South East Alaska Shipwrecks ( G )

G THACKLE (1915)     The gas screw G Thackle is reported to have been lost on SW Prince of Wales Island in 1915.  The vessel was valued at $800 at the time of the casualty.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  54 53 45 N 132 29 30 W  Chart 17400

                Source : Shipwrecks of the Alaska Shelf and Shore (1992)

 

GENERAL SIGLIN (1897)     The waterlogged dismasted hulk of the sealing schooner General Siglin was reported seen at 53 15 N 135 55 W by the sealing schooner Willard Ainsworth May 5, 1898.  Her bulwarks were stove in and boats missing.  She had departed San Francisco bound for Kodiak.  The Coast Guard Cutter Corwin was dispatched to the area to locate the General Siglin.  “Should either the vessel or people be found you will render all possible assistance. In addition to a valuable cargo of merchandise the vessel carries $4,000 in coin.”  On June 14, 1897 the vessel was located by the Corwin minus her crew except the body of her mate who was found lashed to the davits and a small boy found hidden in the cabin.  The $4,000 in coin was still aboard the General Siglin.  The vessel was towed to Sitka and beached.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  57 03 N 135 20 W  Chart 17320

                Source : Alaska File of the Revenue Cutter Service 1867-1914 Roll 7

 

GEORGE JR (1925)     The 27 ton wooden gas screw George Jr foundered and was lost with all hands January 25, 1925 between Taku Harbor and Gastineau Channel.  The George Jr departed Petersburg January 23 bound for Juneau with three crewman and one passenger.  She was also carrying 600 lbs of merchandise.  Lost in the disaster were the vessel’s master, Rick Bystrom, Ed Lee, John Loseth and R R Brown.  There was a heavy north wind, thick snow and heavy seas.  The George Jr was valued at $11,000 and her cargo at $1,500.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  58 05 45 N 134 07 30 W  Chart 17300

                Additional Information : Tonnage 27 Gross 21 Net, Age 4 Years, Registered Juneau, ON 222582, Owner George Ramstead of Juneau, Vessel Insurance $7,000, Cargo Insurance none

                Source : U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty file by Ramstead February 9, 1925 at Juneau

 

GEORGE S WRIGHT (1873)     Five years after the purchase of Alaska the George S Wright became the first major shipwreck.  She departed Sitka January 20, 1873 with officers of the garrison and other passengers aboard headed for Portland.  The crew from captain to coal passers consisted of 21 souls and approximately 13 passengers were aboard.  She made stops at Tongas and Kluvok sailing for Nanaimo January 25, 1873.  It has been supposed that the vessel struck a rock somewhere near Cape Caution in the Queen Charlotte Sound about the 27th of January. Wreckage of the George S Wright was found from Queen Charlotte Sound to Prince of Wales Island. The body of the paymaster floated ashore near Cape Bazan on Dall Island.  Reports later surfaced that the survivors of the wreck had been captured and murdered by Haida Indians.  The full story is yet to be told.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  British Columbia Unknown

                Additional Information : Length 116.7, Breadth 25, Depth 10.5,

                Sources : 1. Marine Disasters of the Alaska Routes (1916) Pg 23, 2. New York Times August 5, 1877, 3. Lewis and Dryden Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1961) Pgs 204-5

GLADSTONE (1929)     The 35 ton wooden gas screw Gladstone caught fire and burned while moored for lay up at 6:00 a.m. November 23, 1929 at Hood Bay.  The crew of five escaped injury but the Gladstone, valued at $12,500 was lost.  M B Dahl of Hood Bay, owner and master of the vessel, mentioned the possibility that the stove was the origin of the fire in the report of casualty.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  57 23 N 134 24 W  Chart 17339

                Additional Information : Tonnage 35 Gross 23 Net, Age 10 years, Registered Juneau, ON 217987, Insurance $10,000

                Source : U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty filed by Dahl November 30, 1929 at Petersburg

 

GLADYS (1926)     The 11 ton gas screw fishing vessel Gladys caught fire and was lost at 4:30 p.m. Friday July 9, 1926 about 28 miles SSE of Coronation Island.  The three person crew left Ketchikan July 1st on a fishing trip to catch halibut.  They had approximately 3,000 lbs in the hold worth $400 when the casualty occurred.  The crew “took to boats and were picked up by trolling boat between Spanish Island and Cape Decision.”  The Gladys was valued at $9,000 and became a total loss along with the cargo of fresh halibut.  There was $3,000 worth of insurance on the Gladys but none on the cargo.  Hans Birkland, master of the vessel, mentions in the report of casualty filed July 12, 1926 that the fire started when a kerosene blow torch was being used on machinery and spread to fast to control with fire extinguishers.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  55 53 N 134 14 W  Chart 17402

                Additional Information : Tonnage 11, Built 1924, Registered Ketchikan, ON 223602, Owner Jennie Rolie of Ketchikan

                Source : U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty filed at Ketchikan by Birkland

 

GOING (1932)     The 7 ton gas screw Going drug anchor and was driven onto the rocks at midnight September 7, 1932 on the westerly island of the Tatoosh Group.  Aboard the Going at the time of the casualty were owner and master T F Johnson, his Wife and Grandchild.  Mrs. Johnson was lost.  Weather at the time was reported to be a severe SE wind, rough seas and dark.  T F Johnson “tried to hold off with engine but engine stopped.”  The Going was said to be worth $1,500 with no insurance.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  55 31 N 131 50 W  Chart 17422

                Additional Information : Tonnage 7 Gross 5 Net, Built 1916, Registered Ketchikan, ON 217982, Last Port Smugglers Cove September 5th, Destination Tatoosh Island Behm Canal

                Source : U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty by Johnson October 14, 1932 at Ketchikan

 

GOLD HUNTER (1914)     The small gas screw Gold Hunter stranded and was lost October 15, 1914 at Point Couverdon.  The Gold Hunter had departed Excursion Inlet headed for Juneau with a crew of 2 when the vessel encountered high winds and tide rips which caused the casualty.  The crew escaped but the Gold Hunter, valued at $350 was lost with no insurance.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  58 11 25 N 135 03 10 W  Chart 17316

                Additional Information : Tonnage 5 Net, Age 10 years, Registered Ketchikan, ON 201022, Master Allen Young of Ketchikan, Owner Malcolm Campbell of Juneau

                Source : U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty at Juneau by Campbell January 23, 1915

 

GOOD PARTNER (1923)     The 13 ton gas screw Good Partner was lost at Metlakatla at 1:30 a.m. February 14, 1923 when the dolphin she was tied to gave way in a heavy wind and sea.  No one was aboard at the time.  Several attempts were made to get to the vessel by Frank M Williams, the master of the Good Partner and some of his friends from Metlakatla.  They were unsuccessful and the vessel, worth $6,000 was lost with no insurance.  The engine, worth $3,000 was saved.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  57 07 45 N 131 34 30 W  Chart 17434

                Additional Information : Tonnage 13 Gross 9 Net, Age 14 years, Registered Seattle, ON 208676, Owner Annette Island Packing Co of Seattle

                Source : U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty filed at Ketchikan February 21, 1923 by Williams

 

GRACE (1939)     The 13 ton wooden gas screw Grace collided with the gas screw ARB 10 of Wrangell at 3:00 a.m. Sunday August 20, 1939 and became a total loss.  The wreck occurred between Vank and Sokoloff Islands.  William Willard, master of the Grace stated in his report of casualty that his wheelman tried to cross the bow of the ARB 10 to stay on the beach side.  After the accident the ARB 10 towed the Grace partially submerged to the beach and anchored her.  They then picked up the crew of five of the Grace and took them to Wrangell.  The conditions at the time were calm seas and dark.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  56 30 N 132 35 W  Chart 17382

                Additional Information : Tonnage 13 Gross 9 Net, Built 1914, Registered Wrangell, ON 212425, Owner Wrangell Packing Co, Last Port Afleck Canal August 19th, Destination Wrangell, Vessel Value $3,000, Vessel Insurance $3,000

                Source : U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty filed by Willard at Wrangell August 25, 1929

 

GROWLER (1868)     The 48.5 ton schooner Growler left Victoria, B.C. bound for Sitka March 19, 1868 and never made it.  She was outfitted for sealing in the Pribilof Islands.  Wreckage of the Growler and bodies of the crew washed ashore on the southern end of Prince of Wales Island.  The vessel was presumed to have stuck a rock at Cape Chacon and foundered.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  54 41 30 N 132 00 50 W  Chart 17420

                Source : Shipwrecks of the Alaskan Shelf and Shore (1992)

 

GRUBSTAKE (1915)     The small power vessel Grubstake was wrecked at Cala Reef in 1915.  Captain John Keller had departed Ketchikan bound for Ham Island where the captain had taken up residence.  He had a cargo of household goods and livestock which were lost with the Grubstake.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  55 18 55 N 131 36 05 W  Chart 17434

                Comment : Probably California Rock. WG

                Source : H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 258

 

GRUBSTAKE (1921)     The 18 ton gas screw Grubstake broke a shaft and foundered 3 miles south of Smugglers Cove on Revillagigedo Island December 28, 1921.  The vessel departed Ketchikan that day for Wadding Cove with two aboard.  The following are comments found in the report of casualty file my owner Mrs John Keller:

                “Breaking of shaft, foundered.”  “strong southeast….hoisted small sail.”  “Heavy sea and boat was lifted on reef or rocks on shore and bottom smashed…crew reached shore, next day vessel broke up.”

                The Grubstake was said to be worth $1,600 no insurance.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  55 37 N 131 53 W  Chart 17422

                Comment : Possibly same vessel as 1905 Grubstake in same area same owner name.  WG

                Additional Information : 14 Gross 8 Net, Built 1908, Registered Ketchikan, ON 205014, Master L Thornton, Owner Mrs. John Keller of Ketchikan

                Source : U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty filed July 18, 1922 by Mrs. Keller

 

GUY (1900)     The small steamer Guy was lost while on a mail run from Skagway to Haines December 22, 1900 1.5 miles below Skagway.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska 59 27 30 N 135 18 45 W  Chart 17317

                Sources : 1. The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 63, 2. Shipwrecks of the Alaskan Shelf and Shore (1992)

 

3 Responses to South East Alaska Shipwrecks ( G )

  1. JO Harmon says:

    Re: George S Wright shipwreck 1873

    Is there a list of souls aboard? I am writing a story ( Paper for local Historical Society) about the paymaster Maj. John Stevens Walker whose body was found-but am curious to know if he had family aboard. His young wife died the same year — but was she there–or was it a coincidence. The young family is from Fryeburg,Maine.
    Thanks for any help. JH

    • captaingood says:

      According to news accounts, Walker’s wife and son were lost along with the ship. I am constantly adding to the entries in my shipwreck works, and the George S Wright is one I have added to many times. The true story was never told as far as I can see. The following is what is in my latest account:
      “GEORGE S WRIGHT (1873) Five years after the purchase of Alaska the George S Wright became the first major shipwreck. The 116 foot steamer departed Sitka January 20, 1873 with officers of the garrison and other passengers aboard headed for Portland. The crew from captain to coal passers consisted of 21 souls and approximately 13 passengers were aboard. The steamer made stops at Tongass and Klawock sailing for Nanaimo January 25, 1873. It has been supposed that the vessel struck a rock somewhere near Cape Caution in the Queen Charlotte Sound about the 27th of January. One report states the vessel struck Devils Reef in the Sea Otter group. Wreckage of the George S Wright was found from Queen Charlotte Sound to Prince of Wales Island. Reports later surfaced that some survivors of the wreck had been captured and murdered by Haida Indians. Crewmembers lost with the George S Wright were captain Thomas J Ainsley, purser B F Weidler, chief engineer John
      Sutton, second engineer James Minor, first mate David Noonan, seaman P Clawson, seaman Owen McGough, seaman James Irwin, seaman Gus Proffe, seaman J Jansen, steward Chris Adam, cook Pedro Selvo, waiter C Hevenichi, pantryman Moses Batiste, an Indian messboy and two other Indians. Included in the passengers was paymaster Major John S Walker with his wife and son, U S Army Captain Henry C Dodge and George A Eades collector for the Port of Sitka. Captain Ainsley was engaged to be married to a young lady from Jackson, Michigan. The loss was a complete mystery. In the summer of 1875 the remains of paymaster
      Major John S Walker were found with a life preserver still attached on an island at the entrance to Port Bazan on Dall Island. In the spring of 1877 the Free Press of Nanaimo, British Columbia reported the arrest of several Wakena Indians for the murder of fifteen survivors of the wrecked George S Wright. A story had surfaced detailing the loss of the George S Wright. The vessel was said to have encountered a terrible storm in the Queen Charlotte Sound where intruding waves
      exploded her boiler. One Wakena Indian who had been employed as a coal passer on the steamer and fifteen others escaped into a life raft and made shore on one of two small islands near the disaster. A fire was built to warm the survivors which subsequently attracted a group of Wakena Indians. With the help of the Wakena coal passer all the rest of the survivors were massacred in their sleep. The story was substantiated with the arrest of the coal passer and two other Wakena
      Indians who were said to have confessed to the murders when arrested in 1877.”

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