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Ship Type: Schooner
Lifespan: Built 1871, Sunk 1925
Location: Amherst Island, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
GPS N44.04.5580 W 76.44.0680
The City of Sheboygan lies in about 100 feet of water south of Amherst Island and further west than most of the Kingston wrecks. The longer trip to get there however, rewards the patient diver. The shipwreck itself has fewer zebra mussels than most,being only sparsely covered by them. She is in largely pristine condition and has weathered the storm well largely as a result of lack of diver traffic. The ship itself looks as if she had been gently placed upright on the bottom of the lake where she remains intact. The masts are down and lie, in part, across the deck of the ship with some bits of rigging hanging down adding to her character. The deck is strewn with original artifacts; unfortunately she is missing her anchor and bowsprit.
The City of Sheboygan was built by Fred Hamilton, in Sheboygan, WI on July 5th, 1871. Registered out of Toronto, the ship was heavily loaded with feldspar when she was caught in a storm and sank on September 25th 1915 near Amherst Island. Five sailors were lost when the ship sank. All efforts to salvage the vessel were unsuccessful. The wreck was located in 1963.
Moored off the starboard bow quarter the first place to see is the bow, stem and the remains of the bowsprit. Though the bowsprit has been broken this portion of the ship is a must see. A glide over the deck will bring into view many of the artifacts of the wreck with the holds, particularly forward, in excellent shape. Near the bow, you should look for the glass tube on the boiler of the foredeck. The tube is intact and survived these many years. As you swim aft the holds are mostly full, though there are swim through possibilities through some of the hallways. If you decide to penetrate, excellent buoyancy and swimming technique will be necessary if you actually want to see anything. One item that must be seen is what appears to be a small metal plate on the deck of the aft section. If seen from below (particularly with a light shining through) it will be recognized as a prism used to distribute light to the cabin below. Holes in the aft gunnel of the ship, perhaps where windows lit the cabin, offer an excellent swim through and set you up well for an outstanding view of the boxy aft of the ship.
Pat Heffernman contributed this story.