VIDEO: Protecting the past - Soundings Online

VIDEO: Protecting the past

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The 6,000-pound anchor of the luxury steamer SS Greater Detroit has been recovered after spending 60 years at the bottom of the Detroit River.

The anchor is one of the last remaining pieces of the steamship. Greater Detroit was launched in 1924, and at 536 feet it was one of the largest side-wheel steamships to cross the Great Lakes.

It had 625 staterooms and a dining room capacity of 375. WXYZ Channel 7 News reports that the ship cost $3 million to build. In today’s dollars that would be about $50 million.

In 2005 the anchor was located 150 feet offshore. On Nov. 15, 2016, it was raised to the surface by a team working with the Great Lakes Maritime Institute. They used a barge with a crane to lift the anchor after three volunteer divers dove down and attached a chain to it.

The anchor will go on display at the office of the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority.

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Steamship travel declined as commercial air travel and the interstate highway system gained wider use. In 1956, after spending six years tied to a dock, the ship was towed out into Lake St. Clair, set on fire and scrapped.