Bay City, Michigan 48706
Front Page Photo of the Day Log-IN About us August 28, 2005
(Prior Story)   Events ArTicle 871   (Next Story)
Sponsored by Last Choice Country

French Asserting Rights to 326-Year-Old Vessel Found in Lake Superior

Three Centuries Old Mystery Revived; French Seek Rights to Wreck of Griffon

August 28, 2005       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

Printer Friendly Story View

The Griffon was the first sailing ship on the Upper Great Lakes, built in 1679. It was the second to be shipwrecked on the Great Lakes.

Of the about 6,000 ships wrecked in the Great Lakes, this one may be the most important, and the most historically significant.

Booth Newspapers has broken a blockbuster story about the possible discovery of ill-fated French ship, Le Griffon, sunk some 326 years ago in Lake Superior.

According to a story in the Grand Rapids Press a week ago, an organization called the Great Lakes Exploration Group claims to have found the wreck of the Griffon between Escanaba and the St. Martin Islands, off the Door Peninsula of Wisconsin.

Reporter Ed White picked up the story when the U.S. State Department filed a brief in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids a week ago.

State Department official Robert Blumberg, of the Office of Oceans Affairs, said in the filing that France is proposing to send a team of experts to determine if the find is in fact the Griffon.

If it can be proven that the ship was sailing under regal decree, France may have rights to the wreck, according to reports.

And, implications from the state department official are that France may seek to send the bill for the trip here by the experts to the U.S. government.

The fur is already flying from comments by folks who haveheard the jist of the news of this revolting development.

The French explorer Rene-Robert Cavalier Sieur de LaSalle built the ship, first sailing vessel on the Great Lakes, near the junction of the Cayuga Creek and the Niagara River at the eastern end of Lake Erie in what is now New York State.

Le Griffon was considered to have been the first ship on the Upper Great Lakes. It was a 45-ton barque with five guns. On its maiden voyage it traversed lakes Erie, Huron and Michigan. On thereturn trip it vanished with all six crew members and a valuable load of furs.

After weathering a violent storm on Lake Huron, possibly in Saginaw Bay, LaSalle and some compatriots left the ship at a trading post on Green Bay. The ship continued on with a load of furs but was never seen again.

The Griffon was the second ship sunk on the Great Lakes, the first being another vessel built by LaSalle, the Frontenac, lost in Lake Ontario in 1679.

Another ship of LaSalle's, LaBelle, was lost in Matagorda Bay, off Texas. After its discovery in the 1990s, Texas and France made a salvage agreement and nearly a million artifacts, from bones to muskets, were recovered from the sunken wreck.###

Printer Friendly Story View
Prior Article

August 20, 2019
by: Stephen Kent
Dave Rogers, Author, Historian, Newsman Passes Away
Next Article

August 15, 2019
by: Kathy Rupert-Mathews
MOVIE REVIEW: "Scary Stories" -- In a Word = FUN
Agree? or Disagree?

Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at

More from Dave Rogers

Send This Story to a Friend!       Letter to the editor       Link to this Story
Printer-Friendly Story View

--- Advertisments ---

0200 Nd: 08-19-2019 d 4 cpr 0


(Ads not affiliated with Google)

Ads By
Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
Click Here to Visit Our Site!
Improving The Economic Climate, Business Environment & Quality of Living Throughout The Bay Area

Ads By
Begick Nursery and Garden Center

Ads By
Historical Press - By Dave Rogers
Purchase Your Copy Today!

Designed at OJ Advertising, Inc. (V3) (v3) Software by Mid-Michigan Computer Consultants
Bay City, Michigan USA
All Photographs and Content Copyright © 1998 - 2019 by OJA/MMCC. They may be used by permission only.
P3V3-0200 (1) 0   ID:Default   UserID:Default   Type:reader   R:x   PubID:mbC   NewspaperID:noPaperID
  pid:1560   pd:11-18-2012   nd:2019-08-19   ax:2019-08-23   Site:5   ArticleID:871   MaxA: 999999   MaxAA: 999999
CCBot/2.0 (