Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 28th

The UASC meets the last Wednesday of each month at the Chicago Maritime Museum located at 1200 West 35th Street, Suite OE5010, Chicago, IL 60609. Free event, ALL ARE WELCOME. Refreshments 6:30, Business 7:00, Speaker 8:00.


Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago



Home Meetings & Events Meeting Minutes 2015 February 2015 Minutes
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Underwater Archeological Society of Chicago Meeting Minutes

25 February 2015


  • Fifteen members and guests braved a snowstorm to meet at 7:00 pm at the Chicago Maritime Museum located in the Bridgeport Arts center, 35th and Racine, Chicago Board and Committee Reports
  • President- Robert Rushman welcomed everyone
  • Vice-President and Treasurer- They were not present but will set up the UASC booth at OWU.
  • Secretary-Carol Sommers stated that the printed minutes were available on the table at the entrance. Business Meeting
  • ICSSD-The club appreciation night on February 19 was a success with Keith Pamper as the featured speaker. USAC members who would like to participate in the Underwater Competition on March 22 in Elk Grove should e-mail Bob Rushman. Four to five are needed to make a team and clubs can merge to form one. See for details.
  • Wreck Checker - It will be sent out by John Gerty and available at OWU.
  • Coming Events 1. OWU-February 27-March 1 Volunteers are needed to help man the booth. Bill Messener and John Bell will present and members are encouraged to show their support by attending their seminars. 2. Ghost Ships Festival March 13-14, Milwaukee - Sign-ups for the booth are needed. 3. Ken Vrana interested in sub-contracting to UASC for photographers and a boat for a ten day survey of four sites off the Indiana shore. Mike Malone, who owns a twenty-four foot boat expressed an interest. Bob Rushman said that more details will be forthcoming. Chet knows Ken and stated he does quality work. 4. Bob Rushman will not be here for the next meeting so Carol Sommers will chair it if the vice president is unable to come. 5. Sam Polonetsky announced that the Tritons will have an intro to scuba course if anyone knows of potential divers. 6. Carol Sommers is participating in the Treasure Dive at Bonne Terre Mine in Missouri on June 27 and asked if any UASC members would like to form a team with her. While setting up for the speaker, John Bell showed part of his presentation for OWU on the railroad car ferry which capsized in 1906. Using a head-mounted go-pro video, one could see how tags were used to identify parts of the football-field-sized site for study. Also, Bob Gadbois screened the newly found video on the Eastland disaster including rescue attempts and interviews of survivors and their descendants. One woman was saved by being pulled out of the water by her hair and welders opened a hatch to rescue people. A hardhat diver originally from Oslo recovered one hundred bodies. The Eastland itself became the USS Wilmette. The Eastland Disaster Historical Society is planning a 100 year anniversary event which will include a mock re-trial of the post sinking court case. Featured speaker: Joe Oliver (Tom Freeman had to cancel and will present next month.) Joe is a former president of UASC and is back after eleven years. Topic: The Steamer Iowa (A detailed fact sheet was handed out.) Greg Kusch dived the Iowa long ago and stated that he thinks Lake Michigan is starting to have the same visibility (or lack thereof) that it used to have then. Bob and Claire Gadbois showed a short video on the Iowa taken in 1993 in which a rudder, safe, valves, a round object thought to be a heat exchanger and freshwater sponges were visible. The ship which eventually became the Iowa was built in 1872 using the engine of a ship which burned in the Chicago fire. In 1895 she was converted to a steamer accommodating 200 passengers. She had several accidents, groundings and rebuilds, and was trapped in ice twice. She was labeled a jinx ship and sunk after lake ice deformed her timber hull in 1915. The hull was refloated to recover machinery and then dynamited to prevent her being a shipping hazard because she was only thirty-five feet deep. The Burger company which was part owner of the Goodrich company which built her still exists in Manitowoc; in business since 1863 and is now building elegant luxury yachts. • The meeting adjourned at 9:30. Minutes respectfully submitted by Carol Sommers
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