UW-Madison Libraries Wisconsin's Water Library
Great Lakes Shipwrecks
Recommended Reading List

Immerse yourself underwater by reading some of these great titles on Great Lakes Shipwrecks. The under world of the Great Lakes has a treasure trove of historical artifacts! For further information and to start your underwater exploration on the Web, be sure to explore our suggested link below.


Call No. 030762
White Hurricane: A Great Lakes November Gale and America's Deadliest Maritime Disaster / By David G. Brown. Camden, Maine: International Marine and McGraw-Hill2002.
The White Hurricane of November 7, 1913 became the worst Great Lakes storm on record: twelve ships sank, and thirty-one more were stranded on rocks and beaches. In this account, nautical writer Brown uses firsthand accounts and contemporary newspaper reports to re-create the desperate struggles of man vs. the lakes.

Call No. 191039
Graveyard of the Lakes / By Mark L. Thompson. Detroit: Wayne State University Press2000.
A historian and seasoned sailor, Thompson examines Great Lakes shipwrecks that have ocurred over the last 300 years to find their causes. He suggests that most have resulted from human error, ranging from simple mistakes to obvious lack of skill.

Call No. 191044
Julius F. Wolff Jr.'s Lake Superior Shipwrecks / By Julius Frederic Wolff and Thom Holden. Duluth, Minn.: Lake Superior Port Cities1990.
This inclusive summary of the maritime history of Lake Superior contains information on more than 1,700 vessels. Readers will also appreciate the 200 historical photographs and comprehensive bibliography.

Call No. 191050
Davidson's Goliaths: Underwater Archeological Investigations of the Steamer Frank O'Connor and the Schooner-Barge Pretoria / By David J. Cooper and John O. Jensen. Madison: State Underwater Archaeology Program, Division of Historic Preservation, State Historical Society of Wisconsin1995.
This State Historical Society publication resulted from intensive archeological investigation of two shipwrecked vessels constructed by legendary Great Lakes shipbuilder, James Davidson. The wreck of the Pretoria is off the Apostle Islands and the Frank O'Conner is off Door County.

Call No. 191063
Shipwrecks of Lake Superior / By James R. Marshall. Duluth, Minn.: Lake Superior Port Cities1987.
This collection of writings by and for divers and historians provides a look at Lake Superior's best known wrecks. Intended as an overview, the book includes excellent underwater photos in color.

Call No. 191065
The Night the Fitz Went Down / By Hugh E. Bishop and Dudley Paquette. Duluth, Minn.: Lake Superior Port Cities2000.
Captain Paquette was on Lake Superior the night the Edmund Fitzgerald went down. He experienced the storm firsthand and has formulated his own theory about the sinking of the Fitzgerald.

Call No. 191070
Great Lakes Shipwrecks & Survivals / By William Ratigan. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans1977.
In this well-written book, Ratigan tells the stories of the most spectacular shipwrecks on each of the Great Lakes. Over 60 pages are devoted to the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Call No. 191071
Mysteries and Histories: Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes / By Wes Oleszewski. Marquette, Mich.: Avery Color Studios1997.
The author of seven books on Great Lakes maritime history, Oleszewski concentrates on 17 unsolved and little-known Great Lakes shipwrecks.

Call No. 191072
Ghost Ships, Gales and Forgotten Tales: True Adventures on the Great Lakes / By Wes Oleszewski. Marquette, Mich.: Avery Color Studios1996.
An excellent writer and researcher, Oleszewski concentrates on some of the lesser-known stories of the Great Lakes. His goal is to examine the obscure lake events that "have been under-reported, or forgotten altogether."

Call No. 191086
The 'Unholy' Apostles: Shipwreck Tales of the Apostle Islands / By James M. Keller. Chelsea, Mich.: Bookcrafters1993.
This is a carefully-researched shipwreck history of the Chequamegon Bay area of Lake Superior--comprehensive, authoritative and exciting reading!

Call No. 191105
Treasure Lost at Sea: Diving to the World's Great Shipwrecks / By Robert F. Marx and Jenifer Marx. Buffalo, N.Y.: Firefly Books2003.
Written by two of the world's top explorers, Treasure Lost at Sea shows how traditional archeological methods are applied to shipwrecks. With more than 150 stunning photographs, it features underwater discoveries of all kinds.

Call No. 191112 CD
Wisconsin’s Great Lakes Shipwrecks Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society2004.
Descend to the depths of Wisconsin's Great Lakes and unlock the secrets of their shipwrecks. This fully interactive multimedia program is suitable for all audiences. Enjoy learning about the history of Wisconsin's shipwrecks and the people who work every day to ensure their preservation for future generations.

Call No. 191133
Shipwrecks and lost treasures,Great Lakes : legends and lore, pirates and more! / By Michael J. Varhola and Paul G. Hoffman. Guilford, Conn.: Globe Pequot2008.
Twenty-one riveting stories and illustrations about ships that met their end in the treacherous waters of the Great Lakes, such as: British gunboat H.M.S. Speedy in 1804, American Navy brig U.S.S. Niagara in 1820, Civil War steamer Island Queen in 1864, the infamous freighter Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975, and many more. 1st ed.

Call No. 191145
Deadly voyage : the S.S. Daniel J. Morrell tragedy / By Andrew Kantar. East Lansing : Michigan State University Press2009.
This is the harrowing story of one of the worst shipwrecks in Great Lakes history.

Call No. 191151
Of limestone and labor : shipwrecks of the stone trade : the 1999 Bullhead Point stone barge investigation. Phase II, Predisturbance underwater archaeological site report / By Bradley A. Rodgers and Russell T. Green. Greenville, N.C. : Program in Maritime Studies, East Carolina University2003.
"The objectives for this particular project started with the documentation of the wrecks at Bullhead Point in an effort to identify just how an average ship was converted to a tow barge or schooner barge... With an aim toward interpreting both the shipwrecks and the point itself, understanding of Sturgeon Bay"--p.45

Call No. 191152
Myths and mysteries : underwater archaeological investigations of the lumber schooner Rouse Simmons, Christmas Tree Ship / By Kevin N. Meverden and Tamara L. Thomsen. [Madison, Wis.?] : Wisconsin Historical Society2008.
This is about the underwater archaeological investigations of the lumber schooner Rouse Simmons, Christmas Tree Ship.

Call No. 191153
Went missing : fifteen vessels that disappeared on Lake Superior AuTrain, Mich. : Avery Color Studios1977.
Nautical mystery tales about 15 ships that simply vanished on Lake Superior.

Call No. 191154
The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald / By Frederick Stonehouse. Au Train, Mich. : Avery Color Studios1977.
A historical account of the events leading up to and the sinking of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald.

Call No. 191162
Small boats on a big lake : underwater archaeological investigations of Wisconsin’s trading fleet 2007- 2009 / By Kevin N. Meverden and Tamara L. Thomsen. [Madison, Wis.] : Wisconsin Historical Society2010.
Full text available

Call No. 191165
Mighty Fitz : the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald / By Michael Schumacher. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press2012.
This book related in detail the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald, her many years on the waters of the Great Lakes, the fateful final day, the search efforts and investigation, as well as the speculation and controversy that followed in the wake of the disaster.

Call No. 191167
From quarry to quay: shipwrecks of McCracken’s Cove : the 2001-2002 Sturgeon Bay Wreck and Wharf investigation at the Birmingham site / By Bradley A. Rodgers. Greenville, N.C. : Program in Maritime Studies, East Carolina University2006.
Full text

Call No. 191169
Lost & found : legendary Lake Michigan shipwrecks / By V. O. VanHeest. [Holland, MI] : In-Depth Editions2012.
Accomplished diver and author Valerie Van Heest uses her extensive experience and Great Lakes contacts to allow readers the tragic sinking of legendary Lake Michigan ships. Spanning the ages of sail, steam and diesel, the book details discoveries shared with the author by some of the lake's most prolific wreck hunters.

Call No. 191170
Shipwrecked : reflections of the sole survivor : an autobiography / By Dennis N. Hale. Rock Creek, OH : D.N. Hale2010.
The harrowing autobiographical story of Dennis Hale, the sole survivor of the November 1966 sinking of the freighter Daniel J. Morrell on storm-tossed Lake Huron.

Useful Web site to explore

Wisconsin's Great Lakes Shipwrecks
UW Sea Grant and the Wisconsin Historical Society have teamed to produce this site exploring the shipwrecks of Lakes Michigan and Superior.

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