History Of The Silver Spray
The Silver Spray was built in 1894. It was originally known as the 'Bloomer Girl', and was used as an excursion ship to take passengers to Whitefish Bay, Milwaukee, and Chicago. It was renamed the Silver Spray in 1903 and sailed until July 15, 1914 when it ran aground on Morgan Shoal. Some sources say it was carrying 200 University of Chicago students, but there are contradictions in the public record as to whether it was carrying the students or on its way to pick them up. All attempts to remove the ship were unsuccessful until the ship broke apart in a storm three days later. It currently sits in various pieces in 5-15 ft. of water right off 49th St. Beach. The Silver Spray is a protected wreck under the Abandoned Shipwrecks Act of 1988, and as such visitors are prohibited from moving or removing parts. Currently, the ship is under active survey by the Underwater Archaeology Society of Chicago (UASC). Greg Lane of UASC is chairing the survey with Jonathon Plotner as his co-chair. Greg swims the site almost weekly during the summer months and has given talks on the wreck at the beach and point snorkelers to various parts of the wreck in the water. Since this wreck is actively under survey by Greg and Jonathon, snorkelers are welcome to participate in identifying new parts.