The Redfern

In 2008, Jerry Ranville of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fisheries agency contacted MSRA. He had been conducting fish studies off Frankfort, Michigan and had encountered an anomaly in 275′ of water about 4 miles off Point Betsie, just north of Frankfort. He was familiar with the work of MSRA and asked that the team look at the site and attempt to determine its identity. Familiar with the ships lost in the Manitou Passage, MSRA director Ross Richardson suspected the wreck to be the Redfern based upon its location.

In September 2008, MSRA divers Todd White, Bob Underhill and Jeff Vos joined Jack and Valerie van Heest on board their boat and dived the target, confirming the identity as the Redfern. Its sits upright and is in good condition.

Redfern- Labadie 2It is understood from maritime historian and writer Cris Kohl, that Bedford had purchased a vessel from John Steele, an Illinois based early wreck hunter. Along with the boat came all of the coordinates of wrecks Steel had discovered, and among them, the Redfern. Apparently Steel never dived the site, due to the extreme depth, and Bedford made the positive identification in the early 2000s.

Photos courtesy of Labadie Collection, Alpena Public Library