West Central Alaska Shipwrecks ( R )

R EACRETT (1899)     The 32 ton 50 foot two masted wooden schooner R Eacrett stranded and was lost on Saint Lawrence Island at 8:00 p.m. November 6, 1899.  There was only one survivor from the crew of six.  Lost were owner Augustus Lear, Captain Johnson, mate Charles Elliott and crewmen Smith and Nichal.  The sole survivor was crewman James Murphy.  The vessel departed Nome November 3rd bound for San Francisco to pick up mining supplies.  The return trip was scheduled for the following spring.  The vessel stranded attempting to weather the eastern end of Saint Lawrence Island, 20 miles east of Nukuliak.  The driving snow and howling winds didn’t allow James Murphy, who was at the help, to hear the breakers nearby.  The R Eacrett was driven high on the beach.  Five of the crew died in the cold winter weather over the next six months.  A rescue vessel arrived June 1, 1900.  James Murphy, the only survivor, took passage to Nome on the rescue vessel, the bark Alaska.  The Alaska was lost less than a week later on her arrival at Nome, June 6, 1900.  Fortunately, Murphy and the rest of the 71 passengers and crew made it to safety.

                Mapping and Location : Westcentral Alaska  63 18 N 168 42 W  Chart 16006

                Additional Information : Tonnage 32.11 Gross 30.51 Net, Length 49.5, Breadth 16.0, Depth 6.9, Built 1894 at Port Angeles WA, Registered Port Angeles WA, ON 111073

                Sources : 1. Introduction of Domestic Reindeer Into Alaska (1900) Concerning the Wreck of the Eacrett Pgs 109-114, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1897) Pg 159


RESEARCH (1901)     The 26.5 ton British iron stern wheel steamer Research was destroyed in a gale in August of 1900 in the St Michael Harbor.  The vessel was stored on blocks in the Government Barracks since she was seized by U S Customs September 25, 1899.  The following are excerpts from the wreck report filed by Thomas A Whisdler, master:

                “In St Michael harbor under Govt. barracks, Alaska”  “Heavy gale in August 1900…force 10”  “…ship locked up in charge of U S Customs”  “Thrown from blocks against the bank”  “The ship was in good running condition when seized by the U S Customs o the 25th Sept. 1899, and is now practically a dismantled wreck, nothing was done to protect the engines which are now a mass of iron rust.  The vessel’s bottom is bulged in on several places and is leaking in two compartments, so much so that the boiler has been forced out of place upwards about six inches, everything portable has been taken and she is a mass of iron rust fore and aft”

                The Research had a value of $10,000 and the 3 ton cargo of mining machinery and supplies on board were worth $700.  Damage to the vessel was listed at $9,500 and her cargo at $600.  There was no insurance.

                Mapping and Location : Westcentral Alaska  63 29 N 162 02 W  Chart 16006

                Additional Information : Tonnage 26.5, Age 3 years, Home Port Liverpool England, ON 109401, Master L A Whisdler of Nome, Owner P Bayne of Nome

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report July 22, 1901 at St Michael by Thomas A Whisdler


REUBEN L RICHARDSON (1900)     The 97 ton 85 foot wooden schooner Reuben L Richardson stranded and was lost west of Nome at 4 a.m. Thursday November 1, 1900.  The vessel departed Seattle May 5, 1900 bound for Cape Nome with 12 passengers and 8 crewmen on board.  She was carrying a cargo of 20 tons of miner’s supplies worth $500.  The following are excerpts from the wreck report:

                “Hard gale, dark night”  “Storm, snow and gale”  “Stranding…16 miles West Cape Nome”  “Was ashore before knew exact position”  “Walked overland to Cape Nome and made detailed report to Lieut. Jarvis, representing Customs House”

                The Reuben L Richardson, valued at $10,000, was a complete loss along with her cargo.  The vessel had insurance for $5,000 and the cargo none.  No lives were lost.

                Mapping and Location : Westcentral Alaska  64 26 N 165 W  Chart 16006

                Additional Information : Tonnage 97 Gross 92 Net, Length 84.8, Breadth 23.6, Depth 8.8, Built 1888 Bath ME, Registered Seattle, ON 110771, Master O F Christianson of Seattle, Owner North Star Cod Fishing Co. of Seattle

                Sources : 1. U S Customs Wreck Report February 6, 1901 at Seattle by Christianson, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1899) Pg 159



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