Contact: Kara O’Keeffe
Mequon, Wis. – The Wisconsin Historical Society has announced the listing of the J. M. Allmendinger Shipwreck in the vicinity of Mequon, Ozaukee County, in the National Register of Historic Places. National Register designation provides access to certain benefits, including qualification for grants and for rehabilitation income tax credits, while it does not restrict private property owners in the use of their property.
On a rocky bottom 2.5 miles south-southeast of Concordia University, in Mequon, Wisconsin, the steambarge J. M. Allmendinger lies in 12 feet of water on the bottom of Lake Michigan. The vessel’s keel, keelson, and floors remain intact on the site along with scattered hull fragments, rudder, and boiler.
The J. M. Allmendinger was built by shipwright Albert Burgoine, launched in 1895, and was used primarily in the lumber trade. In November of 1895 the J. M. Allmendinger was bound for Milwaukee with a load of lumber when it was caught in a snowstorm. The winds were so strong the vessel was knocked off course and ran aground north of Fox Point.
As one of only a few small steambarges in Wisconsin waters, the J. M. Allmendinger provides historians and archaeologists the chance to study the construction of the vessel, and adaptations made to ships for lumber transported through the Great Lakes. The J. M. Allmendinger is the only reported example of English-influenced keel construction techniques through its builder’s use of rising wood on the Great Lakes.
State and federal laws protect this shipwreck. Divers may not remove artifacts or structure when visiting this site. Removing, defacing, displacing or destroying the artifacts or sites is a crime. More information on Wisconsin’s historic shipwrecks may be found by visiting Wisconsin’s Great Lakes Shipwrecks website, www.wisconsinshipwrecks.org.
The register is the official national list of historic properties in America deemed worthy of preservation and is maintained by the National Park Service in the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Wisconsin Historical Society administers the program within Wisconsin. It includes sites, buildings, structures, objects and districts that are significant in national, state or local history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture.
To learn more about the State and National Register programs in Wisconsin, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.