Kitsch might be too strong of a word, but it’ll have to do for this occasional series on the random “stuff” people make from shipwrecks. This lamp base stands approximately 12″ high and is made of wood fragments from the steamer Pewabic, which sank in Lake Huron in 1865 with great loss of life (for more on the Pewabic see this).
The Pewabic came to rest in 180′ of water and was extensively salvaged in 1917 and 1974 for its valuable cargo of copper ingots. Many fragments of the wreck, however, made their way up from the bottom and into the local community where they were transformed into keepsakes and memorials. The brass plate on the lamp’s base reads: “STEAMER PEWABIC SUNK IN LAKE HURON AUGUST 9, 1865 WITH THE LOSS OF 125 LIVES AND STILL RESTS ON THE BOTTOM.” Stay tuned for a more detailed description of the Pewabic salvage in the near future (in the meantime look here).
Many thanks to Wayne Lusardi, underwater archaeologist for the State of Michigan and wearer of many hats at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, for showing me this and other “shipwreck kitsch” held at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, Michigan.