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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

divers discover "holy grail" of lake erie shipwrecks

In the dark and drizzle of June 20, 1868, two ships off the shore of Lorain were on course to pass in the night.

The Cortland, carrying iron ore, was sailing from the west for Cleveland. The passenger steamer Morning Star had left Cleveland bound for Detroit.

Around midnight, a crewman on the Cortland told the first mate to clean the dimming green oil lantern so the approaching steamer would see them.

The mate took down the lantern, and the night grew darker.

Twenty minutes passed, and still the lantern was not returned. Suddenly, the crewman saw the Morning Star heading right for them and ran to the bell.

His warning came too late. The ships collided, sinking both and killing 38 people. Only the Morning Star was recovered.

Now, nearly 140 years later, a dive team believes it has discovered the Cortland, bell and all.
Read the rest of this article from today's The Plain Dealer here .

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