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Scuba diving Lake Huron, the Great Lakes, USA / Canada
Dive Site: Queen City
Location: Lake Huron, Great Lakes, Michigan (43°09.124'N, 82°25.711'W)
Description: Passenger steamer wreck
Depth: 12 metres max (40 feet)
Visibility: 10 metres (30 feet)
The wreckage found at this site are the remains of a ship that in her day was considered one of the finest side-wheel passenger steamers on the Great Lakes. She was built in 1848 and was named after Buffalo, the second largest city in New York state and second largest after Chicago on the Great Lakes (as such nicknamed the Queen City) - location of Bidwell & Banta's shipyard. She carried passengers between Buffalo and Chicago for a number of years, before being sold, dismantled and converted for use as a lumber barge in the Saginaw River.
In 1863 she was loaded and under tow in heavy weather when she began taking on water. According to the Buffalo Daily Courier (Friday August 21st, 1863), the crew of the Eagle Tug cut the Queen City free and left those in board to fend for themselves. Fortunately no lives were lost and it is believed that the abandoned Queen City floated around for several days before finally going down.
Very little remains of the hull, but large sections of the timber decking and the joinery employed in its construction can be observed. The entirety is covered with zebra mussels and used for shelter by gobies and blue gills. Lying in no more than 12m (40 feet) of water, this is an easy dive and although there is not much to see it is nice to pay your respects to what is one of the oldest wrecks in the Great Lakes.
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