Princess Sophia Walking Tour
The Juneau-Douglas City Museum is leading walking tours to observe the 100th anniversary of the loss of the Princess Sophia, and to commemorate the lives of the 350 people who perished in the worst maritime disaster in Alaska history.
Late on the evening of October 23, 1918, the Princess Sophia sailed from Skagway and made her way along the Lynn Canal bound for Vancouver. At 2:00 AM on the 24th, she struck the Vanderbilt Reef with enough force to ground with her hull completely above water. Stranded on the reef, and with severe weather hampering rescue efforts, Captain Locke elected to keep passengers and crew aboard the ship until the weather improved. But when rescue vessels approached the reef on the morning of October 26, they were greeted with the grim truth that the Sophia had succumbed and slipped beneath the waves.
Museum volunteer, retired Foreign Service Officer, and Douglas resident Kirk Smith will lead the tour which will focus on a discussion of the events and circumstances leading up to the disaster as well as a visit to the Evergreen Cemetery to pay respects at the graves of the Sophia’s victims. Tickets may be purchased at the City Museum or by calling 907-586-3572. The tour includes free admission to the City Museum as well as a coupon for 20% off in the Museum Store. Space is limited to 10 people, so advanced reservations with payment are required.