Lake Superior Shipwrecks

Photo of the Onoko

Historic Name: Onoko (U.S. Registry 155048)

Vessel Type: Iron hull bulk freighter

Architect/Builder: Globe Iron Works, Cleveland, Ohio

1920 painting showing port side profile as originally rigged; Institute for Great Lakes Research, Bowling Green State University

(Onoko) (space)
The steamer Onoko was the first iron-hulled, iron-screw steam freighter on the Great Lakes. The Onoko was built at Radcliff's yard in Cleveland by the Globe Iron Works and was launched on Feb. 16, 1882. It was the largest vessel on the Great Lakes until steel hull freighters were introduced 10 years later. The Onoko is historically significant as the prototype for a very large and important class of commercial ship, the Great Lakes bulk freighter. Bulk freighters made possible the cheap transport of raw materials for the steel industry, including iron ore, coal and limestone. Because of its economic success, the Onoko was the prototype for all modern bulk freighters. The wreck was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

Underwater image of the Onoko

orange dotHistoric Description
orange dotConstruction and Career
orange dotDescription of the Loss-Wreck Event
orange dotPresent Description
orange dotStatement of Significance Summary
orange dotHistoric and Underwater Photographs

Onoko wreck - twisted metal along tear in hull, ca. 1991; Jerry Eliason, Scanlon, MN

Adapted from the National Register Nomination and archaeological assessment by: Tidewater Atlantic Research, Inc.

|--Hesper-- |--Onoko-- |--Madeira-- |--Thomas Wilson-- |--U.S.S. Essex--|
|--Amboy-- |--George Spencer-- |--Niagara-- |--Samuel P. Ely--|
|--Back to Minnesota Lake Superior Shipwrecks--|