Late August Gary Lefebvre and his wife took their remote diving vehicle for a spin around the bottom of Lake Champlain.  They two had been researching pings they received on their numerous radar surveys of the lake, according to WMUR.com.

The news station stated that upon investigating one of the pings from their radar they made a shocking discovery: Two enormous paddle wheels. The pair contacted the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and the paddle wheels were identified as belonging to the Phoenix Steamship.

The Phoenix Steamship is the stuff of legend.  It caught fire and was sunk in 1819, according to WMUR. That’s more than 200 years ago.  Wow.

The Phoenix was used as a ferry back in the 1800s and when it caught fire and sunk, it was considered one of the greatest disasters to befall Lake Champlain, the news station reported.

It appears that the discovery of the remains of the wreck of the Phoenix is one of the oldest steamship wrecks in the world, according to WMUR.

Chris Sabick, director of research and archaeology at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, tells WMUR.com “To have it attached to a very specific and well-known event in the lake’s history is all the more unusual and rare.”

The hull of the Phoenix is a well-known spot for divers in the area and is about 60-110 feet below the surface of Lake Champlain, according to the news station. The wheels were discovered about a mile away.

Currently, there are no plans to bring the wheels to the surface as it would likely be expensive, and they may just fall apart, the news station stated.

Better to leave them at the bottom of Lake Champlain and continue the study of them where they lay according to experts.