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Shipwreck Fragment Found At Sleeping Bear Dunes

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Sleeping Bear Dunes.(credit: nps.gov)

Sleeping Bear Dunes.(credit: nps.gov)

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EMPIRE (AP) - A piece of a shipwreck that experts believe is from a schooner that sank 140 years ago has washed up along Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

The piece of hull was last weekend by photographer Mark Lindsay of Kingsley, who was taking a walk through the dunes north of Empire along Michigan’s northwestern Lower Peninsula, The Grand Rapids Press reported.

“I just happened upon it,” he said. “It was incredible.”

According to Sleeping Bear Dunes historians, the fragment is believed to be from the Jennie and Annie, which went down in the area in 1872. The wooden piece is about 40 feet long and is peppered with twisted metal spikes.

The fragment of the ship likely washed up or was uncovered during a storm and it isn’t that easy to get to. It’s located north of North Bar Lake and south of Sleeping Bear Point, about a 40-minute hike west from the Glen Haven trailhead, Lindsay said.

Laura Quackenbush, a museum technician at Sleeping Bear Dunes, said it’s one of one of several fragments of the wreck to wash ashore over the years. Other fragments from the ship and others that foundered off the dunes wash ashore once or twice a year.

“It’s a very dynamic shoreline,” she said. “It’s a common occurrence around there.”

The fragments are technically owned by the state of Michigan, Quackenbush said. The area when the ship sank is the Manitou Passage, which currently is a state underwater preserve. The wrecks are governed as if they were in a museum.

The Jennie and Annie was one of the wrecks surveyed in 1995 when the Manitou Passage was being readied as an underwater preserve, Quackenbush said. The National Park Service collects and indexes information on the wreck fragments as they appear.

© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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