Two ex­plor­ers find ship­wreck from 1872

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Chris Carola

Jim Ken­nard and Roger Pawlowski say they have iden­ti­fied the Black Duck in 350 feet of wa­ter near Oswego.

The 144-year-old ship­wreck of a rare sail­ing ves­sel that typ­i­cally wasn’t used for long voy­ages on the Great Lakes has been found in deep wa­ter off Lake On­tario’s New York shore, ac­cord­ing to two un­der­wa­ter ex­plor­ers.

Western New York­based ex­plor­ers Jim Ken­nard and Roger Pawlowski an­nounced Fri­day that they iden­ti­fied the wreck as the Black Duck in Septem­ber, three years af­ter ini­tially com­ing across it while us­ing side-scan sonar in 350 feet of wa­ter off Oswego, New York.

The 51-foot-long, sin­gle-mast ship known as a scow-sloop sank dur­ing a gale while haul­ing goods along the lake’s east­ern end in Au­gust 1872. The ship’s cap­tain, his wife and a crewmem­ber, the only peo­ple on board, all sur­vived by get­ting into a small boat and reach­ing shore eight hours later.

Only a few scow-sloops sailed the Great Lakes, Ken­nard told The As­so­ci­ated Press. A search of nau­ti­cal records turned up only about a dozen ref­er­ences to scow-sloops be­ing built in the re­gion, he said.

The Black Duck wreck is be­lieved to be the only fully in­tact scow-sloop to ex­ist in the Great Lakes, Ken­nard said.

“It’s def­i­nitely a rar­ity,” said Car­rie Sow­den, ar­chae­o­log­i­cal di­rec­tor at the Na­tional Mu­seum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, Ohio, which spon­sors the New York team’s ex­plo­rations.

The ves­sels’ sim­ple de­sign — squared bow and stern and a flat bot­tom — al­lowed it to be run up on beaches for load­ing and un­load­ing of cargo.

“Scows, be­cause of their shape, are work­horses,” Sow­den said. “They’re not there to move fast through the wa­ter. They’re there to carry a lot of cargo.”

Typ­i­cally used on rivers or for short voy­ages on the Great Lakes, scowsloops weren’t con­structed for high winds and waves in open wa­ter. The Black Duck got caught in such con­di­tions on Aug. 8, 1872, dur­ing the 40-mile trip from Oswego to Sack­ett’s Har­bor on Lake On­tario’s east­ern end. The ship sank soon af­ter spring­ing a leak dur­ing a gale.

“They weren’t built to with­stand that kind of pound­ing,” Ken­nard said.

The Black Duck is the lat­est Lake On­tario ship­wreck dis­cov­ery for Pawlowski, of Rochester, and Ken­nard, of nearby Fair­port. Ear­lier this year, they and a third mem­ber of their team, Roland “Chip” Stevens, an­nounced they had found the wreck of the sloop Wash­ing­ton, which sank dur­ing a storm in 1803. The find was the sec­ond-old­est con­firmed ship­wreck in the Great Lakes, the ex­plor­ers said.

ROGER PAWLOWSKI — THE ASSOCAITED PRESS

In this un­dated photo pro­vided by Roger Pawlowski, the bow area of the “Black Duck” is shown in 350 feet of wa­ter off Oswego, N.Y. Un­der­wa­ter ex­plor­ers say they’ve found the 144-year-old Lake On­tario ship­wreck of the rare sail­ing ves­sel that typ­i­cally wasn’t used on the Great Lakes. The 51-foot-long, sin­gle-masted ship known as a scow-sloop sank dur­ing a gale while haul­ing goods along the lake’s east­ern end in Au­gust 1872.

In this un­dated photo pro­vided by Roger Pawlowski, the cabin and tiller of the “Black Duck” is shown in 350 feet of wa­ter off Oswego.

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