TOPICS @ TWELVE, the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce’s monthly networking luncheon, was held Tuesday, April 25 at the Comstock Inn & Conference Center in Owosso. The guest speaker was Michigan State Archaeologist Dean Anderson from the State Historic Preservation Office. His discussion was primarily about the quest to discover the wreck of the Griffon, a French cargo ship built in 1679 that disappeared that same year in Lake Michigan.
The Griffon is thought to have been the first full-sized sailing ship on the Great Lakes, having been launched on the Niagara River under René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, the French explorer. Treasure hunters and archaeologists have long sought the exact location of where the ship may have disappeared, but that information remains mysteriously elusive.
Anderson has worked for the State of Michigan since 1992, holding the position of Historical Archaeologist through 2010, to become State Archaeologist in 2011. He is directly involved in preserving cultural resources throughout the state, including about 1,500 historic underwater sites.
It is interesting to note, that natives in the Green Bay region had advised some of La Salle’s crew against trying to make a return trip in stormy waters aboard the Griffon, which was heavily weighed down with furs and cargo at the time. Anderson theorized he believed the ship never made it back out of Lake Michigan.
The April Topics @ Twelve luncheon was sponsored by Accident Fund Insurance, while Andrews Hooper Pavlik PLC was responsible for the speaker. David Hood emceed the event that included approximately 50 chamber members.
The next Topics @ Twelve luncheon is scheduled at the Shiawassee Arts Center for Tuesday, May 30.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)