Follow Us On Twitter Follow Us On Instagram Friend Us On Facebook


On November 28, 1905, the schooner-barge called the Madeira was making one of its routine trips on Lake Superior (under tow of the steamer William Edenborn) and found itself in the middle of a violent storm. Winds were blowing around 70 to 80 miles per hour with swells significantly larger than ships of the time could handle. The captain of the steamer that was towing the Madeira quickly realized he could not fight it and cut the Madeira loose.


Shortly after the Madeira had been cut loose, it crashed into the cliff named Gold Rock (pictured above). One of the crewmen was able to jump to safety, bringing along eight others of his crew. Two days later, the tugboat Edna G was able to rescue the remaining stranded crewmen and bring them to safety. Only one of the men aboard the ship went down with the ship. The brutal storm, which became known as the “Mataffa Storm”, ended up damaging twenty other vessels on Lake Superior during its duration. This ultimately lead to the creation of the Split Rock Lighthouse to aide with traveling through these storms.


In 1955, divers first explored the wreck of the Madeira, but found no treasure on board. A salvage company soon followed and were able to remove the anchors and the ship’s wheel, which were eventually sold to the Split Rock Trading Post. The anchor can be seen today outside the visitor center at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Despite all the dismantling of the ship, today the Madeira still lies at the bottom of the Lake and is often investigated by divers from around the world. A special diver parking lot has even been provided for shore diving (located north of the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park main entrance on MN-61). If you’re not into diving, it’s worth driving to the parking lot. Sometimes on a sunny day the wreck can be seen from the surrounding cliffs.


Cascade Vacation Rentals offers the largest selection of vacation rental homes, cabins, hotels and cottages on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Our rentals cover a large area from Duluth to Grand Portage and inland up the Caribou Trail, Gunflint Trail and throughout Cook County. View rentals by location (DuluthTwo HarborsSchroederTofteLutsenGrand MaraisGunflint Trail) or category type (pet-friendlylarge homes, inland lake homes, etc) at



Check back often for updates on where to go and the top things to do on your next North Shore visit.

This entry was posted on Monday, May 15th, 2017 at 12:02 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.