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For Release:   IMMEDIATELY
June 10, 2001

For More Information:
Jeff Gray, state underwater archaeologist, Wisconsin Historical Society,
(608) 271-1382

Editors Note:  	Print-quality images and video are available on request.
Please call Jeff Gray. 


MADISON, Wis. (6/10/01) - Two of Wisconsin's historic shipwrecks recently
have been determined eligible for listing in the National Register of
Historic Places.
The Wisconsin Historic Preservation Review Board determined the 95-foot
luxury yacht Rosinco and the 132-foot, three-masted schooner Fleetwing
eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places on April
Underwater images, video segments, and historical information on the
Rosinco, Fleetwing, and many other wrecks can be found on the Web site
"Wisconsin's Great Lakes Shipwrecks" (www.seagrant.wisc.edu/shipwrecks
<http://www.seagrant.wisc.edu/shipwrecks>), prepared by the Wisconsin
Historical Society and the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.
Built in 1916, the Rosinco heralded a new era in luxury yacht design and
construction, according to Jeff Gray, state underwater archaeologist at the
Wisconsin Historical Society, and one of the authors of the nominations.
"The Rosinco is remarkably well preserved," Gray said.  "She is a monument
to several milestones in ship construction, including early diesel
technology and the use of steel as a primary building material for yachts."
The yacht's final voyage began on 18 September 1928, when the vessel
departed Milwaukee bound for Chicago, with one passenger and a five-man
crew.   Ten miles off Kenosha at 2:45 a.m. the next morning, the vessel
reportedly struck some floating timber that apparently ruptured the steel
The duty crew quickly awakened those who were sleeping below decks and
everyone hurried topside. The ship was sinking rapidly. Passengers and crew
jumped ship and swam to the small motor launch towed behind the yacht.  No
sooner had the crew cast off the line that tethered the launch to the
Rosinco than the yacht's stern lifted out of the water and the grand vessel
slid, bow first, beneath 185 feet of water.  Only one casualty was incurred:
the ship's canary mascot.
Today, the Rosinco affords a rare glimpse into life on one of the most
luxurious Great Lakes yachts of the early twentieth century.  "The Rosinco
is intact and sitting upright on the bottom," Gray said. "She has been
exceptionally well preserved by Lake Michigan's cold, fresh water."
The Fleetwing was a classic Great Lakes schooner and one of many victims of
the hazardous Death's Door passage at the tip of Door County.  In the fall
of 1888, the three-masted vessel was searching for the passage in a
northwest gale.  The ship struck a nearby rocky beach with a grinding crash
that sheared off a mast.  Several days later, another gale pounded her to
"Today the Fleetwing is a popular attraction for divers, snorkelers, and
kayakers," Gray said.  "The site lies in shallow, protected water with
excellent clarity, and the site is easily accessible."
The Rosinco and the Fleetwing are owned by the state of Wisconsin and
managed by the Wisconsin Historical Society.  They are two of over 700
shipwrecks and thousands of other archaeological sites resting in the 22
percent of the state that is submerged.  In addition to their historic
value, these sites are popular attractions for recreational divers. 
The finding of the review board places the Rosinco  and the Fleetwing on
Wisconsin's State Register of Historic Places.  The two nominations,
prepared by the Wisconsin Historical Society, have been forwarded to the
Keeper of the National Register in Washington, D.C., for evaluation. Earlier
this year, the keeper determined the Rosinco eligible for listing.  
The determinations virtually assure the shipwrecks will be listed in
National Register later this year, Gray said.


Created in 1966, Sea Grant is a national network of 29 university-based
programs of research, outreach, and education dedicated to the protection
and sustainable use of the United States' coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes
resources.  The National Sea Grant Network is a partnership of participating
coastal states, private industry, and the National Sea Grant College
Program, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of

www.seagrant.wisc.edu <http://www.seagrant.wisc.edu>

Since 1988, the Wisconsin Historical Society has surveyed, mapped, and
documented the underwater archeological resources of the state.  This work
will improve the management of historic shipwrecks and help develop
underwater preserve areas to protect these cultural and recreational
resources.  The State Underwater Archaeology Program is part of the WHS's
Division of Historic Preservation, under the Office of the State

www.shsw.wisc.edu <http://www.shsw.wisc.edu>

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