On January 12, a wind storm that brought gusts over 95 kilometres per hour was forceful enough to displace the lake toward the east, revealing the lake bottom around the Toledo, Ohio region. Locals of the area were able to explore the exposed coastlines and islands of the western part of the lake.
Photos said to be taken near the James A. Haley Boardwalk in Oregon, Ohio, depicted what looked like an uncovered shipwreck.
National Museum of the Great Lakes Director of Archaeology and Research Carrie Sowden said that the images of the exposed structure were not enough to confirm whether or not it was the remains of a long-lost ship. “From the photos I looked at last night,” says Sowden, “I saw a lot of straight lines, which to me says more pier/dockage than ship – that’s just my first impression.”
Other objects, such as what appeared to be an old cannon, were also likely something else, obscured by watery weathering over time, Sowden suggests.
Lake Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes and contains numerous shipwrecks. “Even if it’s just a pier,” says Sowden, “it appears to be a lost, unknown remnant of something people in this area don’t necessarily remember.”
Sowden had hoped to investigate the structure, but the window of opportunity closed when the Lake Erie water table quickly levelled out.
The historical remnants beneath the harbour will have to lie in wait until another wind storm comes along with the capacity to expose them once again.