"Railroaded" - The Wreck of the Schooner Plymouth!


An unidentified shipwreck was located in 1996 by CLUE (Cleveland Underwater Explorers) member Rob Ruetschle in Lake Erie, approximately 20 miles off Cleveland, Ohio.  CLUE re-visited and surveyed the shipwreck in 2013. After extensive archival research, CLUE identified the wreck as the two-masted schooner Plymouth, which sank on the night of 23 June 1852, after a collision with the sidewheel steamer Northern Indiana.


Additional historical research relative to the parties involved revealed a fascinating connection between the reckless operation of the steamer, a political junket, and the powerful influence of the railroads. Ensuing litigation, including personal and political connections to Millard Fillmore, the 13th President of the United States, resulted in the creation of right-of-way rules for sailing vessels.

Cite this Record

"Railroaded" - The Wreck of the Schooner Plymouth!. David M. VanZandt, James Edward Paskert, Kevin Scott Magee. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 434010)


Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 324