One hundred years ago, on Oct. 9, 1923, the MV Kennecott wrecked on the rocks in the Queen Charlotte Islands, B.C.
The ship, owned by the Alaska Steamship Co., was carrying copper from Alaska when it hit the rocks just before midnight the night earlier.
Lost in the wreck was 6,000 tons of copper ore from the richest copper mining area in the world, Kennecott. That mining area is now a national historic landmark within Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, but back then it had several copper ore mines and the mill town of McCarthy.
The value of the ship’s cargo was $1 million in 1923, which would be worth over $17 million today, according to inflation calculators. The copper ore was on its way to Tacoma, Washington, where a smelter run by Asarco operated for decades before closing in 1985 due to regulations and a recession.
The Kennecott, which was on her maiden voyage from Alaska, also had 40,000 cases of salmon from the Copper River.
“The Kennecott broke up and sank after a failed salvage attempt and on the evening of October 23 Captain Laughing Jack was standing on the deck of the salvage steamer Algerine as it headed south toward Tacoma. As the voyage took him down Finlayson Channel past the site of his first ship wreck, he went overboard, his body never found,” according to an account at Tacomahistory.live. Read more about this shipwreck at the link below: