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Ohio's Oldest Shipwreck Could Join the National Register of Historic Places

The Anthony Wayne sank in 1850, but it location was publicly revealed only about 10 years ago.
Wikimedia Commons
The Anthony Wayne sank in 1850, but it location was publicly revealed only about 10 years ago.

Ohio’s oldest shipwreck could be joining the National Register of Historic Places. Recommended by the state’s historic preservation board this month, the Anthony Wayne would be the first shipwreck in Ohio waters to receive the designation.

In 1850, the Anthony Wayne, a steamer, sank after an explosion, killing all of its passengers. The ship sank about seven miles northwest of Vermillion, west of Cleveland.

The ship was discovered, but kept secret by divers who believed there was gold on board. It was publicly discovered by the Cleveland Underwater Explorers just 10 years ago.

Chris Gillcrist, executive director of the National Museum of the Great Lakes, says the historic place label is a reminder of Ohio’s place in the country’s maritime history.

“The Great Lakes were the super highway of the 19th century for moving people and product across the United States," Gillcrist says. "This boat was part of that culture, part of that business model.”

The Department of the Interior now has 90 days to agree or disagree with the distinction before it can be added to the National Register.

Copyright 2017 WOSU 89.7 NPR News

Reporter/producer Elizabeth Miller joined ideastream after a stint at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C., where she served as an intern on the National Desk, pitching stories about everything from a gentrified Brooklyn deli to an app for lost dogs. Before that, she covered weekend news at WAKR in Akron and interned at WCBE, a Columbus NPR affiliate. Elizabeth grew up in Columbus before moving north to attend Baldwin Wallace, where she graduated with a degree in broadcasting and mass communications.