Shipwrecks a time capsule of the Great Lakes

The Henry Cort, a 320-foot whaleback steamer, rests on the north side of the Muskegon Channel breakwater after being thrown there by a storm on Nov. 30, 1934

By Eric Gaertner

Not far from the Hackley and Hume historic sites and the Muskegon County Museum downtown are structures waiting to provide visitors a look at a different time in our history.

Yet few people realize the existence of these structures, some more than 100 years old and hundreds of feet long, unseen by the naked eye.

They are shipwrecks that reside at the bottom of Lake Michigan off the West Michigan coastline -- underwater historical exhibits telling tales of tragedy, history and, in some cases, survival.

These local wrecks from Grand Haven to Pentwater cover a wide range of sizes, shapes and shipping eras.

They are found in various depths, from just off the shoreline in 15 feet of water to hundreds of feet below the surface where only the most advanced divers are able to descend.


Great Lakes

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