Diving the wreck of The Northerner

The Northerner is an 81 foot long, two masted schooner. It shipwrecked on November 29, 1868 five miles southeast of Port Washington, Wisconsin. The bottom of the ship currently lies under 135 feet of water. The ship remains fairly intact although the pilothouse blew off when the ship wrecked.

The Northerner was built in 1850 in Clayton, New York by John Oades. It was originally owned by Henry T. Bacon, a New York merchant, and co-owned and operated by Russell Disbrow. At that time, the Northerner mainly traveled on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. In 1859, the Northerner was damaged in a storm on Lake Ontario and was reconstructed at Wells Island, New York. In 1863, the ship was sold to interests in Chicago. At that point, the Northerner became involved in shipping lumber on Lake Michigan. In 1865, the Northerner was sold to Nicholas Ronk and Andreas Ryerson. Ryerson would be the captain. In November 1868, the hull of The Northerner was damaged at Cedar Grove, Wisconsin, while taking on a cargo of timber. The ship made it to Port Washington, where temporary repairs were made. Then, it was towed back to Milwaukee by another ship; the Cuyahoga. The Northerner capsized en route to Milwaukee on November 29, 1868. The crew managed to escape to the Cuyahoga.

Scuba Dive Videos

I pretty much live in the water. As a marine mammal diver at the Shedd Aquarium I am lucky enough to be on the dive team for aquarium conservation. As a certified Dive Master  I spend my time exploring the majestic shipwrecks of Lake Michigan. Please see some video footage of these haunting wrecks.


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