June 13
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This spring, a Wisconsin elementary school gathered its students together for a special ceremony honoring a discoverer: kindergartener Henley Wollak, who along with her dad, Tim, accidentally found the 152-year-old shipwreck of the George L. Newman, reports Popular Mechanics.

It all began in August 2023, when Henley and Tim visited their favorite fishing and swimming spot in Green Island, Wisconsin.

Tim’s fish finder showed what looked like a shipwreck nearby.

Tim shared photos on Facebook groups, guessing their discovery might have been the known shipwreck of the Erie L. Hackley. But when Jordan Ciesielzyk, a maritime specialist with the Wisconsin Historical Society, saw Tim’s photos, he suspected the find was something they hadn’t seen before.

In December 2023, a remotely operated vehicle, provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, scoured the area where the Wollaks made their discovery and took pictures. The Wisconsin Historical Society then analyzed the images, reviewed a database of historic shipwreck losses based on locations and features, and matched the new photos to the George L. Newman, a vessel that was originally constructed in 1855 in Black River, Ohio. 

Earlier this spring, the society confirmed the identity of the mysterious shipwreck.

The Newman was a 122-foot-long barkentine vessel that set sail in the evening of October 8, 1871, with a load of lumber from Little Suamico, Wisconsin, when the thick smoke from the nearby Great Peshtigo Fire—known as the deadliest in U.S. history—became so dense that the crew couldn’t see and ran aground on the southeast point of Green Island.

Eventually, the ship was abandoned.

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