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Underwater Archaeology: Wreck of the Schooner Abiah
The Abiah was launched in 1848 from the hinterland shipyard of Charles Stevens in Irving, New York. The 134 ft. schooner had one deck and two masts, and her bow was adorned with a scroll figurehead. In September 1850, Abiah is noted for having delivered the first railroad locomotive to Wisconsin. The twenty-ton locomotive from Norris Locomotive Works was brought from Buffalo to Milwaukee for the opening of the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad, the state’s first railroad. On the morning of 4 September 1854, Abiah was sailing north on Lake Michigan without a cargo and bound to Oconto to take on a load of lumber when she was struck by a squall from the southeast and immediately capsized. To survive, the seven-man crew and two passengers were forced into their small workboat. They were eventually picked up by the schooner Luddington and taken to Sheboygan. The tug Eclipse was hired to right and recover the capsized vessel. In doing this work, the Abiah’s hull was damaged to such an extent that the ship was abandoned and allowed to sink.

The Abiah shipwreck site was discovered in 2018 by Steve Radovan, 12 miles off Sheboygan in 210 feet of water. An archaeological survey of the wreck has been completed during of the summer of 2020. In this rare opportunity to evaluate a pristine shipwreck, untouched since the time of its sinking, learn what the Society’s archaeological team discovered.

Nov 18, 2020 12:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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