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DNR Virtual Tour Of Indiana Shipwrecks
Updated September 26, 2015 12:03 AM
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J.D. Marshall.jpg

(UNDATED) - The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has a new website that features four virtual tours of Indiana shipwrecks.

The site is at

The site allows you to rotate to the left or right through 3D model views of each wreck in Lake Michigan.

The virtual tours include:

  • J.D. Marshall, built in 1891, measured 154.5 feet in length by 33.5 feet abeam with a draft of 12 feet, and weighed 531 gross tons. It was used to transport of commercial and industrial goods, such as lumber. Later, the vessel was converted to a sand-sucker or sand barge. It sank on June 11, 1911 when it capsized in a storm. Four lives were lost when the vessel sunk. After capsizing, the vessel floated close to shore for several days before sinking
  • Muskegon, Car Ferry No. 2, Built in 1895 measured 309.9 ft (94.5 m) in length by 44.2 ft (13.5 m) abeam with a draft of 12 ft (3.7 m) and weighed 1548 gross tons. It transported train cars across Lake Michigan and was part of the Lake Michigan (Railroad) Car Ferry Transportation Company fleet. The ship sank on September 29, 1906 after it capsized during a storm. Three lives were lost.
  • Material Service, a self-unloading barge was built in 1929. The ship measured 239.7 feet in length by 40.1 feet abeam with a draft of 13.9 feet, and weighed 1077 gross tons, or 736 net tons. It was built specifically to transport sand and gravel from Lake Michigan to docks up the Chicago River. The ship sank in 1936 after it foundered during a storm. On the fateful last journey, the ship departed Lockport, Illinois, headed for South Chicago. Captain Charlie D. Brown commanded the vessel; he did not survive. Reportedly, a large wave washed over the ship, causing it to list sharply, before much of the crew could react and get free of their bunks. At the time of the disaster, the ship had a cargo of 2,500 tons of sand or gravel. It was owned by Material Service Company of Chicago; their loss was estimated at $500,000 in 1936.

Photos and information about the wrecks areas are also available.

Shipwrecks in Lake Michigan - such as the Muskegon and the J.D. Marshall - are memorials to the Indiana's maritime history.

The Indiana Lake Michigan Shipwreck Survey Project updated previous research about these nautical resources, conducted archaeological surveys, and reviewed best practices to develop a management plan to focus on conservation and allow public use.

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