Boaters on Spring Lake often pass by the wreck of the Manistee, which lies just a few feet offshore of Savidge Landing.
“The Manistee burned and was pushed off into lower Spring Lake,” shipwreck researcher William Lafferty said. “She burned to the water line, and what was left sunk below the water.”
According to the Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates, part of the Manistee's bow rises within 4 feet of the lake's surface.
In May 2008, Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates teamed with Nautilus Marine Group to survey the wreck of the Manistee. Employing acoustic sonar equipment, they collected data that researchers used to create a mosaic image of the wreck.
The steamer was originally named the Lora, then the Alice Stafford and finally as the Manistee. It was built in 1882 by Jacob H. Randall for the Graham & Morton Transportation Co. in Benton Harbor.
The Manistee sailed until June 28, 1914. The ship caught fire between 3 and 4 a.m. that day while it was docked at Johnston Boiler Works in Ferrysburg.
When the big steamer eventually broke away from the Johnston docks, it floated out onto the lake and near Savidge Landing. It then burned and eventually sank below the surface.
To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.