November 4, 1929
A product of the Benton Harbor, Michigan shipbuilding industry, the Tacoma was launched in 1894. She is a tug that was just over 76 feet in length with a beam of 18 feet and registered at 76 gross tons. She served proudly on Lake Michigan for nearly 40 years as a dredge tug for Fitzsimmons and Connell Dredge and Dock Company of Chicago. In November of 1929, she was three quarters of a mile from the 68th street crib when disaster struck. While towing two scows, she sprung a massive leak. The Captain had only minutes to respond by sending a distress signal in the form of four short blasts of her horn before she succumbed to the depths of the lake. Later that day, the Coast Guard marked her position with a buoy and it was determined that she has too old to make the effort of salvaging. At the time of her sinking, she was the oldest tug working in the Chicago area. Today, she rests in a shallow 28-35 feet of water, a perfect depth for novice divers to with their teeth on wreck diving while exploring a piece of Great Lakes history. We visit the Tacoma from Hammond Marina.