Let’s face it…even though it pales in comparison to our five Great Lakes, I still think Lake Saint Clair should be the sixth one…or at least an honorary member. And, like all the other five, Lake Saint Clair has its share of shipwrecks and sunken boats. With 430 square miles of water, the lake was a main passageway for cargo ships on their way thru the other Great Lakes. So it only stands to reason the lake should have its fair share of sunken vessels. And it does.

One of lake’s most popular and well-known shipwreck is that of the Harlow Loran, a 154-footlong steam barge that was in service from 1891 until it was intentionally sunk in 1926. Why was it sunk? It was handy to use as breakwall to protect the shore from strong waves. (Okay, for all you nitpickers: yes, it was intentionally sunk, but even so, it's still referred to as a "shipwreck.")

The Harlow Loran was just the right size to sink It’s completely – but barely – covered, visible just four feet below the surface. It is easy to see if you’re boating nearby, or if you send a drone over, or by satellite image.

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It is estimated that there may be over 1,500 shipwrecks surrounding Michigan’s Mitten…and even more in Lakes Superior and Ontario; but as for Lake Saint Clair, marine archaeologists say there are at least thirty at the bottom.

With ships and boats using these waters for literally hundreds of years, it’s no surprise there are wrecks here. Most of the sunken ships are not more than clutter and debris, with a few semi-intact. The gallery below shows some great drone photos of the Harlow Loran, sitting four feet below the Lake Saint Clair surface.

The Shipwreck Harlow Loran in Lake Saint Clair


Inside the Shipwreck Daniel J. Morrell

Shipwreck, The Contest

Wreck of the Rising Sun


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