The Rising Sun Shipwreck – Maple City, Michigan - Atlas Obscura

The Rising Sun Shipwreck

Maple City, Michigan

Hidden beneath the waters of Lake Michigan rests a perfectly intact ship from the early 1900s.  


Off the northern tip of Pyramid Point, as part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, rests a gigantic steamship boiler laying at the bottom of Lake Michigan.

Back in October 1917, the steamship known as the Rising Sun was coming south through the Manitou Passage, carrying local farmers from summer island.

As the story goes, high winds whipping across the lake caused the steamship to veer off course and run aground at Pyramid Point. The passengers and crew aboard the Rising Sun braved the chilly winter waters to reach the shore and seek shelter from nearby locals in Port Oneida. 

While the people aboard the Rising Sun survived, the 133-foot ship was lost to the watery grave where it now rests. For years, the ship was unnoticed beneath the lake’s waters until in 1996 the ever-shifting sands beneath the waves revealed the vessel just 12 feet below the surface, still intact. 

While Lake Michigan lacks the same colorful sea life that other diving sites boast, its chilly waters have helped to preserve the ship so that every visage of the boat can still be seen today. In short, the Rising Sun is a time capsule of life in the 1900s.

Know Before You Go

The sand and shoreline of Pyramid Point are constantly shifting, and the water can vary from calm to choppy. If you go looking for The Rising Sun, check a map and the weather forecast first. Take a life jacket, water, and plenty of sun screen, there are no services of any kind available for miles in any direction.

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