Legend has it in 1914, Dorsey, son of Leelanau pioneer John Dorsey, navigated his beautiful steamboat to the middle of Glen Lake, with a little row boat in tow. He then took an axe and chopped a hole in the floor of the boat and let it sink. Rowing back to shore Dorsey passed some fisherman, who heard him mutter, “If they won’t ride with me, they won’t ride with anyone else!”
Differing reasons of why Dorsey sank his boat have circulated over the years. One theory says Dorsey’s tour boat business was suffering as rumors of his drinking problem spread through the resorts on Glen Lake, while another theory says nightmares of drowning children haunted Dorsey, so he sank his boat before tragedy could strike.
et another story says that Dorsey lost the boat in a card game and rather than turning his pride and joy over to the victor, he decided to sink it.
The Rescue was about thirty feet in length and sported a canopy top, as well as a small steam boiler, smoke stack and steam engine. The interior of the boat had mahogany bench seating for passengers, who were picked up from resorts on Glen Lake.
n June of 2003, the University of Michigan’s half-million dollar ROV (remotely operated vehicle) M-ROVER combed the depths of Glen Lake for two days as part of a joint expedition with students from the two local high schools - Leelanau and Glen Lake. An ice shanty, boat anchor and fishing pail were discovered, but the Rescue eluded the searchers.
The rumors may have been proved partially true in 2006, when a sonar team from the Michigan State Police found a boat about 30’ in length in one of the deepest parts of the lake while looking for a drowning victim that has yet to be recovered. State Police divers were said to have dived the wreck and possibly filmed it, though the footage was never made public.
On September 8th, 2012, Empire resident Dave Taghon guided divers Steve Wimer, Cal Kolthrade and Ross Richardson to coordinates that were provided by the Michigan State Police. The Rescue was located and underwater video was taken.
Michigan Mysteries:::Ross Richardson