Wreck of the City of Glasgow
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This multicache that will take you to two places around the Door Peninsula that are associated with the wreck of the steamer City of Glasgow. There is a distance of approximately 39 miles from beginning to end with much of the trip along the scenic roads of Door County. The final cache is a micro so bring a pen!
The City of Glasgow was a wooden double-decked bulk carrier launched in 1891 in West Bay City, Michigan. Measuring 297 feet in length, 41 feet across her beam, and 21 feet in depth of hold, this massive vessel boosted her builder James Davidson’s reputation for pushing the technological limits of wooden boat construction at a time when most people were converting to iron and steel ship construction methods.
While moored at Green Bay on December 3, 1907, the City of Glasgow caught fire and sank between Grassy Island Light and Long Tail Point, completely blocking the entrance to Green Bay harbor until 1908. The Leathem and Smith Company purchased the City of Glasgow’s hull, removed her from the harbor, and converted her to a barge to carry various types of stone to Lake Michigan ports. The coordinates of the first waypoint are:
45° 17 518’
087° 01 267’
At the first waypoint you will find the City of Glasgow’s rudder (which was recovered from the shipwreck by divers). The enormous size of the rudder reflects just how big the City of Glasgow was and is a testament to Davidson’s shipbuilding ingenuity. Fastened to the rudder is a sign, on which you will find the year the rudder was recovered. Use this year to decipher the coordinates of the second waypoint.
ABCD = The year the rudder was recovered
44° 50. BB6’
08C° A5. CB2’
On October 6, 1917, the tug Hunsader had the City of Glasgow and the Adriatic in tow about two miles out from the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal when the tow line broke. The two barges dropped their anchors, but a heavy south wind blew them ashore north of the canal at Lily Bay. The City of Glasgow’s crew were rescued with great difficulty, but then the wind strengthened, making it impossible to rescue the Adriatic’s crew of six in the heavy surf. The following day, however, the Adriatic’s crew were eventually rescued, and the Adriatic was refloated two weeks later. The City of Glasgow, however, had been driven far ashore and was unable to be pulled free and her owners decided to abandon her where she lay.
At the final waypoint you are standing very close to where the City of Glasgow lies today. After she was abandoned, the vessel’s machinery and equipment were salvaged and her hull was left to the elements. Today, the remains of the City of Glasgow lies in 8 feet of water just off the beach less than one mile south of the boat ramp. It is an ideal site for snorkeling or kayaking. On calm days with clear water the vessel’s huge timbers are readily visible from the surface.
This cache was placed as a partnership with Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Maritime Museum, Door County Maritime Museum, and the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. We hope you enjoyed learning about the history of the City of Glasgow. To learn more about Wisconsin’s maritime heritage please visit our other geocaches in Door County and throughout the state, or visit wisconsinshipwrecks.org!
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum