Shipwreck placed on national registry

ROGERS CITY — The Joseph S. Fay shipwreck is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

The new designation was discussed by the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary at the Presque Isle County Board of Commissioners meeting Friday.

“I was before you guys a few months ago looking to support the national register of the Joseph S. Fay. I want to give you a quick update to let you know about what happened with it,” maritime archaeologist Phil Hartmeyer said. “It was about a 14 month process with the different review committees at the state level and the national park service level and also with (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), but we completed our internal research submitted the forms, submitted the nomination. It was listed two months ago with the National Register. It’s the fourth successfully registered shipwreck in Presque Isle County. The fifth one is shortly behind. We’re working on the Choctaw we discovered this past year.”

Hartmeyer said he wanted to make sure the board heard from him the shipwreck made it to the register.

“I’m so glad you guys are part of the sanctuary and part of the support network we have to share and protect. The research is dense, but it’s important to places like 40 Mile Point, archeologists and all folks interested in maritime history in the area,” he said.

Sanctuary Superintendent Jeff Gray also talked with the board.

“Our teams are out here in Presque Isle and Rogers City. This summer we’ll be focusing a lot of work in Alcona County,” Gray said.

He said the sanctuary has about 10 mooring buoys that are part of the sanctuary’s tourism project in Presque Isle County.

“These are buoys that mark these shipwrecks,” Gray said. “People are not just diving shipwrecks but we’ve seen in our survey work is that more and more people are interested in kayak and snorkeling.”

Gray also discussed the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Trail project where the sanctuary will create and place signs about shipwrecks and other important maritime spots.

“The point of this is for people to learn about the different wrecks and learn about different recreational opportunities. We hope to continue our presence north of Alpena,” Gray said.

Jordan Spence can be reached via email at jspence@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687.