Haven, WI. – The Wisconsin Historical Society announces the listing of the Abiah Shipwreck, in the Town of Haven, Sheboygan County, on the State Register of Historic Places.
Just over 13 miles northeast of the Sheboygan Harbor lighthouse, the schooner Abiah lies on the clay and silt-covered bottom of Lake Michigan in 220 feet of water. The remains are mostly intact on the lakebed, although a section of its deck planking and port side hull are not extant.
Abiah was launched from the shipyard of Charles Stevens in Irving, New York in the late summer of 1847. The vessel operated in the Great Lakes grain and lumber trades throughout its career. In September 1855, Abiah was struck by a sudden squall and capsized while in route to Oconto, Wisconsin from Chicago. The vessel was towed upside down to within 15.0 miles of Sheboygan, where the ship was finally overtaken by the waves and sank.
The vessel’s location remained unknown until the site was discovered in 2019. The site remains unvisited by recreational divers. The Abiah site has produced archaeological knowledge about early wooden schooner construction and has the potential to yield a wealth of information about the early schooner construction on the Great Lakes.
State laws protect this shipwreck. Divers may not remove artifacts or structures when visiting this site. Removing, defacing, displacing, or destroying artifacts or sites, is a crime. More information on Wisconsin’s historic shipwrecks may be found by visiting Wisconsin’s Great Lakes Shipwrecks website at wisconsinshipwrecks.org.
The State Register is Wisconsin’s official list of state properties determined to be significant to Wisconsin’s heritage. The State Historic Preservation Office at the Wisconsin Historical Society administers both the State Register and National Register in Wisconsin.
To learn more about the State and National Register programs in Wisconsin, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.