Shipwreck: #12086
Wreck Location:
42.28333, -79.98333

Ship Name:

Type of Ship:

Ship Owner:
Palmer and Pennington
Cleveland, Ohio and Captain A. Mc Adams

Year Built:
1852 at Oswego, New York, by C.S. Weeks

Cause of Loss:

Ship Size:
136 9″ x 25 2″ x 11′

Gross Tonnage:

Typical Cargo:

Loss of Life:

36ER0335 (

The Shipwreck Today:

Erie’s most unique and probably most visited wreck is the barque Indiana which is known to local divers as “The Stone Wreck”. Indiana  was 18 years old and the end of her useful life as a wooden sailing vessel when she left Buffalo bound for Cleveland in late September 1870. She carried a load of paving stone and flagging for use in construction in downtown Cleveland.

As Indiana tacked westward toward Cleveland the wind and waves began to rise and Captain McAdams decided to duck into Port Maitland and the Grand River for shelter. Indiana could not get into the river, however, and continued toward Long Point.  As she sailed west,  she was leaking badly and her pumps were operating at full force. Indiana was hit by a squall as she tacked west along Long Point’s south beaches. Northeasterly gale winds forced her toward the middle of the lake where  the ship began to pound badly in the growing  seas. She was lugging along through the seas with her extremely heavy cargo when she began to take on even more water from below. The stone cargo in in the hold made it impossible for the crew to attempt a repair.

The Captain made the decision to turn downwind and run for Erie at approximately 10:00 A.M., rather than risk the ship by continuing west. Several hours later however, the crew could see that the ship was doomed. She was filling with water rapidly and her forward progress was limited by the fact that the old ship was almost  completely swamped. Realizing that at any moment the Indiana might go down like a rock because of her cargo, the captain and crew  abandoned ship 12 miles off Erie, leaving the masted barque to sail downwind by herself. The captain and crew made it to shore at Erie in the ship’s lifeboat. Later they estimated that Indiana  sank at about midnight.

(Home Port Erie,McDonald, Robert and frew, David)

Sidescan Sonar Images


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