North American was a Great
Lakes steamship built by the Great Lakes Engineering Works at Ecorse,
Michigan, in 1913 for the Chicago, Duluth & Georgian Bay Transit
Company. The vessel was launched on January 16, 1913, and was the older
of two near-sister ships, the newer one being SS North American.
In 1963, North American was sold to the Canadian Holiday Company of
Erie, Pennsylvania. The company used her in cross-lake service between
Erie and Port Dover, Ontario, Canada, for one year until she was retired
in 1964. After being retired from service, North American was involved
in purchasing deals of uncertain nature, and was finally sold at public
auction to the Seafarers International Union of North America in 1967
for use as a training ship at Piney Point, Maryland.
While North American was in the North Atlantic Ocean under tow to Piney
Point, she unexpectedly sank off Massachusetts on September 4, 1967, 25
nautical miles (29 miles; 46 km) northeast of Nantucket Light.
In July 2006, a research team aboard Quest Marine’s research vessel
Quest located the North American close to the edge of the continental
shelf, approximately 140 miles (230 km) off the New England coast in 250
feet (76 m) of water.