Iris (1866)
Wreck site map
Documenting the Iris
Iris's centerboard
By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The wooden two masted scow-schooner Iris was built in 1866 at Port Huron, Michigan by Lornezo S. Bedford and first enrolled on May 15, 1866. In 1874 the vessel was valued at $2,200 and was rated for insurance as B2. The official number was 12096.

The scow schooner Iris had a long and colorful history under numerous owners and captains. Over the years she hailed from Port Huron, Michigan, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Washington Island, Newport, and Marinette. During the second half of her career the Iris sailed mainly out of Detroit Harbor, Washington Island. Much of her life was spent in local trade carrying cargo such as wood. She made numerous trips between Door County ports and Milwaukee. Iris survived an amazing 47 years despite being given up for lost on several occasions, Captain Anderson drowning when he fell overboard in Milwaukee Harbor, and battling storms, collisions and repeated changes in ownership.

In 1903, the Iris was beginning to show her age and was one of only a few self-propelled schooners actively working the lakes. By 1911 the aging vessel had ongoing problems with leaking and she struggled to maintain a livelihood.

Last Document Of Enrollment No.83 was Surrendered: Milwaukee: 03/08/1913: "Vessel Lost".
Final Voyage

On March 5, 1913 Captain Thompsen purposely ran the worn out, leaky, Iris hard aground at Jackson Harbor, Door County, Wisconsin. Three days later on her final enrollment he listed her as foundered and that all three crew members survived. Over the years anything of value was salvaged and the remaining hull was used as a playground until the 1920s when she was too far gone.

Between the Rock Island ferry dock and the Ellefson fishing pier in Jackson Harbor, Door County, Wisconsin, lays the remains of the 74 foot schooner Iris. Mostly buried beneath dredge spoil from an adjacent pier, much of the Iris' lower hull remains intact with the exception of a portion of the centerboard and centerboard trunk, a 23 foot section of the forward hull from the stempost aft, and a 25 foot section of the after hull from the rudder shoe forward. From the National Register of Historic Places.
Confirmed Location     Unconfirmed location
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