The following is quoted from the link provided by Mr F. Horn above...
"The sinking of the S.S. VALENCIA off the west coast of Vancouver Island in 1906 caused the death of 136 passengers and crew,” said Lunney. “I am honoured to highlight the historic importance of the worst maritime disaster on the west coast of North America.
I am glad that they are doing this, but their information is not quite correct. The sinking of CP's Princess Sophia on 25 October 1918 ranks as the worst maritime disaster on the west coast of North America, with 343 lives lost.
The Valencia disaster, may, however, have been the worst disaster to have occurred in Canadian west coast waters.
I've studied the artist's rendition of the ship in that print, and compared it to the various pictures in Turner's book "Pacific Princesses". I've concluded that the ship in the print is the Princess Joan.
But the print depicts the ship at a wharf in Nanaimo. So I'm wondering if this is artistic license on Hughes' part, or if the 'Joan actually called at Nanaimo sometime during her career.
Does anyone have any insight?
Would be very interesting to see her log books, if they do exist these days.
Just bought the puzzle!
I have just received the puzzle today! Chocolate Express delivered this to my door. Box is superb. Pieces are in a plastic bag. I'm gonna work on this while watching the MLB All Star Game tonight. Will let you know how this turns out!
I felt this was somewhat relevant to BC's historic steamships... it's more also just a tribute to BC's rich nautical history.
Also, some of you should recognize the name of T.W. Paterson.
B.C.'s 'Grand old man of seafaring'
T.W. Paterson Special to The Citizen
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
When commercial sealing in British Columbian, Alaskan and Russian seas became a decades-long industry, and a source of international tension, the man who was responsible for it all remained aloof, preferring to trade along the Island's west coast.
In 1869 Capt. James Christensen sailed the schooner Surprise as far north as Metlakatla with a cargo of supplies for Father William Duncan's Anglican mission. As it turned out, the schooner was becalmed throughout much of her northbound voyage and again when returning to Victoria, taking no fewer than three months to complete the trip. When, finally, Christensen and company did step ashore in Victoria, it was to be told that they'd been given up as lost.
Ironically, the Surprise had encountered shipwreck, but that of the American schooner Thomas Woodward, Christensen bringing the survivors down from Oyster Bay.
It was that same year that he experienced his most horrifying adventure when he informed the authorities of the wreck of the British barque John Bright off Hesquiat with the loss of all on board. As if this were not tragedy enough, the incident mushroomed into major controversy when local natives were accused of having murdered 10 survivors. Full details of the leading role that James Christensen played in this historic affair must wait for another day, but, briefly:
When informed of the wreck Christensen, having ridden out the same gale nearby, rushed to the scene, to become convinced, through the villagers' behaviour, that something more than shipwreck had occurred. When his plea for an official investigation fell upon deaf ears in Victoria, he returned to Hesquiat where he found the mutilated remains of 10 persons. Subsequently, seven Hesquiats were tried for murder, two being sentenced to death. Returned to Hesquiat, they were hanged on a gallows erected at the scene of the wreck. All this despite the villagers having maintained throughout, and for years afterward, that the bodies of those drowned in the wreck had been mangled in the surface, that the accused men had been convicted on perjured testimony of rival tribesmen, and that faulty interpretation of testimony had been given during questioning.
As it had been through Christensen's personal efforts that the crime was uncovered, fears were expressed for his life among some the west coast tribes. But the years passed without his being molested although, in his old age, he said that he'd often marvelled that the Hesquiats had never sought revenge. In 1876, he accepted an appointment as pilot -- as much for his wife's peace of mind as for his own, he said. One of his last duties as master of a trading schooner was to carry the materials for the construction of Cape Beale lighthouse (built, incidentally, by Hayward & Jenkinson -- Victoria's enterprising undertakers).
Christensen served in this demanding capacity for three years, safely guiding ships of all types and sizes into B.C. ports, a duty that included his "sailing full-rigged ships through the Narrows into Vancouver Harbour." He then turned to steamships and tugboats, commanding the venerable Hudson's Bay Co. steamer Beaver for 10 years and the large steam tug Lorne before returning to the pilotage until enforced retirement at the age of 80 years.
His one personal day of shame came in November 1891 when the fine collier San Pedro, under his direction, crashed onto Victoria's Brotchie Ledge in perfect weather. Despite repeated attempts and enormous sums of money, the ship couldn't be saved and Capt. Christensen accepted full blame for the mishap. Although he and the ship's master were censured at an inquiry, the incident doesn't seem to have harmed his career as he didn't retire as an active pilot for another 30 years.
Within three years of the San Pedro affair, tragedy again struck this pioneering mariner when his son, Capt. James Christensen Jr. lost his life in the sinking of the tug Estelle with all hands off Cape Mudge. Son Andy Christensen followed in the senior Christensen's footsteps, joining the pilotage.
Upon retirement Capt. Christensen lived with his daughter, Mrs. W.C. McLachlan, in Victoria's James Bay.
There, with his ever-ready and reputedly foul smelling cigar, and a hearty hello, he enjoyed peace on shore and regaled visitors with his tales of the distant days when he founded British Columbia's sealing industry that, more than once, almost led to hostilities between the world's greatest powers.
A replica of the SS Beaver in Victoria. The Beaver was instrumental to the growth of the Cariboo Gold Rush back in the late 19th Century, as she carried eager gold-seekers across from Victoria to New Westminster, where they would hop another steamship to Yale, and the start of the Cariboo Wagon Road.
:)thank you to cdn. viking for his very evocative submission of material on the ghost ships of Royston, it's been a few years since I used to visit the area when crewing QPR at Kelsey Bay, and how the years have flown by since! There is a lot of history here and many other sites on the island and up Powell River way and all up and down the coast! :)mrdot.
Post by Low Light Mike on Sept 1, 2011 18:34:20 GMT -8
I visited the Royal BC Museum in Victoria today, and it was the first time that I've been there as an adult and as a more-learned ferry-nerd.
So this time, I took time to look for ferry & ship memorabilia. I found some in the 20th-Century BC exhibit. I also saw a very small Union Steamship exhibit.
But at the base of the HMS Discovery room, I found my gold-mine: a hallway exhibit of steamship and navy memorabilia and photos. Included are the ship-bell of both the CP Princess Victoria and the CN Prince David.
I spent lots of time taking photos (this was near the end of the visit, and after a few minutes of my fussing over taking photos, my wife uttered the words "I'll be down in the gift-shop...."). I'll post the photos in the next few weeks or so.
To add to the list of local shipping companies, there were:
Gulf Lines Ltd., which operated a fleet of former Royal Canadian Navy vessels, after WWII, to Powell River and Stuart Island. They are probably best remembered for the loss of their "Gulf Stream" on Dinner Rock, shortly after leaving Powell River in 1947.
Marine Express Lines - this was another post-WWII operator, which used a former US Navy subchaser, renamed "Jervis Express", for its fast service between Vancouver, Egmont and the many logging camps in Jervis Inlet.
Davidson Marine Freight Ltd., another post-WWII operator which started about 1949. They also used two former US Navy subchasers or Royal Canadian Navy Fairmiles, renamed "Sechelt Narrows" and "Seymour Narrows", for cargo service.
Finally, in 1953 these three companies merged into Tidewater Shipping, which was then acquired by Union Steamships in 1956.
Thanks for the quick answer... how did I miss that? I must have scanned down the left column, Chinook, City of Sacramento, Quillayute.. and the rest.. The Black Ball fleet bought by BC in 1961... didn't notice the Malahat on that list. Thanks again. www.evergreenfleet.com/forgotten.html