October 25, 2017 marks the 99th anniversary of the sinking of the SS Princess Sophia, a Victoria-based vessel that transported passengers up the coast to Skagway, Alaska, with several community stops along the way. The ship cruised the waters of the Inside Passage from 1912 to 1918 before striking Vanderbilt Reef and tragically sinking. Sadly, everyone on board perished and this is recognized as the worst marine disaster of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. The ship was one of the main modes of regular coastal transportation and was a terrible loss.
The Maritime Museum of British Columbia is producing a travelling exhibit that commemorates the 100 th Anniversary of this tragic event and is scheduled to open in Victoria on January 12, 2018 before traveling to the Maritime Museum in Vancouver, B.C. in late March 2018. The exhibition is then scheduled to be in Juneau, Alaska at the State Museum before heading on to the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse during the late fall of 2018.
Photo above: The SS Princess Sophia (Alaska State Library, Winter and Pond Collection, ASL-P87-1699)
Development of this exhibition was made possible thanks to major funding support from the Government of Canada’s Museums Assistance Program, Access to Heritage.
This exhibit will bring together artefacts from multiple organizations along the coast, which will be the first time that they will have been together since they were salvaged from the wreck. The exhibit will also include digital interactive displays about the ship and background information about the individual victims and crew.
For more information on the story of the SS Princess Sophia and on the Exhibition, please visit the Maritime Museum of British Columbia’s website at princesssophia.org.