Muskegon, Mich., May 2. - Bennett & Schnorbach, of this city, who have the contract for raising the private launch, AMELIA, wrecked at Sylvan Beach, say they have a hard job ahead of them.
The AMELIA now stands perfectly upright, only about 6 feet of its bow being above the surface of the lake. There is now nearly 25 feet of water alongside the boat, and it is 53 feet in length, over 20 feet of its stern is buried in the sand at the bottom of the lake.
This singular disaster, which occurred last Thursday, was caused by a mysterious subsidence of the bottom of the lake, which phenomenon was accompanied by such a precipitous rush of water as to uptilt the AMELIA and bury its stern in the bottom of the lake. Whether this occurrence was due to a sudden caving in of a subterranean channel, or an equally mysterious sluffing off of the shore into deeper water is unknown and will doubtless remain forever an unsolved riddle. At any event, where there was formerly shallow water from three to four feet in depth there is now 18 to 25 feet of water. A portion of the shore 250 feet long and 50 feet back from the water's edge was submerged at the same time. This unusual disaster occurred a short distance south of the Sylvan Beach dock.
The AMELIA was sheltered in a boathouse which was built last season at a cost of $1,000, about 100 feet out from the shore. It is elegantly appointed, had a roomy cabin, and cost nearly $6,000. It is the property of F. D. Russell, of New York city, who owns a cottage and has spent several seasons at Sylvan Beach.
The Russells, however, intend to spend the coming summer on the Hudson, and Ives Russell, their son, was at Sylvan Beach at the time, looking after the work of preparing the boat for reshipment to New York. So far as is known, the AMELIA is uninjured except by the damage caused by the water to the engine and interior. It is possible, however, that the piles on which the boathouse rested, in rising to the surface, may have struck the yacht with sufficient force to break a hole in her. The boathouse itself was badly wrecked and had to be cut away from the yacht and floated to a place of safety.
The chief difficulty in floating the boat that now presents itself is the fact that 20 feet of its stern are buried in the sand at the bottom of the lake. A strain could not possibly be brought to bear in lifting the boat out without breaking it in two until the sand was worked away from her stern by means of steam jets or a sandsucker.
Detroit Free Press
May 5, 1902