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The Sinking of the Princess Sophia:

White Pass & Yukon Route employee deaths

Northern Ships and Shipping

    On October 25, 1918, the coastal steamer SS Princess Sophia sank after hitting Vanderbilt Reef in Lynn Canal north of Juneau, Alaska, with the loss of at all 343 people on board. The White Pass & Yukon Route lost a large percentage of their Upper Yukon River boat crews - 87 people in total. The crews of the Casca, Dawson, Selkirk, and Yukon in particular, were almost completely wiped out. The newspaper article below lists them all.

The Province (Vancouver, British Columbia) - October 28, 1918


    The passenger list contained the names of eighty-seven of the employees of the White Pass & Yukon Route. Practically the entire personnel of the company's upriver boats has been wiped out, according to E. Farr, the local agent of the company, who is heart-broken over the terrible event, Mr. Farr spent some years in Alaska and 90 per cent. of the list of dead were personal friends with whom he had been long and intimately associated.

    Officers and men from the steamers Dawson, Casca, Whitehorse, Washburn, Selkirk, Yukon, Nasutlin, Seattle City III went down to death with the Sophia. Of four pursers in the service of the company in Alaska only one remains alive. He is purser W. J. Garrett of the Whitehorse, a resident of this city. When seen on Sunday at his rooms in the Lightheart Apartments he could scarce realize the tragedy and his own good fortune. He had obtained reservations for this trip of the Sophia, but persuaded another of the pursers to take a run for him and allow him to come out on the Prince Rupert, He arrived last week by that ship.

    The full list of the men of the W. P. & Y. Company that were on the Sophia is:
Allan, John, waiter, 8038 Princess avenue, Victoria.
Aftaiken, F., deckhand, steamer Casca.
Abelsen, J., deckhand, steamer Yukon.
Anthony, A. W., deckhand, steamer Yukon, 1624 Graveley street, Vancouver.
Bloomquist, Capt. C. J., master, steamer Dawson, Shawnigan Lake.
Bowker, J., second engineer, steamer Yukon, Seattle.
Blythe, N. G., waiter, steamer Casca, 504 Beach drive, Victoria.
Bower, Fred, deckhand, steamer Alaska.
Bennett, H., deckhand, steamer Alaska.
Bellison. A. cook, steamer Seattle III.
Brown, J. W., fireman, steamer Yukon.
Chinery, C. S., purser, steamer Dawson, Hollyburn.
Clark, L.E., deckhand, steamer Yukon.
Craven, Chas., fireman, steamer Yukon.
Campbell, A., fireman, steamer Alaska.
Dano, G.M., deckhand, steamer Alaska.
Davies, H. and wife, purser, steamer Selkirk, 45 Boyd street, Victoria.
Davis, R. H. and wife, 618 High street, Oroville, Cal.
Douglas, J. P., master, steamer Nasutlin, Hythe, Alta.
Fennis, E., waiter, steamer Reliance.
Finlay, R., deckhand, steamer Yukon.
Green, J. C., and wife, master, steamer Yukon, Seattle.
Greeny, A. J., deckhand, steamer Yukon.
G..., Chas., cook, steamer Seattle III.
Hawes, R. C., chief engineer Casca, 212 Eighteenth street, North Vancouver.
Hager, R., deckhand, steamer Dawson.
Holmes, C., cook, steamer Dawson.
Hatcher J., waiter, steamer Selkirk,
Headland, Chas., fireman, steamer Alaska.
Hearing, T. L., chef, steamer Whitehorse, 1563 Fifth street, North Vancouver.
Haynes J., fireman, steamer Seattle III.
King, J., deckhand, steamer Dawson.
Kendall, A. W., deckhand, steamer Selkirk.
Kenyon, H. J., deckhand, steamer Yukon.
Kilway, C. E., deckhand, steamer Dawson.
Koulouris, Sam, deckhand, steamer Yukon.
Lee, L. M., cook, steamer Washburn.
Lewis, A. D., purser, steamer Casca, Sunrise avenue, Victoria.
Lidgett, W., cook, steamer Whitehorse, 703 Nanaimo street, Vancovuer.
Lawless H., fireman, steamer Tanana.
Leavitt, G. S., deckhand, steamer Casca.
Litchfield, S., 8038 Princess avenue, Victoria.
Matheson, R. waiter, steamer Selkirk, Point Grey.
Mabin, Tony, cook, steamer Selkirk.
Murphy, W., deckhand, Seattle III.
Moyer, M., cook, Seattle III.
McWaters, W., fireman, steamer Whitehorse, 219 Oakland street, New Westminster.
McCrait, C., steward, steamer Casca, 2720 Fourth avenue west, Seattle.
McNeil, J. C., fireman, steamer Dawson.
McLeod, Alex., second engineer steamer Dawson, 219 Seventh street, New Westminster.
McTavish, R., fireman, steamer Selkirk.
Neilson, Thomas, fireman, steamer Casca.
Parsons, W., waiter, steamer Casca.
Pratt, A. W., fireman, steamer Tanana.
Robinson, H. A, waiter, steamer Casca.
Rutherford, H., waiter, steamer Casca.
Russell, H., cook, steamer Washburn.
Shaw, W. F., fireman, steamer Tanana.
Shillinglaw, W. W., chief steward, steamer Casca, Langford P. O., Victoria.
Santaine, J., chief engineer, steamer Yukon, Portland.
Smith, W. P., fireman, steamer Dawson, 866 Collison street, Victoria.
Smith, W. P. Jr., deckhand, steamer Dawson.
Smith, R. H., deckhand, steamer Dawson.
Shimada, J., deckhand, steamer Dawson.
Strain, H., deckhand, steamer Selkirk.
Smith, Fred., fireman, steamer Casca.
Solomeyer, D., fireman, steamer Yukon.
Sutherland, A. W., deckhand, steamer Alaska.
Seylstra, C. W., fireman, steamer Alaska.
Taggart, E., fireman, steamer Alaska.
Tribe, George, steward, steamer Selkirk, 5017 Chambers street, Victoria.
Thompson, W. A. purser, steamer Yukon, Detroit.
Vandecar, H. C., deckhand, steamer Dawson.
Van Valkenberg, B., cook, steamer Seattle III.
Vint, P., second engineer, steamer Casca, 1516 Fourth avenue east Vancouver.
Wright, W., steamer Whitehorse, 469 Fraser avenue, New Westminster.
Wheeldon, E. G., deckhand, steamer Selkirk, 1672 Hastings street east, Vancouver.
Wilkinson, B., second mate, steamer Casca, Cobble Hill, B. C.
White, Frank N., master, steamer Yukon, Seattle.
Walker, A. W., cook, steamer Selkirk.
Williams, R. W., waiter, steamer Yukon.
Wishart, Thos., deckhand, steamer Washburn.
Wandt, E. A., deckhand, steamer Washburn, Seattle.
Young, J. R., chief engineer, steamer Dawson, Milwaukee.
Zone, J. C., cook, steamer Seattle III.