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Archaeological Examination of the War Eagle Shipwreck

 May 13,2021

7:00 pm

Copy of War Eagle (1)

Archaeological Examination of the War Eagle Shipwreck


May 13
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Join Wisconsin Historical Society’s maritime archaeologist, Tamara Thomsen for a presentation to discuss the 2018 survey of the War Eagle and its nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Event is free, but advance registration is required at ww.lchshistory.org
Scattered along the bottom of the Black River, near the north end of Riverside Park, in the city of La Crosse lie the remains of the sidewheel steamboat War Eagle. On May 15, 1870, War Eagle caught fire while loading cargo at La Crosse. The fire quickly spread to neighboring vessels and structures on land, creating a conflagration that destroyed the War Eagle, the barge Webb, and the depot. The burning vessels were released into the center of the river where they burned to the waterline and sank below the surface. Several periods of archaeological work on the site have also taken place. In April 2018, with funding from Elizabeth Uihlein of the U-Line Corporation, Wisconsin Historical Society maritime archaeologists partnered with Crossmon Consulting to document the site using remote sensing technology that produced a detailed sonar image of the War Eagle shipwreck site in its entirety. This latest project, along with additional historical research, allowed the site to be listed to the National Register of Historic Places.
Tamara Thomsen is a Maritime Archaeologist with Wisconsin Historical Society’s Maritime Preservation and Archaeology program. Her research has resulted in the nomination of fifty-seven submerged sites to the National Register of Historic Places. She has received awards from the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society, and in 2014, she was inducted into the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame. Tamara has worked as a photographer, researcher, and research diver on projects including the USS Monitor with NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries, and RMS Titanic with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


LA CROSSE, WI 54601 United States + Google Map

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