152-year-old shipwreck discovered in Lake Ontario

SS Bay State

By Garret Ellison - mlive

When it comes to Great Lakes shipwreck hunting, sometimes it's a matter of feast or famine.

In 2014, New York wreck sleuths Jim Kennard and Roger Pawlowski found four undiscovered shipwrecks in the waters of Lake Ontario.

This year, the duo found one — a propeller steamer named the Bay State, which foundered in a storm off Fair Haven, N.Y. in 1862.

Discovery of the ship, launched before the Civil War, was announced on Wednesday, Oct. 21. "We were getting pretty discouraged when something popped up on the depth finder," said Kennard. "About 15 seconds later, the side-scan sonar went over." "Finally, we found something."

The Bay State is the oldest propeller-driven steamship discovered in Lake Ontario. It sank en route to Ohio with a cargo of general merchandise after leaving Oswego, N.Y. late on Nov. 4, 1862.

There were no survivors. Kennard, who has been exploring shipwrecks since the 1970s, would only say the wreck is in several hundred feet of water about seve miles north of Fair Haven.

Vagueness helps guard the wreck from potential looting and inexperienced divers, he said.

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