Archives for January 2021

Hundreds of shipwreck artifacts, worth about $1.5M – Racine Heritage Museum

RACINE — “Captain” Dan Johnson, a shipwreck hunter, was just a diving apprentice in 1978 when he decided to enter the waters of Lake Michigan in Racine in search for the Kate Kelly.

The Kate Kelly was a 126-foot schooner ship that sank in May 1895 off the coast of Wind Point. According to WisconsinShipwrecks.com, the Kate Kelly sank during “a vicious spring storm (that had) exploded across Lake Michigan.”

Three summers after Johnson’s first dive, in 1981, he discovered the Kate Kelly. “It was my first shipwreck I discovered,” said Johnson, 66.

 

Now, Johnson is in talks with the Racine Heritage Museum to donate the Kate Kelly artifacts, along with other artifacts related to shipwrecks in the Racine side of Lake Michigan, totaling up to a value of over $1.5 million.

“We’re very excited,” said Christopher R. Paulson, executive director of the Racine Heritage Museum. “The opportunity to share (the collection) with our constituency is a welcome one.”

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