Lucerne (1873)
Gallery
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Historic image of Lucerne in port along side a steamer
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Lucerne archaeological site map
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Lucerne's photo mosaic
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Lucerne's starboard chain stopper, which was replaced in 2010 by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society (GLSPS) in their "Put it Back" program
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An archaeologist investigates the Lucerne's capstan and windlass
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An archaeologist captures video imagery of the Lucerne's capstan and windlass, and the crowbar that was shoved into it by the vessel's crew to keep the anchor chain from running out during its sinking
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The bow, stem post, and house pipes of Lucerne
By The Numbers
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Sank
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Lives Lost
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Depth (ft)
 
 
Service History


The Lucerne was a large schooner probably named after the city in Switzerland. Launched in 1873, she hauled grain grain such as corn, but later also carried coal and iron ore. She had been bought and sold numerous times during her career, but had few problems, e.g. she had her mizzen boom broken outside of Chicago. "At the time of her sinking, Lucerne was considered to be one of the staunchest vessels on the lakes. For heavy duty service on Lake Superior, her new owners had completely outfitted her with new sails and fittings..."
Final Voyage


"Last Monday evening the schooner Lucerne, with Capt. Geo. S. Lloyd, master, loaded with iron ore, cleared this port for Cleveland. She started out with a fair wind, but so far as known was not seen again until in the midst of the storm on Tuesday afternoon when the Captain of the steam barge Fred Kelly enroute for this place to load iron ore, discerned the ill fated schooner rolling and pitching about on the lake, evidently at the mercy of the wind and waves. She was seen soon afterward to turn about and head for this harbor, but was never seen again as far as known. The Steamer S.B. Barker... while passing the South Channel at Chequamic Point discovered the spars of a vessel just above the water, which proved to be the missing Lucern. In the rigging were found three of the crew who were covered with ice from one to six inches. They were cut loose and taken to Bayfield." The vessel had grounded on Nov. 17, 1886.
Today


"The hull of the ship Lucerne is largely intact, lying in 24 feet of water; substantial portions have settled into the sand bottom. Top of stern and sternpost are 15 feet beneath the surface of the water; top of centerboard is at 12.5 feet. A portion of the forecastle is intact; the stern is intact to the top of the stern post and transom--missing are spars, rudder and steering gear. Midship: portside frametops are partially buried by iron ore; centerboard trunk survives upright. The deck is (largely) missing. The upper deck level on the starboard side marked by shelf/row of hanging knees. A large number of dead trees/stumps are entangled about the deck. There are sizeable portside fragments."
 
Map
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