The Ship that Sank Twice

Mahoning, is a wooden vessel build in 1848. The ill-fated Mahoning succumbed to the waters of Lake Michigan, not once, but twice in the Fall of 1864. On November 13, the Mahoning was caught in a storm while sailing from Chicago to Green Bay. The captain attempted to make it to the Sheboygan harbor, but strong winds ended up driving the ship aground four miles south of the harbor. A salvage crew spent the next few weeks repairing the vessel. Then on December 1, they set out for Chicago with Mahoning in tow. As fate would have it, another storm struck, capsizing the vessel with the captain and first mate trapped below deck. Both crew members perished.

Today, Mahoning lies just to the south of the Port Washington Harbor in about 55 feet of water. Because Mahoning is more intact than Niagara, many divers prefer this wreck. The modest depth and good visibility make it an ideal dive for those new to Great Lakes diving.

Divers can use the skeleton of the wreck to set their course and return to the mooring. There are two tracks that can be followed. Other debris, including the rudder, are a considerable distance from the mooring, and it is easy to lose track of the mooring for divers without strong navigation skills.

Maximum depth: 55 feet
Distance to deck: 52 feet
Dimensions: 119' x 25'5" x 9'8"
Moorings: One
Skill level: Beginner to Intermediate