Wreck of the David W. Mills

Wreck of the David W. Mills (HM1FDL)

Location: Oswego, NY 13126 Oswego County
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Country: United States of America
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N 43° 27.734', W 76° 31.197'

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19th Century Cargo Vessel

— Shipwrecks of Lake Ontario —


The David W. Mills, a cargo vessel that was part of a vast commercial shipping industry on the Great Lakes, played an important role in the industrial development of the north American interior. The Mills ran aground on Ford Shoals in dense smog created by forest fires in Canada. Attempts to free the boat failed and it broke apart during a violent October storm.

Wreck of the David W. Mills

The David W. Mills was a typical Great Lakes cargo vessel of the late 19th century. Measuring 202' by 34,' weighing 925 tons, this wooden "steambarge" could carry over one million board feet of lumber, though at the time of the wreck it was carrying coal. The wreck site was mapped by the Oswego Maritime Foundation. On May 3, 2000, the Mills was designated as New York State's first Submerged Cultural Preserve and Dive Site in Lake Ontario.

Great Lakes Cargo Vessel

The pilot house on steambarges was placed well forward, and the machinery was set in the stern, allowing cargo to be piled high on deck. This design initiated the distinctive look of the Great Lakes "lakeboat," which continued through the 20th century.

Masts - Early steam powered vessels still used wind power as a backup.

Dive Site Information

Location: Four and one-half miles west of the Oswego Harbor Lighthouse, one-half mile offshore, halfway between shore and the Ford Shoals buoy (G"7").

GPS: N43.26.555 W076.35.094

Access: Boat Only.

Depth: 12-25 feet.

Visibility: 20 to 100 feet. Average 45 feet.

Temperature: 40 to 73 degrees F.

Skill Level: Basic open water diver.

Bottom: Flat and rocky.

Hazards: Lake Ontario weather is unpredictable and can change very rapidly from good to severe. Weather conditions and unexpected weather changes should be a constant consideration. Strong currents may be present if seas are running 3 feet or higher.
Placed ByGreat Lakes Seaway Trail
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 12:14pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 377043 N 4813269
Decimal Degrees43.46223333, -76.51995000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 43° 27.734', W 76° 31.197'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds43° 27' 44.04" N, 76° 31' 11.82" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)315
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 51 Lake St, Oswego NY 13126, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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