H.C. SPRAGUE, RELIANCE
Built as the schooner-barge H.C. SPRAGUE in 1880, had a 1-cylinder steam engine added in 1906 and renamed RELIANCE. It sunk in the St. Clair Flats but was sold Canadian, raised, and renamed NELLIE LYON after the new owner’s 12-year-old niece. After just 1 year on the job, it caught fire in Algonac and drifted down to where it is today, parked sideways across the North Channel off Colony Dr.
There is a scotch boiler with a conspicuously tall steam dome and the bottom part of a smokestack. If you look down the smokestack you will see the exhaust nozzle sticking in from the port side of it. There is a firebox, with 2 fire doors. The starboard fire door can be opened and closed. The port door is stuck closed. Above the firebox, there is a large opening and you can see the ends of the fire tubes there. In the top front of the boiler, there is a manway. And there is a big single-cylinder steam engine standing tall right behind the boiler. There are places where you can get in under the deck. The very end of the stern is broken off of the ship, lying on the bottom. The top half of the propeller and rudder are visible just ahead of the broken stern section. Discovered in 2005 by the US FWS and the USGS, while searching for lake sturgeon habitat.