Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Built by René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, Le Griffon is considered to have been the first actual ship on the Upper Great Lakes. The ship was launched in the Niagara River as a forty-five ton bark with five guns. On its maiden voyage in 1679 it was sailed across Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. On its return trip it vanished with all five crew members and a load of furs. A number of sunken old sailing ships have been suggested to be Le Griffon but, except for the ones proven to be other ships, there has been no positive identification. However, the best candidate remains a wreck at the western end of Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron. The Griffon was the first in a string of thousands of ships that have found their last berth on the bottom of the Great Lakes.
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