In the early morning hours of June 23, 1852, the schooner Plymouth was sailing on Lake Erie from Huron, Ohio, to Buffalo, N.Y., with a mixed cargo of wheat, flour and other goods.
Suddenly, the sidewheel steamer Northern Indiana, carrying a full load of passengers, burst from the murk, slamming into the schooner amidships at nearly a right angle, burying its bow into the Plymouth.
The hapless schooner quickly sank, but its 10-man crew escaped in the ship's lifeboat and were taken aboard the Northern Indiana.
The Plymouth lay at the bottom of Lake Erie, about 20 miles off Cleveland, for 144 years until the wreck was discovered in 1996. Though found, it could not be identified.
"The damage observed on the wreck is consistent with a collision from a sidewall steamer of this era, which had sharply raked bows for higher speeds," a museum news release said.