A federal appeals court says a 19th century schooner resting beneath the waters of Lake Erie belongs to New York state rather than the salvagers who found it.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, upholding a 2011 decision by a judge in Buffalo.

The appeals court denied the claims of Massachusetts-based Northeast Research LLC.

The company claimed title to the 80-foot wooden ship under maritime law before the state intervened.

Northeast Research says the wreckage is the "General Wayne," which sank during the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812.

New York argues it's an abandoned and nameless 1830s schooner that sank carrying grain.

The boat lies 170 feet underwater near Dunkirk, N.Y.