Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

19th Century Canal Boats Found in Lake Ontario


An unusual discovery of two 19th century canal boat wrecks were recently found on the bottom of Lake Ontario. What’s unusual about the discovery, according to a team of New York shipwreck hunters, is that these vessels typically weren’t used on open water.

A three-member team from Rochester, New York claim they discovered the boats using sidescan sonar last year while searching for shipwrecks on Lake Ontario’s eastern end, according to an Associated Press article.

One of the sunken canal boats measured 65 feet long and the other 78 feet long. They were found within a few miles of each other about midway between Oswego and Sackets Harbor, New York.

The wrecks’ identifications haven’t yet been determined, but the team believes the vessels were built in the mid-1800s, when the Erie Canal was widened to accommodate larger boats. They also suspect that steamboats were probably towing the two boats when they sank.

Photo by Bob Sherwood

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