The fate of sailing ship that once sailed from Tacoma could be uncovered by an underwater investigation taking place in Alaska.
Professionals and volunteers divers and researchers will study the watery grave of the bark Canada as part of an archeological survey in Long Bay near Skagway, Alaska, said a National Park Service news release.
The site inspection has started and included mapping and assessments of key features and artifacts. No artifact recovery is planned. The project’s main goal is to document the vessel before it completely deteriorates, said the news release. The ship is visible at low tide and can be seen at high tide in calm weather conditions.
The history of what happened to the Canada in Skagway is shrouded in mystery, said the news release.
Built in Bath, Maine in 1859, the ship was almost a derelict in Tacoma at the start of the Klondike Gold Rush. Patched up and loaded with 800,000 board feet of timber and other items, the shop left Tacoma on Jan. 30, 1898, towed by the tug Pioneer. Battered on its journey by icy winter storms occurring along Alaska’s Lynn Canal, the Canada reached Skagway on Feb. 14, 1898. Subsequently, the ship was either washed ashore or deliberately run aground, said the news release. The passengers were rescued by the ship Lady of the Lake and it is believed that the cargo was salvaged.
RAINIER WORK PARTY
The year’s first Mount Rainier National Park Associates volunteer trails work party will be April 27. The group will hold one work party a month through September.
The group will be working on a 1.33-mile loop trail at Tahoma Woods, the park headquarters west of Ashford, said John Titland, the group’s volunteer coordinator. The work will involve clearing vegetation and removing fallen trees as well as small trees growing next to the trail.
The work party is limited to 30 people, so people are encouraged to sign up early.
If you are interested in joining the group for this work party, send an email to Titland at email@example.com. You can learn more about the group at mrnpa.org.
NEW EDUCATION CENTER
The State Parks and Recreation Commission and Friends of Birch Bay State Park will hold a ground-breaking ceremony for a new environmental education center at Birch Bay State Park in Blaine.
The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, in the lower day-use area of the state park, 5105 Helweg Road, Blaine.
Scott Walker, president of the Friends of Birch Bay State Park, has the idea for the BP Heron Center for Environmental Education several years ago.
The goal of the project is to provide a center for classes and groups studying Terrell Creek, the Birch Bay marine environment and a nearby colony of great blue heron, said a State Parks news release.
Work on the $236,000 center is expected to begin in September and be completed by summer 2014.
An artist’s rendering of the center is online at fobbsp.org.