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Mysterious ship which went 'missing' in 1909 finally found underwater after 115 years

The Adella Shores set out with 14 members in 1909 and never returned. Over a century later, it was located in Lake Superior.

Mysterious ship which went 'missing' in 1909 finally found underwater after 115 years
Cover Image Source: Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

Discoveries of the sea keep getting intriguing and exciting with time. One of the greatest is that of ships that sank with treasures of information and history. Similarly, after venturing out with 14 crew members, one such ship was lost and assumed “missing.” Adella Shores went missing in 1909 and now has been finally discovered, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum revealed in a statement.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Pixabay
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay

The ship went missing in May 1909 and there were no traces of its crew members or location. Constructed by the Shores Lumber Company in the late 1800s, the ship has an interesting history, per Smithsonian Magazine. It belonged to the owner’s daughter, Adella. Her sister Bessie is said to have christened the ship with a bottle of water since the family was strict about alcohol at the time. She threw the bottle on the ship’s hull. It was deemed bad luck by the locals in the earlier days. As per the believed myth, the ship sank twice when it ventured but somehow refloated to the surface. The ship set out on April 29 behind the Daniel J. Morrell ship. The latter was larger and helped break through the ice for the Adella Shores to follow.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Fawzy Alex
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Fawzy Alex

However, after a strong gust of wind, Adella Shores was nowhere to be seen. It was assumed by the captain of Daniel J. Morrell that Adella Shores may have hit an ice flow, causing the hull to break. The 14 members on board were assumed to have lost their lives while the ship was thought to have sunk. Director of Marine Operations Darryl Ertel and his brother Dan were out with the Marine Sonic Technology side-scan sonar system when they found a target in 2021. Ertel recalled, “I pretty much knew that had to be the Adella Shores when I measured the length of it because there were no other ships out there missing in that size range.”

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Leonardo James
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Leonardo James

He added that the ship’s design when checked, matched that of the Adella Shores. The 175-foot ship was found over 40 miles away from Whitefish Point, Michigan, 650 feet below water, where it sailed. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society (GLSHS) shared footage of what they had found underwater. The team presumed the Adela Shores had fallen sideways due to the position it was in. Apart from the same, some debris, dishes and other materials were found, but no remains of bodies whatsoever.

Historian Fred Stonehouse said, “Not only is she a member of the ‘Went Missing’ club… those ships on the Great Lakes that disappeared with all hands… decades later, to be discovered. She still tells a very poignant and fascinating story.” While the findings were initiated in 2021, the news only recently reached the public. The museum’s communications director, Corey Adkins, explained the reason behind the same and said, “Every one of these stories is important and deserves to be told with the utmost honor and respect.”


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