|2′ to 80′||47 53.628’N |
Launched in 1898, America was a 182-foot-long passenger and package freighter that spent her life servicing the Isle Royale community by providing transportation to the mainland, mail, and provisions. On her first run of the 1928 season, she was under the command of an inexperienced first mate when she struck a rocky reef off Port Washington at the south end of Isle Royale. In an attempt to intentionally ground her, she was run hard aground just offshore. Subsequent efforts to salvage the wreck failed for technical or financial reasons. Starting in the 1950s, the wreck became popular with sports divers because of her close proximity to Port Washington and her depth ranging from the bow nearly at the surface to the stern at 80 feet. Ice damage is evident to a depth of 30 feet but much of the America’s deck gear including her windlass remains. The engine room is remarkably intact with its piping, engine, and other equipment. The boilers did not explode in the sinking and are intact. Crew quarters and numerous cabins can be reached and examined.