The Shipwreck of the Ann Maria
The Ann Maria, a beautiful wooden Great Lakes schooner, was built in 1864 in Ohio. She was bound from Cleveland across Lake Huron on October 7th, 1902, when she encountered an autumn gale off the coast of Kincardine, Ontario. Storms on the Great Lakes have claimed many ships, and anyone who has seen the lakes in a good storm knows the incredible power the waters can summon. The Ann Maria ran aground in fierce wind and waves off the South pier of Kincardine and was battered apart. After full dark, cries were heard from the harbour area, and the ship was spotted off shore in great peril. Four men jumped aboard a rescue boat and managed to reach the schooner, but waves overturned both ship and rescue boat, spilling the four rescuers and six Ann Maria crew into the cold waters. Three townsmen and two crew managed to swim back to the remains of the Ann Maria, where they clung until much later in the night, when it calmed down enough for them to be taken ashore. The other five souls did not survive, including the captain and one would-be rescuer from Kincardine. Today the Ann Maria rests just on shore at Station Beach, a length of wooden "spine" with rusted iron nails jutting into the water, as a marker for those lost that fateful night.
The Ann Maria wreck as seen at night, moonset in summer
More of the wreck is exposed in low water levels
The Ann Maria shipwreck, April 2014
Ice still clings to the wreckage, April 2014
I can't help but feel a sense of significance when I look at the remains of the Ann Maria... not only is she a part of our Great Lakes maritime history, but five lives were extinguished not far from where she rests. The sun sets beautifully just beyond the wreck, but it still retains an air of sadness.
Sunset and the Ann Maria
Clouds reflected over a ghostly outline
Great blog Sarah, thanks for sharing! An important piece of Canadian marine history and beautiful photographs.
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