Northern Alaska Shipwrecks ( T )

THOMAS DICKASON (1871)     The 461 ton wooden whaling ship Thomas Dickason was abandoned in the ice around Point Belcher September 14, 1871.  The vessel was out of New Bedford, Massachusetts and had an estimated value of $50,000.  The ship was found the following summer “on her beam end on the bank, bilged and full of water”.

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   70 47 40 N 159 39 02 W   Chart 16005

Source: Harper’s Weekly (December 2, 1781) “Destruction of the Arctic Whaling Fleet” “Capt. W H Kelley in 1872 Visits Scene of Disaster”

THOMAS POPE (1890)     The 227 ton 100 foot wooden whaling bark Thomas Pope stranded and was lost near Point Hope July 28, 1890.  The vessel departed San Francisco June 10 bound for the Arctic Ocean with 12 officers and crewmen aboard.  At the time of the disaster she had 75 tons of oil, bone, ivory and furs on board with a value of $135,000.  The following are excerpts from the wreck report:

            “Near Point Hope, Arctic Ocean”  “Stranding.  Cutting away of masts”  “Gale of wind, high sea and daytime”  “Crew was taken off by steamer William Lewis and Brig F A Barstow and landed at San Francisco.  The most of the cargo was saved by the steamer William Lewis, and landed at the same place, after being transferred in Arctic Ocean on board other vessels”

            The Thomas Pope had a value of $8,000 and became a total loss.  She was insured for $1,500.  Only $1,500 was lost from the $135,000 cargo, which was insured for $100,000.  There was no loss of life.  The wreck and cargo were sold for $525 but the sale was set aside by a court and $300 salvage allowed.

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   68 20 20 N 166 50 40 W   Chart 16005

Additional Information: Tonnage 226.86, Length 100.6, Breadth 27.9, Depth 14.7, Built 1855 at Mattapoisett MA, SL HRTN, Master John W Fisher of Oakland CA, Owner J & W R Wing

Sources: 1. U S Customs Wreck Report March 3, 1891 at New Bedford by J & W R Wing, Agents, 2. Report of the Secretary of the Interior Volume III (1892) “Shipwrecks” Pgs 493-4

THREE BROTHERS (1877)     The 357 ton whaling bark Three Brothers was stove in by ice and abandoned near Point Barrow September 11, 1877.  Her estimated value at the time of the disaster was $40,000.  She had a cargo of 30 barrels of sperm oil, 2,213 barrels of whale oil, 14,920 pounds of whale bone and 2 casks of ivory.  Her cargo had a value of $90,000.  The Three Brothers home port was New Bedford, Massachusetts and her captain Leander C Owen.

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   71 23 29 N 156 28 30 W   Chart 16003

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

TRANSIT (1913)     The 547 ton 165 foot wooden schooner Transit was crushed by ice and lost at 6:30 a.m. August 25, 1913 near Cape Smyth.  The vessel was departing Barrow bound for Seattle with 11 officers and crewmen aboard.  She was also carrying 100 tons of general merchandise valued at $8,000.  The following are statements from the wreck report submitted by John Backland, master of the Transit:

            “About five miles SSW of Cape Smyth”  “Struck Lee, filled with water and was beached”  “Crushed by ice”  “Strong NW gale with heavy snow and frost”  “Sails close reefed and vessel got under way but ice crowding in rapidly leaving no room for navigation”  “120 natives came on board and both the steam and hand pumps were manned but to no avail”  “The vessel was in the ice from August 6th to August 25th, 1913 and continually using every effort to get out”

            The Transit had a value of $10,000 with the damage to the vessel listed as $7,500.  Her cargo posted a loss of $5,000.  The vessel had no insurance but the cargo was fully covered.  There was no loss of life.

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   71 17 35 N 156 47 15 W   Chart 16003

Additional Information: Tonnage 547 Gross 496 Net, Length 165.2, Breadth 37.1, Depth 13.1, Built 1891 at Ballard WA, SL KJWS, Master John Backland of Seattle, Owner E M Backland of Seattle, Registered Seattle, ON 145607

Source: U S Customs Wreck Report September 27, 1913 at Nome

2 Replies to “Northern Alaska Shipwrecks ( T )”

    1. I looked through my collections and didn’t see anything, but I am sure there are photos out there. The University of Washington Digital Collections can be searched through online and have photos of many of the vessels that came out of the Seattle area. The Transit was built at Ballard so area museums and collections might have something. I will look around and see if I can find anything.

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