5-Year-Old Girl Finds 152-Year-Old Shipwreck on Fishing Trip in Lake Michigan

Five-year-old Henley Wollack’s innocent love for swimming near Lake Michigan’s Green Island turned into a historic adventure during a recent fishing trip with her father, Tim. Mistaking the submerged wreckage for an octopus, Henley’s keen observation led to the discovery of something much more significant—an ancient shipwreck that had been lost to the depths of Lake Michigan for 152 years. Tim Wollack, realizing the historical potential, captured images of the mysterious find and shared them on social media. The pictures eventually caught the attention of the Wisconsin Historical Society, confirming the astonishing discovery of the George L. Newman, a ship that sank in October 1871. What initially seemed like a casual outing for a father-daughter duo turned into an exploration of Lake Michigan’s hidden past, showcasing the unexpected historical treasures lying beneath its surface.

Further investigations with a Video Ray ROV revealed that the George L. Newman, built in 1855, had a length of over 40 yards and a width of 9 yards. The ship’s connection to the Peshtigo Fire, the deadliest forest fire in American history, added a layer of historical significance. Sailing through thick smoke during the catastrophe while transporting lumber from Little Suamico, Wisconsin, the George L. Newman became a part of a tragic episode in maritime history. Rediscovered by Henley and her father, the ship now serves as a tangible link to the past, reminding us of the sacrifices made during perilous times and the enduring stories hidden beneath the waves of Lake Michigan.

h/t: [USA Today]

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