GHOST SHIP. Fall,1679. Le Griffon was the first large, fully rigged commercial vessel to arrive at the entrance of La Grande Baye(Green Bay). It's destination was present day Washington Island (or Rock Island) in Door County. It had crossed the Great lakes from above the Niagara river in present day Canada to arrive at this distant Island outpost. In command was it's builder, the great explorer - Rene Robert Cavalier De La Salle. On the island, waiting French fur traders gathered with their seasonal haul - 12,000 pounds of fur. After the cargo was loaded aboard, La Salle and a number of men disembarked to prepare for further exploration of Lake Michigan by canoe. The remaining crew sailed Le Griffon and it's valuable cargo out of the harbor. They were bound for Mackinack Island. The ship was never seen again.
In subsequent years, stories were told of Indian raiders, treacherous Jesuits, Pirate fur traders, and the crew itself having a hand in the ship’s destruction. Most likely, it perished in a storm. Le Griffon is now the pride of Great Lakes ghost ships. Sightings of Le Griffon have been made by visitors and residents of Washington Island. Witnesses report seeing the ship, it's crew topside and plainly visible, calmly heading out to open sea.