GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The shipwreck of a barge that sank in 1902 has been discovered in Lake Superior, according to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society.

In 2021, a blip was recorded on sonar along Lake Superior. This past summer, the GLSHS used a remotely operated vehicle to identify the blip as the wreck of Barge 129, a 292-foot Whaleback vessel. It was 35 miles off Vermilion Point, 650 feet deep in Lake Superior’s waters, GLSHS said.

On Oct. 13, 1902, Barge 129 departed from the Duluth, Minnesota and Superior Wisconsin area carrying a load of iron ore. Pulled by a steamer called Maunaloa, the two ships ran into a storm and were separated.

“The Maunaloa turned back around to try to re-attach that tow line, the anchor of the Maunaloa ripped into the side of Barge 129 and sank it within, like, 15 minutes,” said Corey Adkins with GLSHS.

Luckily, Adkins said, all the crew was able to escape Barge 129. The ship, however, split into four or five sections and bent in half.

“When a ship sinks with iron ore, it just disintegrates the ship at the bottom and that’s what happened with Barge 129,” Adkins said.

It is one of eight other shipwrecks that were discovered in 2021 by the GLSHS and Marine Sonic Technology using Side Scan Sonar. Adkins says studying these shipwrecks is incredibly important to explain our country’s history.

“It’s important to know these stories and to figure out what’s on the bottom of our lakes,” he said.

Although Adkins said it is not legal to remove the shipwreck from the bottom of the lake, the historical society has recorded photos and video to share with the public.

Barge 129 was not the only blip the sonar detected in 2021.

“We actually have a few more blips on our radar we need to go check out this summer,” said Adkins.

He said at the time Barge 129 sank, ships mostly sailed along what’s now called the Shipwreck Coast, which is between 20 and 35 miles out from the northern coast of the Upper Peninsula.

“Most of them are right there … It’s called the graveyard of the Great Lakes. There’s about 200 ships that went down between Whitefish Point and Munising.”