Lake, U.S. and Canada. The second-largest of the Great Lakes of North America, it is bounded by Michigan and Ontario, and is about 206 mi (330 km) long with an area of 23,000 sq mi (59,570 sq km). Inflow comes from Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and numerous streams; the lake discharges at its southern end into Lake Erie. It contains many islands, including Mackinac, and Saginaw Bay indents the Michigan coast. As part of the St. Lawrence Seaway, it supports heavy commercial traffic from April to December. The first of the Great Lakes seen by Europeans, it was explored by the French (1615–79), who named it after the Huron Indians.
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The surface of Lake Huron is 577 feet (176 m) above sea level. The lake's average depth is 195 feet (59 m), while the maximum depth is 750 feet (229 m). It has a length of 206 miles (332 km) and a breadth of 183 miles (245 km) at its greatest width.
Like the other Great Lakes, it was formed by melting ice as the continental glaciers retreated.
Lake Huron was generally labeled "Lac des Hurons" (Lake of the Huron Indians) on most early maps.
On November 9, 1913, a great storm rolled across Lake Huron and with it, 235 seamen died, ten ships sank and another twenty plus were driven ashore. The storm raged for sixteen hours.
The Matoa had passed between Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario just after midnight. On the 9th, just after six in the morning, the Senator pushed upstream. Less than an hour later, the Manola passed through. Captain Frederick W. Light of the Manola reported that both the Canadian and the American weather stations had storm signals flying from their weather towers. Following behind at 7:00 a.m. that Sunday, the Regina steamed out of Sarnia into the northwest gale. The warnings now had been up for four hours The Manola passed the Regina off Port Sanilac, 22 miles up the lake. Captain Light determined that if it continued to deteriorate, he would seek shelter at Harbor Beach, Michigan, another 30 miles up lake. There, he could seek shelter behind the breakwater. Before reaching Harbor Beach, the winds turned to the northeast and the sea began to rise. It would be noon before he reached Harbor Beach and ran for shelter. The seas were so violent that the Manola touched bottom entering the harbor. With help from a tug the Manola tied up to the break wall with eight lines. It was about 3:00 p.m. that Sunday that the Manola was tied down and the crew prepared to drop anchor. As they worked, the cables began to snap from winds pressure against the hull. To keep from being pushed aground, they kept their bow into the wind with the engines running half to full in turns. Yet the ship still drifted 800 feet before they arrested the drift. The waves broke over the ship and the windows were broken out. The seas were so rough; that the crew reported seeing the cement break wall was move and chunks of cement peeled off.
Meanwhile, fifty miles further up the lake, the Matoa, and Captain Hugh McLeod had to ride out the storm without a safe harbor. The Matoa would be found stranded on the Port Austin reef when the winds subsided. It was Monday noon before the winds let up and not until 11:00 p.m. Monday night before Capt. Light determined it to be safe to continue his journey.
Matoa, A propeller freighter, 2,311gross tons, built 1890, Cleveland, wrecked, 1913, Port Austin Reef
Manola, a propeller freighter of 2,325 gross tons. Built in 1890, by the Globe Shipping Company of Cleveland, Ohio. Operated by the Minnesota Steamship Company (Cleveland) from 1890-1901, by the Pittsburgh Steamship Company from 1901-1918. On January 25, 1918, the Manola was sold to the U.S. Shipping Board. It was sold again in 1920 to the Canada Steamship Lines, Ltd and renamed the Mapledawn. It became stranded on November 20, 1924 on Christian Island in Georgian Bay. It was headed for Port McNichol, Ontario. It was declared a total loss after two weeks. Salvagers were able to recovered c.75,000 bushels of barley for delivery to Midland, Ontario.
Lake Huron is home to a variety of fish and plant life, such as the now extinct Deepwater cisco, many of them being home to the other Great Lakes such as carp, chinook salmon, a variety of panfish, bass, pike, and catfish. Lake Huron along with the other great lakes have suffered recently due the introduction of various invasive species.