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Canal Sloop (Wreck UU)

Plan drawing of Wreck UU.

Falling within the 2000 Lake Survey area were the remains of a canal sloop documented in 1982 by the Champlain Maritime Society, precursor to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. The Isle La Motte Canal Sloop (VT-GI-24) is a wooden-hulled vessel possessing an overall length of 79ft 8in (24.3m), a maximum beam of roughly 13ft 6in (4.1m), and an approximate depth of hold of 4ft (1.2m). She lies down at the bow, with a starboard list, in soft sediment.

In 2000, research conducted by Peter Barranco seems to have uncovered the circumstances of the Isle La Motte canal boat’s loss, although the vessel’s name still remains a mystery.

The September 2, 1846 edition of the Plattsburgh Republican reported that:

Accident. – Mr. Daniel Hall, an industrious citizen of this town, who was employed in carrying stone on a small sloop from Gilman’s quary (sic) to the new Fort at Rouse’s Point, was drowned on the night of the 2d. inst. When within a few miles of Rouses’s Point a sudden squall struck his vessel, which was heavily laden, and in endeavoring to throw the anchor over he was caught by the cable, the vessel partly capsized, filled and sunk – taking him down with it. His son and another man who were on board, saved themselves with much difficulty (Plattsburgh Republican 5 September 1846).

Photo of Wreck UU showing tabernacle.

Wreck UU is currently under consideration for inclusion in the Lake Champlain Underwater Historic Preserve Program. Although the intact nature of the vessel would appeal to recreational divers, there are numerous preserve issues to be addressed prior to its inclusion. The vessel lies in the navigation channel, and therefore the area is subject to considerable boat traffic. The vessel is also archaeologically sensitive. Prior investigations did not include the excavation of the stern cabin, an area which certainly contains many portable artifacts.


Information Sources:
Kane, A. and C. Sabick , Lake Champlain Underwater Cultural Resources Survey, Volume IV: 1999 Results and Volume V: 2000 Results. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 2002.

Cohn, A. A Report on the Nautical Archeology of Lake Champlain, Champlain Maritime Society, 1984.