Lake Superior Shipwrecks

Photo of the Niagara

Historic Name: Niagara

Vessel Type: Rafting tug

Designer: Detroit Dry Dock Company, Detroit, Michigan

Port side profile view in river at Bay City, Mich., from a postcard view, ca. 1887-1889; C. Patrick Labadie Collection, Duluth, MN

(Essex) (space)
The Niagara was built in 1872 as Hull No. 21 by the Detroit Dry Dock Company in Detroit, Mich. The Niagara is an early example of a class of large "outside" tug boats developed for use on the Great Lakes. The development of these large tugs can be largely attributed to the demands of the expanding timber industry and their need to move large timber rafts. The Niagara is historically significant for its contribution to the development of the Great Lakes logging industry. Only two remaining examples of rafting tugs, the Niagara (1872) off Knife River and the Bob Anderson (1862) near Grand Marais, Minn., are known to exist in the region. No floating examples are extant. There are no known ship plans or construction diagrams of rafting tugs. The wreck of the Niagara was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

Niagara wreck site

orange dotHistoric Description
orange dotConstruction and Career
orange dotLog Rafting and the Lake Superior Timber Industry
orange dotDescription of the Loss-Wreck Event
orange dotPost-Depositional Impacts
orange dotPresent Description
orange dotStatement of Significance Summary
orange dotHistoric and Underwater Photographs

Niagara wreck site: bulwark, 1992; MHS/SHPO Collections

Adapted from the National Register of Historic Places nomination written by: Claude V. Jackson and John Kennington, Tidewater Atlantic Research, Inc.

|--Hesper-- |--Onoko-- |--Madeira-- |--Thomas Wilson-- |--U.S.S. Essex--|
|--Amboy-- |--George Spencer-- |--Niagara-- |--Samuel P. Ely--|
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