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

Explore Shipwrecks: Isabella J. Boyce

Ship Information

Ship Name: Isabella J. Boyce 
Also Known As: None 
Type of Ship: Launched as a bulk freighter. Converted to a Sandsucker with 425 HP Fore & Aft Compound 19 Cylinder- 32 x 26 stroke at Empire Shipbuilding Company, Buffalo, New York in 1915.  
Ship Size: 138' x 29' x 11' 
Ship Owner: Interlake Sand and Gravel Company 
Gross Tonnage: 368 
Net Tonnage: 316 
Typical Cargo: Sand 
Year Built: 1889 - Burger & Burger, Manitowoc, Wisconsin  
Official Wreck Number: 100446 
Wreck Location: 41 41.831 N 82 46.507 W 
Type of Ship at Loss: Sandsucker 
Cargo on Ship at Loss: None 
Captain of Ship at Loss: William McFadden 
The Shipwreck Today:

This information will be updated as it becomes available.  

From Bowling Green State University Historical Files of the Great Lakes: "June 6, 1917 on East Point Reef off of Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie. The Isabella J. Boyce grounded on Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie, then caught fire and lies in 10 feet of water. Wreck lies scattered on the bottom. No lives were lost."  
David Swayze's Shipwreck: A Comprehensive Directory of Over 3,700 Shipwrecks on the Great Lakes provides the following account: "In the early decades of the 20th century, the sandsucker was a common vessel, especially on relatively shallow Lake Erie. The vessel was designed to drop anchor over a sandy area, then, by means of a suction pipe, pick up a load of sand and water. On board, the sand was filtered out, then delivered to some waiting consumer. The fine Lake Erie sand was much in demand in the construction industry and in the iron-casting plants, where it was used in the process of molding such items as engine blocks. Sandsuckers were often old vessels that had been converted from another type, and were thus susceptible to accidents."  

1. Kohl, C. 2001. The Great Lakes Diving Guide. Seawolf Communications, Inc., P.O. Box 66, West Chicago, IL, 60186.

2. Great Lakes Historical Society/Peachman Lake Erie Shipwreck Research Center Files

3. Bowling Green State University Historical Collection of the Great Lakes Great Lakes Vessel Online Index University Libraries

4. Swayze, David. Shipwreck: A Comprehensive Directory of Over 3,700 Shipwrecks on the Great Lakes, Harbor House Publishing, February, 1992.

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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:



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