On the night of June 20, 1868, the clouds were so thick that they blocked out any visible moon or starlight, a situation made worse by soupy fog and rough seas. The Morning Star, a side-wheel passenger steamer, was about a third of the way into its journey from Cleveland to Detroit when it approached the Cortland, a sail-powered iron ore freighter. Normally, the lookouts aboard the Morning Star would have caught sight of the Cortland’s navigation lights, which signal a craft’s position and heading, but one was being refilled with oil below deck and the others were obscured by the ship’s own sails. Just as the officer was returning the lamp to its rigging, and a watch aboard that same ship sounded the alarm, the Morning Star collided bow-first into the Cortland. Both ships sank to the lake floor about 16 miles north of Lorain, taking many lives with them. 
“The interesting thing is that the Morning Star was raised by salvagers in 1868 and headed back to Lorain when the boat dropped back to the lake floor, where she now sits but did not sink,” explains Carrie E. Sowden, archaeological director at the National Museum of the Great Lakes.
Slumbering away about 8 miles north of Lorain and 60 feet below the surface, the Morning Star is just one of approximately 700 ships claimed by Lake Erie. A mooring buoy now marks the spot, providing divers with an easy visual cue. What they find below, other than zebra mussels, says Sowden, is a fascinating bit of maritime history. 
“The steam engine and side paddle is a huge piece of equipment and an interesting representation of the technology as it existed at that time,” she says. “It’s really interesting.”
Check it out for yourself by following these coordinates: 41 36.812 N 82 12.530 W