Fate of the Clara Nevada

A reader sent me this quote from a book on the strange fate of the Clara Nevada:

“The loss of the Clara Nevada was soon forgotten, for other Gold Rush ships met disaster…fifteen of them in that year of 1898 alone. None of the others, however, provided such a spine-chilling epilogue as did the Clara Nevada. It was in 1908…ten years, almost to the day, from the time of her loss, and upon such a storm-lashed night…that she came back. Keepers of the Elder Rock light in Lynn Canal huddled near the stove in their quarters, listening to the storm’s fury grinding great boulders together in the sea’s bed under their feet. The storm found the ghost of the long-dead Clara Nevada, too, lifted her from the bottom of the sea and sent her riding the dark waters of Lynn Canal again. In the morning the lighthouse keepers found the barnacled, weed-draped corpse of the Clara Nevada, dead and buried a full decade, high and dry on the south point of Elder Island. She had brought the bones of her long-vanished company with her and they found Christian burial, at least, in a common grave ashore.”

Gorden Newell, Pacific Coastal Liners, (1959)

Seen above is the Eldred (not Elder) Rock Lighthouse.

Sarah Elizabeth Eldred Baker

Although Sarah never came to Skagway, millions of people have wondered about the lighthouse which bears her name, Eldred Rock Lighthouse. The lighthouse, seen above was first lit in 1905.
In 1883 William Healey Dall voyaged up the Alaskan coast and wrote a book called the Alaska Coast Pilot – it describes the coast with measurements, drawings and maps for pilots who are going up the coast of Alaska. Along with him on this voyage was Marcus Baker, a cartographer and it was he who named various points along the coast after his wife, Sarah Eldred.
Sarah was born in Climax, Michigan on September 2, 1846 and married Marcus in Kalamazoo on December 13, 1874. She died on December 19, 1897 during the gold rush, but presumably never having left Michigan.

Lighthouse Friends; wikipedia entries