Shipwreck remains were found washed to shore in West Michigan, potentially dating back to the 1850s.


The wreckage was reported April 24 on a beach north of Ludington, near the entrance to the state park. The remains, which are around 32 feet long and 8 feet wide, is a hull fragment from a wooden vessel. The fragment has 15 double frames, which make up the "ribs" of the vessel, according to the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum.


The planking of the remains measures between eight and 11 inches and is joined to the frames with metal fasteners, according to the museum. Based on the remains that washed ashore, the construction is consistent with schooners built between 1850 and 1880.


In partnership with the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association, the remains were compared with historical records to help identify what wreckage the remains could be from. The list has been narrowed to the J.B. Skinner built in 1841, the J.O. Moss built in 1863, the Eclipse built in 1852, and the Orphan Boy built in 1862. The Frank Canfield, built in 1875, that sank off Big Sable Point, is also on the list of possibilities, according to the museum.


The remains could be connected to other shipwreck remains that have recently washed ashore. A large 1980s wooden rudder came on shore just south of the recent remains that were found, the Epworth Historical Society informed the museum. A large wooden windlass washed up on the beach at Ludington State Park several years back as well. Both could be connected to the remains recently discovered, according to the museum.


Higher lake waters can reveal shipwrecks that had been long buried, according to the museum. Big and Little Sable Points are known to be particularly dangerous waters, as there is thought to have been dozens of ships lost between the points.


More than 300 ships have been grounded on Michigan's west coast in the last 170 years, with around 20 of them between the two points, according to the museum.