlowski and Roland Stevens identified the vessel using high-resolution side-scan sonar in late June. It took several more weeks to confirm that the discovery was the same ship known to have sunk there in 1803.
The ship, called the Washington, was a single-masted sloop, a rare type of vessel that navigated the Great Lakes in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
The 36-ton Washington was built by Americans on Lake Erie in 1798 to transport goods and passengers between New York, Pennsylvania and Ontario.
Some four years later the sloop was sold to Canadian merchants that portaged it to Lake Ontario using oxen.
A year later, the boat, carrying $20,000 worth of East India goods from Kingston, Ontario, en route to Niagara, Ontario was caught in a severe storm.
The ship sank, and all five aboard drowned, including three crewmembers and two merchants. Historians said that no signs of the ship were found.
Contemporary reports claimed that some pieces of the ship washed ashore near Oswego.