Photo by Winter and Pond, State of Alaska

October 24-25, 1918

The story of the Sophia

Early in the evening of October 25, 1918, in a driving winter storm, the SS Princess Sophia sank with the loss of all aboard after grounding on Vanderbilt Reef the day before. It was the worst maritime accident in the history of British Columbia and Alaska.

October 2018 centennial commemorations

Calendar of 100th Anniversary Events

October 25th, 2018 marks one hundred years since the Sophia tragedy. The occasion is being marked with ceremonies in multiple cities in the US and Canada. Click here to learn about the Commemoration ceremony in Juneau, as well as other events throughout the year.

Orpheus Project Opera

A musical tribute to the sinking of the Sophia

The Orpheus Project has comissioned an opera to commemorate the sinking of the Princess Sofia. It will premier in 2018 as part of the 100th anniversary commemoration in Juneau, and tour to other cities affected by the disaster. Composition: Emerson Eads. Libretto: Dave Hunsaker. Musical direction: William Todd Hunt.

Eagle Beach, Alaska Commemoration Plaque

Bronze memorial plaque unveiling and dedication ceremony

A bronze plaque was installed in the area of the wreck on June 8th, 2018, at the Eagle Beach State Recreation Area (near the river, immediately past the Methodist camp). The plaque, spearheaded by the Pioneers of Alaska -Juneau was unveiled and dedicated by Senator Dennis Egan at 2:00 on July 14th.

J. Maskell, to his fiance, recovered from the wreck:

"The boat might go to pieces, for the force of the waves are terrible..."

17:50 -most watches recovered from Princess Sophia victims stop.

In the face of such immense tragedy, the local community rallied to face the aftermath: to find the victims, and prepare them for burial. It is the task of those who follow to remember those lost, and the work of those who laid them to rest.