Traverse City Record-Eagle

March 14, 2013

Diver to share details of Westmoreland shipwreck

FROM STAFF REPORTS
Traverse City Record-Eagle

— BENZONIA — The diver who discovered the elusive Westmoreland — a vessel that sank near South Manitou Island in 1854 — will detail the ship’s legend today in Benzonia.

Ross Richardson will use underwater video to present his lecture, The Search for the Westmoreland, today at 4 p.m. at the Benzie Area Historical Museum. The event is free, and donations will be accepted.

Historians said the ship went under after a wicked Lake Michigan winter storm on Dec. 7, 1854. Treasure hunters for more than a century took to Platte Bay in attempt to locate the vessel once rumors swirled about its valuable cargo of whiskey and a hoard of gold coins.

Richardson began his search in 2004 and found the shipwreck in 2010.

He is a certified scuba diver, a public safety diver and a special deputy with the Benzie County Sheriff’s Department.

The lecture is part of the Benzonia Academy Lecture Series.