Lost: 10/15/1893 Depth: 110
The Dean Richmond was a 238′ twin screw steel over wood steamer, built at Cleveland Ohio in 1864. She would be the fourth Great Lakes ship tho carry the name, and the fourth to meet her fate on the lakes. She left Toledo, OH on Friday the 13th, 1893 bound for Buffalo loaded with nearly 200 tons of pig zinc, barrels of flour and other dry goods. The weather was bad from the start, but the Dean pressed on through the night. By morning, the winds were gale force and towering waves were battering the ship, but the Dean pressed on throughout the day, losing both masts and one stack in the process. By evening, both her stacks were down and she was observed rolling in the troughs about 40 miles off Buffalo. A short time after midnight, the Dean Richmond rolled and sank, taking with her the captain, 18 crew members and one unlucky woman.
For years following the loss of the Dean Richmond, the stories of untold treasures spread. It was rumored she was carrying more than zinc, some speculated a cargo of copper or even gold. She became the most sought after ship in Lake Erie, and was one of the most elusive wrecks, as well. Gary Kozak covered over 500 square miles in his search for the Dean, charting 28 new wrecks in the process. She was finally located and salvaged by Gary in 1984. Unfortunately, she held no treasure in her holds, only the zinc listed on her cargo manifest.
She lies today in 115′ of water off North East , PA. The ship is inverted but intact except for a hole used by the salvors for penetration. One of the propellers remains, the other has been removed. There is a large debris field, which contains many zinc ingots and several parts of the ship. Divers can expect visibility in the range of 20-60 feet, with bottom temperatures in the mid 40’s.