Lake Schooner Water Witch
Water Witch was constructed as a steamboat at the mouth of Otter Creek in 1832. Between 1832 and 1834 she plied Lake Champlain. However, in 1835 the Champlain Transportation Co. bought her to solidify their position as the lake's dominant steamboating company.
Water Witch's days as a steamer were over. Her machinery was removed and she was converted into a schooner. Little is known of her life as a work-a-day craft propelled by wind, but we know that it was long. In 1866, she began her thirty-fourth season. She was captained by Thomas Mock, who had on board his wife and three children. On April 26 the schooner met its end when it foundered in a gale while carrying a load of iron ore. The Mock's infant, Roa, was in the cabin, and was lost.
Water Witch was discovered in 1977, and was later studied archaeologically. This vessel is unique for both its construction and history.
Features of Interest
- Wreck is 83' long, 18' wide.
- Graceful 12' long tiller bar.
- Foremast draped over the hull.
- Intact bowsprit.
- Small boat located off the stern.
- Experience level: Very Experienced.
- Control your buoyancy. Avoid ANY contact with the fragile shipwreck.
- Lights necessary
- Depth of water: 90'
- Sensitive Site Registration required. Read about this requirement of the Underwater Historic Preserve System.
- Runoff from Otter Creek can cause zero visibility conditions after a heavy rain.
- 44° 14.00N 73° 20.08W
- The wreck lies approximately ¼ mile south of Diamond Island.
DO NOT PENETRATE THE WRECK!
REMOVAL OF ARTIFACTS IS ILLEGAL.
THIS IS A GRAVESITE; PLEASE RESPECT IT AS SUCH.
Thank you to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum for use of this text and boat sketch image.