Explorers find another shipwreck in Lake Michigan

John V. Moran About 360 wrecks have been found in the lake’s deep water, but there are still many wrecks out there that remain undiscovered. Experts guess there are between 1200 and 2000 shipwrecks in Lake Michigan. On Feb. 9, 1899 the 214-foot John V. Moran maneuvered ice floes on its way from Milwaukee to Muskegon to deliver flour and other goods. The ship was 11 years old and had an iron-reinforced hull for winter transit. Ice ripped a hole in the hull and she began to sink around midnight. The crew abandoned ship and walked on ice flows to reach another ship called the Naomi in reported -30 degree temps. All 24 crew members made it alive to the Naomi.

According to newspaper accounts, early the next morning, the Moran was still afloat. The Naomi then tried to tow the Moran toward Muskegon, but it  became clear that it would not make it the 15 miles to shore. After abandoning the Moran, it was never seen again. Searchers were unable to locate the steamer. The ship was not seen again for 116 years. On June 5, 2015 the lost steamship was discovered using side scan sonar by a group of ship wreck explorers. 

The John V. Moran was one of many steamers owned by Capt. Edward Gifford Crosby (E.G. Crosby), who founded the Crosby Transportation Company, which operated out of ports in Muskegon, Grand Haven and Milwaukee. Thirteen years later (March 1912), Crosby and his family happened to be vacationing in Europe. It was reported that Crosby had intended to come back on a ship leaving Europe on March 28, 1912, but changed his mind in order to travel back on the ill-fated Titanic maiden voyage.John V. Moran Steamship