A crew with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found the wreck during a sonar survey of the area.
The wreckage was first reported in 1890, but somehow became lost until its recent rediscovery.
The steamship known as the City of Chester had 90 passengers on board and was headed up the California coast to Eureka just south of the Oregon border in 1888. It was struck by the steamer Oceanic and sank.
16 of the 90 passengers on board died. The tragedy would have been much worst had it not been for the heroic efforts of Oceanic’s Chinese crew credited with rescuing many of those on board. Their bravery brought to light by the survivors only became known after much blame was directed at the crew.
“Discoveries like this remind us that the waters off our shores are museums that speak to powerful events, in this case not only that tragic wreck, but to a time when racism and anger were set aside by the heroism of a crew who acted in the best traditions of the sea,” said James Delgado, director of maritime heritage for NOAA.
You can read how the City of Chester was rediscovered and plans for its future in the Los Angeles Times.