10 Lakes that are Home to Unusual Historical Artefacts | LakeWizard

Key Takeaways

  • Lakes often conceal historical artefacts, providing a glimpse into the past.
  • From ancient handiwork to geological gems, lakes are treasure troves.
  • Each artefact discovered adds a rich layer to our understanding of history.

Beneath the serene surface of many lakes lie hidden historical treasures.

Ever wondered what secrets the lake beds might be cradling?

Imagine stumbling upon a canoe older than some civilizations while on a casual dive, or discovering gemstones along the shores after a storm.

Such finds are not the stuff of mere daydreams but real possibilities!

Lakes around the world serve as silent repositories of human history and geological marvels.

These watery depths safeguard items from ancient craftsmanship to rare geological finds.

It's in these places that history buffs and gem hunters alike strike it rich.

You're in for a treat, my friend, because our planet's lakes are brimming with stories waiting to be uncovered.

Whether it is the age-old crafts revealed in the Great Lakes or the glittering gemstones along Minnesota's shoreline, each discovery peels back a layer of our past.

Trust us, the tales that these artefacts tell are as deep and riveting as the lakes themselves.

Table of contents


Lake Michigan (Michigan/Illinois/Indiana/Wisconsin)

Ever wondered what mysteries lie beneath the waves of Lake Michigan?

You might not think of lakes as treasure troves, but Lake Michigan, bordering four states—Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin—is not just any lake.

This vast body of water is home to many historical artifacts with numerous shipwrecks dotting its depths.

Consider the SS Eastland, for example.

When you hear 'shipwreck,' does your mind conjure up images of pirates and lost treasure?

Well, the SS Eastland disaster, which occurred right in the Chicago River in 1915, offers no tales of pirates, but it certainly has a story to tell.

With its capsizing, we gain an intimate glimpse into the maritime history that's shaped the Midwest.

Then there's the iconic Christmas Tree Ship, the Rouse Simmons.

Sank in 1912, it was no mythical sleigh, but it did carry the spirit of Christmas, ferrying holiday cheer in the form of trees across the lake.

Now, it rests beneath the waves, a poignant piece of history.

  1. Key Artifacts Include:
  1. SS Eastland
  2. Christmas Tree Ship (Rouse Simmons)

You see, these shipwrecks aren't just underwater structures; they're windows into our past.

Their stories, preserved by the cold freshwater, provide a unique connection to the region's robust maritime history.

Lake Size:

  • Volume: 1,180 cubic miles
  • Surface Area: 22,405 square miles

Lake Michigan's history isn't just about what's under the surface, though.

All around its shores, in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan, you'll find tales woven into the very fabric of America's heartland.

Next time you're there, take a moment.

Whether you're admiring the clear, blue waters from Washington Island or exploring the "Malibu of the Midwest" in Sheboygan, remember the stories beneath your feet—stories that echo through the ages and add another layer to your lakeside retreat.

Curious yet?

Just imagine what else might be out there, waiting to be discovered!

Lake Mead (Nevada/Arizona)

Hey there, have you ever heard of a real-life Atlantis in the United States?

Well, you're about to!

Lake Mead, straddling the border of Nevada and Arizona, is not just any lake.

It hides beneath its surface a submerged treasure that history buffs and adventure lovers swoon over—St.


  • What's so special about it?Picture this: a whole town, with its day-to-day hustle and bustle, suddenly paused in time and engulfed by water. When the mighty Hoover Dam was built, it brought Lake Mead into existence and with it, the town of St. Thomas slipped beneath the waves.
  • Dive into the pastNowadays, St. Thomas is a ghost town of a different kind—a submerged one. Buildings, artifacts, and remnants of a bygone era lie there, waiting for intrepid explorers to uncover their stories.

Did You Know?

Lake Mead isn't just a historical treasure chest—it's a lifeline!

Approximately 25 million people rely on it for drinking water.

It even quenches the thirst of cities like Las Vegas and extends its reach all the way to parts of Arizona, California, and even Mexico.

That's quite the responsibility for a single lake, don't you think?

So, next time you're planning an offbeat adventure, why not consider donning your scuba gear to explore the underwater hallways of St.


It's not every day you get to swim through a piece of history!

Just remember, while the fish have moved in, the former residents have long moved on.

Happy exploring, fellow time-travelers!

Lake Champlain (New York/Vermont)

Ever wondered what secrets lie beneath the waters of Lake Champlain?

Nestled between New York and Vermont, this expansive lake is not only a natural wonder but also a repository of American history.

Picture this: the sunken remains of the gunboat Spitfire, a vessel from the American Revolution, resting quietly underwater.

Quite the hidden gem, don't you think?

Why is this important, you ask?

Well, shipwrecks like the Spitfire allow us to dive into the past—literally and figuratively—and explore the naval battles that helped shape the United States.

  • Historical Shipwrecks: Multiple artifacts from the Revolutionary War have been found here, providing a watery window into the past.
  • Uncovering History: The gunboat Spitfire and others like it reveal the extensive naval history of Lake Champlain during pivotal moments like the Revolutionary War.

Besides its underwater treasures, the lake's surface is a playground for recreation and a canvas for nature's artistry.

Imagine paddling across the waters, the same routes that warships once traversed, now offering peace and tranquility.

  • Activities on the Lake: From fishing for smallmouth bass to enjoying the scenic routes around it, the lake marries historical discovery with modern-day leisure.

So, why not chart a course to Lake Champlain?

It's a history lesson, adventure, and picturesque getaway wrapped into one.

Remember, beneath those ripples and waves are stories of yesteryear, nestled in the deep, just waiting for you to discover.

Can you feel the history calling?

Lake Superior (Michigan/Wisconsin/Minnesota)

Have you ever imagined diving into history?

Well, at Lake Superior, you're not just splashing around in any old body of water—you're swimming in a historic treasure chest!

This massive lake borders Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and it hides more than just your standard fish and ships.

Witness the echo of the past through the remarkable preservation of shipwrecks in the chilly depths.

Notably, the wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald is a somber hallmark among the lake's historical tales.

It's almost as if the cool waters cradle these vessels, protecting them from time itself.

Did you know that because of Superior’s frigid temperatures, some shipwrecks have been resting undisturbed for over a century?

Here are a few intriguing facts about Lake Superior’s historical artifacts:

  • Location: Michigan/Wisconsin/Minnesota
  • Notable Shipwreck: SS Edmund Fitzgerald
  • Historical Significance: A testament to maritime history, with preservation helped by cold water temperatures.

This isn't just a lake; it's a submerged museum.

The ill-fated voyages that ended here offer a glimpse into the past.

With respect for those who lost their lives in these waters, the shipwrecks serve as underwater landmarks, rich with stories and significance.

They are a magnet for historians and divers alike, each wreck narrating a different episode of Lake Superior's maritime legacy.

So, whether you're gazing out across the water, kayaking along the shoreline, or taking a plunge to explore the depths, remember that Lake Superior is more than just a beauty to behold.

It's a connection to history, one that you, yes you, can experience firsthand.

Now, isn't that something to write home about?

Crater Lake (Oregon)

Have you ever heard of a lake with its own ancient floating resident?

Well, let me tell you about Crater Lake in Oregon.

Imagine a lake so blue it looks like someone spilled a giant bottle of ink!

But that's not the only remarkable thing about this place.

Did you know that Crater Lake is home to an unusual historical artifact called the "Old Man of the Lake"?

This isn't your typical old man, though—this is a full-sized tree trunk that's been defying the laws of buoyancy for over a century!

Here's the scoop:

  • Artifact: An ancient hemlock known affectionately as the "Old Man of the Lake."
  • Stand Out Fact: This tree has been floating vertically since its first sighting in 1902.

Now, you might be wondering, "How does a tree just float around like that?" It's a quirky mystery of nature that's captivated visitors for over 120 years.

Four feet of the trunk sticks out above the waterline, bobbing along and soaking up that Oregon sun.

Pretty cool, right?

But the "Old Man" isn't just any driftwood—it's a natural artifact that's witnessed Crater Lake's history unfold.

Think about it: when the "Old Man" first appeared, Teddy Roosevelt was President!

If you're planning a trip, aim for July to mid-September.

The weather's great, and you can even take a dip—but only in designated areas.

Crater Lake is much more than just breathtaking views; it's a place where history floats on the water, literally.

Remember, Crater Lake isn't just another dot on the map—it's a chapter of natural history you can visit!

So, when are you going to check out the "Old Man"?

Lake Tahoe (California/Nevada)

Have you ever dipped into the chilly, clear waters of Lake Tahoe and wondered what secrets might lie beneath?

Well, get ready for a story from deep below the surface that connects us to the early 20th century.

Imagine steam-powered vessels cruising over the lake; now picture the SS Tahoe, a grand steamer that once glided across these pristine waters.

What's so special about the SS Tahoe?

First, consider that it's not every day you get to swim above a piece of history!

The SS Tahoe, now a submerged relic, rests on the lakebed, offering a ghostly dive site for the adventurous at heart.

This illustrious steamer had its heyday carting passengers in the early 1900s before making its unexpected descent to the deep.

  • Historical Significance: The SS Tahoe is more than just an old boat. It's a link to the past, a snapshot of turn-of-the-century lake travel.
  • Artifacts Galore: While the SS Tahoe is the star of the show, the lake is also home to other historic artifacts quietly resting underwater.

So, what's it like down there, you ask?

Picture yourself floating in the cobalt blue, surrounded by tranquility and echoes of the past.

Glimpsing the ghostly outline of the SS Tahoe's hull is akin to stepping into a time capsule, except this one lets fish swim through the corridors!

Interested in underwater history?

Lake Tahoe is your go-to destination for a dive with a side of time travel.

Just remember to respect the site – while we share tales and make memories, preserving history is key!

Mono Lake (California)

Have you ever set your eyes on something straight out of a fantasy novel?

Let me take you to Mono Lake in California, where you'll find the remarkable tufa towers.

Now, tufa towers are not some medieval structure left behind by a long-lost civilization, but they're just as intriguing.

These towers are natural sculptures made of calcium carbonate and stand as a testament to the lake's long history.

Imagine the stories these ancient formations could tell!

As you gaze upon the tufa towers, you're looking at centuries of geological storytelling.

Mono Lake is not your usual body of water; think of it as nature's history book, with pages etched in limestone.

  • Location: Mono County, California
  • Size: Over 70 square miles
  • Age: At least 760,000 years old
  • Type of Lake: Saline soda lake

Here's the cool science part - Mono Lake is also what we call a terminal lake, meaning it doesn't flow into any ocean or river.

This is why the lake has such high salt levels, creating an alkaline environment.

No fish can survive here, but the lake is far from lifeless.

Instead, it's a haven for brine shrimp and alkali flies, which in turn attract millions of migratory birds.

Talk about a bustling airport!

Mono Lake's peculiar ecosystem is one for the books.

Now, don’t just stand there!

Go ahead, plan your visit, and remember – tread lightly and take only photos.

After all, we wouldn't want to disturb those historical artworks nature has so meticulously crafted, would we?

Remember, it's not just a body of water; it's a chapter in the earth's grand narrative.

Lake George (New York)

Hey there, history buff!

Did you know that beneath the shimmering waters of Lake George in New York are remnants of a tumultuous past?

Revolutionary War-era shipwrecks and artifacts lie quietly at the lake's bottom, just waiting for adventurers like you to uncover their secrets.

Imagine canoeing over a site where battles were once fought and where history shaped the nation!

Lake George wasn't just a picturesque backdrop; it played a pivotal role as a strategic military site during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution.

That's right, the lake was like a chess piece for generals who used it to move troops around!

Here's what's super cool:

  1. Revolutionary War Shipwrecks
  1. Because of its strategic importance, many battles took place here, leaving behind shipwrecks rich in artifacts.
  1. Historical Significance
  1. French and Indian War: acted as a transport route.
  2. American Revolution: was a hot spot for military maneuvers.

Now, just picture this: You’re kayaking over waters where battleships once sailed, and just below you could be cannons and muskets that haven't seen daylight in hundreds of years!

Neat, right?

So, if you've got a thirst for history and a love for lakes, jot down Lake George on your map.

Bring your curiosity (and maybe a snorkel), and who knows?

You might just feel the echoes of history ripple through as you glide over its depths.

Lake Washington (Washington)

Have you ever wondered what secrets lie beneath the tranquil waters of Lake Washington?

Not only is it the second-largest natural lake in the state of Washington, but it's also home to some pretty unusual historical artifacts.

Let's dive in and explore!

Imagine you're kayaking along, and beneath your paddle, there's more than just fish and plant life—there are sunken aircraft and relics from World War II!

It's like a hidden museum, untouched by time, offering us a unique snapshot of history.

And guess what?

You don't need a time machine to visit!

  • Sunken WWII aircraft: Steeped in history, these aircraft were part of training operations and still rest where they accidentally fell.
  • Military artifacts: The lake safeguards vestiges of Seattle's strategic importance during the war.

So, why are these artifacts chilling at the bottom of a lake, you ask?

During WWII, Lake Washington was a bustling hub for military training exercises.

Sadly, not all planes made it back to the surface.

But their presence now provides an eerie look into the past, highlighting the sacrifices and day-to-day realities of a world at war.

Remember, while fascinating, it's crucial to respect these sites as they're part of our cultural heritage.

So, if you're into history, don't miss the chance to peer into Lake Washington’s depths—you never know what stories they'll tell!

Quick Facts about Lake Washington:
Location: King County, Washington
Size: 22 miles long, up to 3 miles wide
Max Depth: About 214 feet

Next time you're around Lake Washington, think of the history that's lurking just below the surface.

It's not just water and waves, it's a connection to decades gone by.

Ready to explore more?

Lake Murray (South Carolina)

Have you ever marveled at the thought of discovering an actual World War II relic?

Nestled in South Carolina, Lake Murray isn't just your typical spot for a swim or a leisurely boat ride.

It's a reservoir steeped in history and hiding treasures beneath its surface!


Imagine diving into the waters and coming across the formidable sight of a B-25 bomber, a true artifact of World War II.

That's what you'd find in Lake Murray!

This military plane succumbed to the waters during a training mission in April 1943, turning the lake into an underwater museum.

Historical Significance:

The presence of this bomber is not just cool – it's a tangible piece of history.

It was part of a tragic mishap that's now an integral chapter of Lake Murray.

When the bomber was recovered, it revealed a unique glance into the past, right here at our doorstep.

Now let's talk stats:

  • Built In: The 1920s, originally for hydroelectric power.
  • Size: A staggering 50,000 acres!
  • Shoreline: Approximately 650 miles, perfect for exploring.

Not into diving?

Lake Murray is also known for real estate with a view.

Picture yourself waking up to the serene sight of the lake every morning.

Plus, with around 270 homes and 160 lots, you might just find your dream lakeside property.

So, whether you're searching for your new home, looking to take a plunge into history, or just want a scenic spot to relax, Lake Murray is waiting for you.

Who knows what other secrets and stories lie beneath its expansive waters?