Shipwrecks and Maritime Tales of the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail
Shipwrecks and Maritime Tales of the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail

Explore Shipwrecks: W.R. Hanna

Ship Information

Ship Name: W.R. Hanna 
Also Known As: None 
Type of Ship: Scow Schooner  
Ship Size: Herdendorf and Pansing state: "86'2" length x 22'4" breadth of beam x 6'0" depth of hold. Single- decked scow schooner with 2 masts and a square bow and stern; centerboard trunk is 24' long". 
Ship Owner: L.J. Seek, Toledo, Ohio; ice dealer 
Gross Tonnage: 103 
Net Tonnage: NA 
Typical Cargo: Herdendorf and Labadie state: "Medium sized dimension limestone; partly loaded with stone from Detroit; archaeological survey of site in 1999 yielded an estimate of 1,700 limestone blocks (mean size 0.87 cubic feet) for a cargo of 126 tons". 
Year Built: 1857 - Sandusky, Ohio, by William R. Hanna for Jonathan Learned  
Official Wreck Number: 26669 
Wreck Location: 41 39.030 N 82 41.060 W (Herdendorf and Labadie) North of Kelley's Island. Ohio State Archaeological Site No. 33ER488. 
Type of Ship at Loss: Scow schooner, Wood 
Cargo on Ship at Loss: Herdendorf and Labadie contend: "The final cargo of medium sized dimension stone was believed to be destined for Detroit (Toledo Blade, October 30, 1886). In June 1999, an attempt was made to estimate the size of the cargo by direct measurement of randomly selected blocks. The limestone blocks, mostly rectangular in shape, occupy most of the central portion of the site, from a position of 9 feet on the baseline to a position of 74 feet, with most of the concentration between 15 and 65 feet. A total of 27 blocks were measured for length, width and thickness". 
Captain of Ship at Loss: Frank Provonsha, Toledo, Ohio 
The Shipwreck Today:

Sand and boulder bottom over rock; depth 3 feet to 8 feet. Stone cargo obscures most of the vessel structure.


October 14, 1886 - Gale force storm drove vessel ashore and she was pounded to pieces. No loss of life was reported. Vessel valued at $1,000; no insurance.  

1. Herdendorf, C.E. and Pansing, L.L. 2000. Profile of Shipwrecks in the Vicinity of Kelleys Island, Lake Erie. Lake Erie Shipwreck Research Center Technical Report No. 1, Great Lakes Historical Society, Inland Seas Maritime Museum, Vermilion, Ohio.

2. Herdendorf, C.E. and Labadie, C.P. 2001. Archaeological Investigation of Scow Schooner W.R. Hanna at Kelleys Island, Lake Erie, Ohio, October 1998-June 1999. Lake Erie Shipwreck Research Center Technical Report No.2, Great Lakes Historical Society, Inland Seas Museum, Vermilion, Ohio.

3. OSU Sea Grant Dive Slates - W.R. Hanna,

4. Swayze, David. 1999-2000. The Great Lakes Shipwreck File: Total Losses of Great Lakes Ships 1679-2000.

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The Ohio Sea Grant College Program is located within The Ohio State University. <Ohio Sea Grant Extension is part of Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Sea Grant College Program>.  Ohio Sea Grant is one of 32 programs in the National Sea Grant College Program, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce, all of which are dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources.  Ohio Sea Grant uses a combination of research, education and outreach projects to address critical environmental, economic and education issues affecting Ohio, the Great Lakes region and the nation. Sea Grant is a true partnership between universities, government and the private sector. Each year the program supports projects at a number of Ohio colleges, universities and agencies. Also part of Ohio Sea Grant is the university's F.T. Stone Laboratory, located on Gibraltar Island at Put-in-Bay, Referred to as Ohio's Lake Erie Laboratory . Stone Lab was created in 1895, and is the oldest freshwater biological field station in the country. The Laboratory is administered by the School of Environment and Natural Resources in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State University.

The latitude/longitude locations provided within are to the best of our knowledge, yet approximate.  Our sources include file data from GLHS/PLESRC, The Great Lakes Diving Guide by Chris Kohl ,MAST publicly published coordinates dive centers,  private divers and scuba clubs. However, these coordinates should NOT to be used for navigation. The reason for this is coordinates may vary slightly between each information source; due specifically to the fact that individual GPS instruments may perform slightly different from each other, for a variety of reasons.

If you plan to visit one of the shipwreck sites specifically for scuba diving purposes, we advise you contact one of the following for more up-to-date, exact locations and any new wreck information which may be available:



Shipwrecks and Maritime Tales of the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail
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