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Kyle Spangler (schooner) facts for kids

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Kyle Spangler wreck
Career (United States)
Name: Kyle Spangler
Operator: B. L. Spangler Co.
Builder: William Jones
Launched: May 12, 1856
Completed: 1856
Fate: Sunk in collision November 5, 1860
Quick facts for kids
General characteristics
Tonnage: 349 tons
Length: 130 feet
Beam: 26 feet
Depth: 11 feet
Decks: 1
KYLE SPANGLER (schooner) Shipwreck Site
Location Lake Huron, 4 miles (6.4 km) northeast of Presque Isle
Built by William Jones
Architectural style shipwreck site
NRHP reference No. 14001098
Added to NRHP August 22, 2016

The Kyle Spangler was a wooden schooner; its 1860 wreck site in Lake Huron was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.

History

Basil L. Spangler, born in 1817, was a dry-goods merchant from Cleveland who ran his own form, B. L. Spangler and Company. In 1856, Spangler commissioned William Jones, a shipbuilder from Black River Ohio (now Lorain), to construct a schooner. The schooner was named Kyle Spangler, after Spangler's son, born in 1851. The ship was launched on May 12, 1856, and departed Cleveland with a cargo of coal two days later.

The Spangler was a traditional mid-nineteenth century cargo schooner that hauled various cargoes on the freshwater Great Lakes, and on to saltwater ports along the east coast. including iron ore, salt, coal, corn and wheat.

Like many schooners of the time, the Spangler endured a series of shipping incidents. In May 1856 she tore a hole in her bottom on a reef in Lake Huron. In 1857, she spring a leak in Lake Michigan, and was run aground just south of Sleeping Bear Bay before she sank. It was almost a year before she was refloated. The ship was dismasted in 1858, and later that same year collided with another schooner in the Straits of Mackinac. In 1859, the Spangler sailed into the Atlantic Ocean with a load of lumber, and returned the following spring.

On November 5, 1860, while upbound on Lake Huron on a dark night with a load of corn, the Spangler collided with the downbound schooner Racine, crushing the Spangler's bow and sinking her. All crewmen were rescued safely.

The wreck

The wreck was discovered in 2003 by diver Stan Stock while searching for the semi-whaleback freighter Choctaw. Over the next few years, Stock and a team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary documented the wreck. In 2008, it was decided to release the location of the wreck to the general public, and the location has become a popular scuba diving attraction.

The Kyle Spangler lies upright in 185 feet (56.4 meters) of water, and much of the wreck is undamaged save the bow. The cold, fresh water of Lake Huron has kept the wreck well preserved, and the ship looks much as she did during the 1850s, with both masts (including crosstrees) intact and upright. The wreck lists twenty degrees to the starboard side.

The ship's wheel, steering gear and rudder are intact, as are two bilge pumps and the main winch and capstan. The interior cabin structure is relatively intact, but the woodwork has collapsed, making small items difficult to discern. The cargo hold hatch covers are displaced, giving easy access to the hold.

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