Sunken Klondike Gold: How a Lost Fortune Inspired an Ambitious Effort to Raise the S.S. Islander

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$33.91 - $264.57
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Leonard H. Delano

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Product Overview

When the 240-foot SS Islander hit an iceberg in Alaska's inside waters just twelve miles from Juneau, Capt. H.R. Foote decided to make a desperate run for nearby Douglas Island. But it was too late. Water was pouring into a huge gash in the port bow. The stern was rising. The pride of the Canadian Pacific fleet quickly sank. Sixty-five of the 176 passengers and crew were lost, including Captain Foote, whose final words were: 'Tell 'em I tried to beach her.' The newspapers had a field day. Gold worth $3 million was rumored to have been put aboard in Skagway. There was talk of a salvage operation, but for thirty-three years the passenger vessel lay out of reach in 350 feet of water. In 1933, Seattle and Portland house-mover Frank Curtis proposed a bold salvage plan using two lift vessels, giant winches, diving bells, tidal power, and a determined crew of thirty or so house-movers, loggers, and rigging mechanics. Curtis was backed by a group of businessmen including future Weyerhaeuser Timber Company president Norton Clapp, who later invested in construction of Seattle's Space Needle. Accompanied by eighty-five extraordinary photographs and illustrations, this is an insider's story of a two-year struggle to raise the Islander, a record-breaking salvage that focused on a single prize - an elusive fortune in gold.


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