The shipwreck Madeira is significant as the best and only known surviving example of the little-known vessel type called the schooner-barge. Schooner-barges were built and operated for the bulk transport of cargoes on the Great Lakes during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Though the Madeira was lost in a violent storm and is broken into numerous pieces scattered about the lake bottom, the major diagnostic elements of the hull are relatively intact. Further investigation of the Madeira's wrecksite may provide additional information on the design, construction and use of the Madeira and similar schooner-barges. The Madeira's value is enhanced by its relationship to Split Rock Lighthouse, which was built partially because of the Madeira's loss. The tale of the Madeira's loss in the notorious Mataafa Storm and the heroic rescue of the crew by seaman Fred Benson is important in local lore.
|--Construction and Career-- |--Description of the Wreck Event--|
|--Post-Depositional Impacts-- |--Present Description-- |--Significance-- |--Photographs--|
|--Minnesota Lake Superior Shipwrecks-- |
|--Minnesota Historical Society Homepage--|