The Griffon was a seven-cannon, 45-ton 17th-century barque constructed and launched at or near Cayuga Creek on the Niagara River. Sieur de La Salle set out on Le Griffon’s maiden voyage on August 7, 1679 with a crew of 32, sailing across Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan through uncharted waters that only canoes had previously explored. The ship landed at a location on an island in Lake Michigan where the local tribes had gathered with animal pelts to trade with the French. La Salle disembarked and on September 18 sent the ship back toward Niagara. On its return trip from the island, said to be located in the mouth of the body of water which is now known as Green Bay (Lake Michigan), it vanished with all six crew members and its load of furs. This much we know.
Fast forward to 1927 when DB Murphy, Owen Sound’s industrious detective, finds himself embroiled in a web of discovery and deceptions around the whereabouts of the missing ship. Trail of the Griffon is the eighth novel in the fast-paced Horseshoe to Gumshoe series, which combines accurate historical background with fictional adventures, by Owen Sound author Richard J. Thomas.