Alpena’s Thunder Bay is home to the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which claims there are approximately 100 shipwrecks in the vicinity (I would not be surprised if there were more).

Many of these shipwrecks welcome divers to explore and take images – just leave everything intact. Do not take any souvenirs.

Out of all those shipwrecks, we’re taking a look at three of them this time around: The E.B. Allen, Grecian, and Monrovia.

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The E.B. ALLEN was launched in 1864 in New York. In November 1871, the Allen was heading to Buffalo, New York when it collided with the S.S. Newsboy. A large hole was ripped out of the Allen’s portside and the ship began to sink. Fortunately, the Newsboy was mostly unharmed, and its crew rescued the Allen crew and got them safely on board. It sits 100 feet underwater.

This freighter was constructed in 1891 in Cleveland, Ohio, its purpose was to carry iron ore from Escanaba to Cleveland. In June 1906, the unloaded Grecian smacked into a huge rock and sank 100 feet to the bottom of the St. Mary's River. They got it back up and were transporting it to Detroit for further repairs but on June 15 it sunk again at Thunder Bay. One more attempt was made to save the ship, but no dice.

The Monrovia was a more recent shipwreck, built in 1943 in the United Kingdom. Its original name was Empire Falstaff, changed to Commandant Mantelet in 1945, sold in 1950 and re-renamed Commandant le Bilboul, re-sold in 1954 and re-re-named Monrovia. On May 26, 1959 as the Monrovia was on its way to Chicago from Belgium, thanks to heavy fog she was rammed by the Royalston eleven miles north of Thunder Bay and sank 140 feet down. Everyone on board survived.

These are just three of the many historic shipwrecks at Thunder Bay, and you can see underwater photos of all three in the gallery below.

Find out more about the marine sanctuary here.

Three Shipwrecks in Thunder Bay: Alpena County


The 1863 Wreck of the 'Water Witch': Found in 2021

Shipwrecks in the Straits of Mackinac

The Shipwreck 'Atlanta'

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