National Register of Historic Places
Lost in a Storm
The St. Peter
left Oswego carrying a full load of coal, headed for the safety of the Welland Canal when a storm struck her with 70 mph winds. Unable to reach the canal, the ship was turned back east to run before the wind, but the crew's fight during 12 long hours of darkness, 20-foot high seas, gale-force winds, and freezing sleet was in vain. The ship, crew, and the Captain's wife were lost. The Captain was rescued by a boat from the local Lifesaving Service.
The St. Peter
was a wooden hulled, schooner with three masts, built in 1873 by Edwards in Toledo, Ohio. She was 136' long, 26' wide, and 12' deep, with a gross weight of 290 tons. She was lost 5 miles NW of Sodus, NY on October ,27, 1898. Eight people were lost, including the crew and the Captain's wife.
The historic photo below shows the St. Peter
being towed into harbor by a tug.After she sank, the masts still protruded from the water, but were later dropped to prevent hazards to navigation.The St. Peter
, a 136-foot, three-masted schooner rests upright and intact in 117 feet of water.A good portion of her remains were recovered in 1971 and now form the basis of a museum at the Pultneyville Historical Society.The Wreck has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Lifesavers from Sodus Point made it to within a mile of the ship before she sank. They were able to rescue only one.
Ships like the St. Peter were employed to carry coal and other bulk items between Great Lakes ports.The upright deck of the St. Peter is shown in the photo above, and a diver floats in front of her bow, right.
Dive Site Information
Location: East of Pultneyville, NY
Access: Boat Only
Depth: 117 feet
Visibility: 20 to 100 feet. Average 45 feet.
Temperature: 40 to 73 degrees F.
Skill Level: Advanced open water diver.
Bottom: Flat and silty.
Hazards: Lake Ontario weather is unpredictable and can change very rapidly from good to severe. Weather conditions and unexpected weather changes should be a constant consideration. Strong currents may be present if seas are running 3 feet or higher.