Type: Wooden Sidewheel Steamer Size: 199.1 ft. x 29.0 ft. x 10.1 ft., 603 gt. Depth: 20 - 30 ft. LAT/LON: 47.27'52"/88.09'08" LORAN: 31788.7/46577.0
The 199 ft. wooden sidewheeler Traveller came to a fiery end on August 17, 1865. Upbound for Superior, Wisconsin, she made a stop at Eagle Harbor and was immediately found to be on fire. The fire spread quickly, but almost all of the cargo and even some furniture was gotten off. The Traveller had been built in 1852 at Newport, Michigan by J. Bushnell for E.B. Ward. She had previously burned at Chicago in 1854 but was rebuilt. No further salvage was conducted, as the vessel was burned and contained little of value.
Today the remains of the Traveller are just off the old Eagle Harbor Life Saving Station in about 20 ft. of water. The hull and timbers are flattened but still visible. Enough structure remains to identify the vessel as a steamer and clear evidence of fire remains on her timbers. It is possible to dive this wreck from shore and it is partially protected from waves, although on a rough day there is a strong surge. She is a thoroughly enjoyable dive and rests on a sand bottom.
In a sad footnote, the Traveller, one of the Keweenaw's most historic wrecks, was inadvertantly impacted when a local volunteer group removed an early 20th century wreck from the Harbor and sank in on top of the Traveller. The smaller vessel was lost in the summer of 1911 when she burned killing Annie Pryor of Houghton. She is surmised to be the tug Ethel J. Pryor, but this has yet to be confirmed. Visit http://www.up.net/~ghite/archive/wreck.htm for more info. on the incident.
Numerous other vessels have wrecked trying to enter Eagle Harbor. Most were salvaged after leaving their mark on the harbor, but records indicate that some vessels still lie on the reefs just off the Harbor. On October 30th, 1873 the schooner John L. Gross is reported to have gone on the rocks with a coal cargo. There is no indication of her having been salvaged. On August 12, 1870 the old schooner George W. Ford went on the rocks while trying to enter the Harbor and was subsequently stripped and abandoned. She had been one of the original early Lake Superior fleet that was portaged around the Sault in 1945. Another of the original Lake Superior fleet is also reported to have been lost at the Harbor. The old schooner Fur Trader is reported to have been run on the rocks trying to enter the harbor and lost in 1852. None of these vessels have been found and one may well be the hull in the harbor long attributed to the Gazelle. Divers do report finding many rudders and wooden debris outside the harbor, but a full survey of the reefs outside the Harbor has never been done.
References: Keweenaw Shipwrecks by Fred Stonehouse, Munising Shipwrecks by Fred Stonehouse, Julius F. Wolff Jr.'s Lake Superior Shipwrecks, Shipwreck! by David Swayze, Divers Guide to Michigan by Steve Harrington, Milwaukee Public Library - Herman G. Runge Collection, Dives of site by author.