The Wreck of the Passenger Vessel Humboldt

by John MacFarlane 2017


Humboldt (Photo courtesy of the MMBC.)

The Humboldt was built in 1896 at Eureka CA USA. She displaced 1076 tons. She was laid down as a lumber carrier but completed as a passenger freight steamer. In 1902 she was operating from the Lynn Canal AK carrying gold from large commercial mines.


Humboldt (Photo courtesy of the MMBC.)

She was registered at Eureka California. In 1896–1891 she was owned by Max Kalish, Eureka CA USA. In 1897 she was chartered by Mayor W.D. Wood to travel to Alaska to enter the Alaska steamship and mining business and travelled to St. Michael AK. She was later chartered to John A. McGee Jr. for $28,000 per month. Kalish was able to recoup the cost of building during the five month charter term. McGee and his associates went bankrupt and the vessel was taken over by Johnson–Locke Mercantile Co. which also operated schooners on the Puget Sound to southeastern Alaska route. In 1899 she was taken over by the Humboldt Steamship Co. which operated her in opposition to other vessels operated by Max Kalish. In 1901 the Alaska Steamship Co. chartered the vessel while it looked for other vessels to add to its southeastern Alaska service. In 1904 she was taken over and chartered to the Pacific Coast Steamship Co. in 1904.

She went ashore on Mouat Point, North Pender Island on September 29, 1908 while en route from Seattle to Skagway in a dense fog. A radio call brought the steamer Edith (Captain Thomas A. Miller) and she removed all the passengers. The bow was crumpled back 4 feet she was re–floated by the tug Salvor and J.E. Pharo’s Puget Sound salvage steamer Santa Cruz and following repairs she resumed her Alaska service. She sank on August 8th, 1935.

In 1909 the Humboldt was one of the steamers responding to the wreck of the passenger steamer Ohio on the BC coast. The Humboldt herself sank 08/08/1935.

To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. (2017) The Wreck of the Passenger Vessel Humboldt. 2017.

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