Today is Sheldon Jackson’s birthday and I was researching any connection he may have had with Skagway and found that in 1925 his mission purchased a motor vessel. This little 63-foot Diesel powered boat was used to transport orphans and students around Southeast Alaska. It was “a floating hospital, a children’s bus, and a gospel boat, which will cruise the perilous seas of the Alaskan coast. The little vessel is propelled by a gasoline engine and contains sleeping accommodations for nine persons besides a sick bay. It has been constructed of especially stout material to weather the rough waters of southeastern Alaska. The Princeton will regularly visit Alaskan Coast churches and villages, and in the summer season, the fishing canneries, where a large part of the native population are employed.”
The Princeton apparently was not quite stout enough for Alaskan storms because on a stormy day in October, 1939, it ran aground in Lynn Canal. The captain, John Falconer stayed onboard but the other passengers: two men and three Native orphan girls went ashore on the rocks. Fortunately, they were all rescued, but the ship was reported lost.
Ellensburg Daily record of October 13, 1939:www.presbofak.org; wikipedia