Princess Sophia

Remembering the Princess Sophia

The CPR's Princess Sophia sank in the freezing water off Alaska's Vanderbilt Reff in the early morning hours of Oct. 25, 1918. She was on her regular route from Skagway to Vancouver, BC. All 368 passengers and crew were lost. It remains the worst maritime disaster on the Pacific coast.

Sophia's bell was lost with the ship but was recovered later in 1918 by salvage divers. One of the divers presented the bell to Jessie Halterman of Junea, Alaska. Decades later, she gave the bell to her granddaughter Betty Mantyla, to help pay for her education. Instead of selling it, Mantyla kept the bell for more than 50 years before donating it to the Museum.
Archival Images: VMM. Leonard McCann Archives. Princess Sophia - Ship Files.