Shipwreck Near Whitefish Dunes Added to Historic List

A shipwreck, in the waters of Lake Michigan, off Door County’s Whitefish Dunes State Park, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The remains of the “Australasia,” a wooden bulk carrier, can be found about 800 feet southeast of the park beach. It was launched in 1884, the largest wooden vessel on the great lakes at the time. The “Australasia” moved large bulk cargoes across the lakes so efficiently, that it competed with modern steel ships. In October of 1896, the vessel caught fire near Baileys Harbor & was scuttled in 15 feet of water, south of Cave Point in Whitefish Bay. The “Australasia” was abandoned & forgotten until its recent rediscovery.


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