In the midst of the 1918 Influenza epidemic and World War One, another big marine disaster occurred in the cold waters of the Lynn Canal.
Capt. Charles John Bloomquist was a passenger on the night of the grounding of the Sophia. The story of the Princess Sophia loss on October 24, 1918 in a blinding snowstorm, has been well documented, with a number of White Pass employees onboard heading back to Victoria for the end of the season. One report in the Daily Colonist on November 3, 1918, stated that only 2 of the victims drowned, the rest suffocated in the crude oil spilling from the ship.
I was curious to know a bit more about the Swedish Captain Bloomquist. He was born in 1867 in Stockholm, Sweden and came to Canada in 1883. He lived with his wife, Catherine at Shawnigan Lake, a small farming community 28 miles north of Victoria. He was listed there in the 1909 directory of Vancouver Island, also he kept a room at the Dominion Hotel in Victoria. He left behind 4 sisters but no children.
He had worked for 20 years on the boats in the Yukon. He was the master of the White Pass Steamboat Dawson. Before that he had worked for the Canadian Government on the Quadra and the Sir James Douglas.
The Princess Alice brought many of the bodies back to Victoria on the 12 of November 1918. On November 15 he was buried in Victoria with the Victoria Columbia Masonic Lodge as pallbearers. Rev. F.A.B. Chadwick gave the service. Catherine is buried with him at the Ross Bay Cemetery, she died November 27, 1969 at the age of 92! Here is a picture that Anne Scott made of the grave in Victoria! Posted on Find A Grave for this story – Thank you so Much Anne!!!
from the Daily Colonist October 29, 1918
Captain William Moore and his wife Hendrika Fenn Moore retired to Victoria after founding Skagway, or Mooresville as they preferred it to be called. When they died in 1909 and 1911 they were buried in the Ross Bay Cemetery in Victoria. I mentioned in an earlier blog that I could not find his grave after hours of searching, but recently a fellow sleuth, Suzy Kerrigan took the tour by the local docent and found the grave. It is not marked but there is a big tree growing there. She sent me a photo of it which I am sharing with you all. Hats off to Capt. Moore and Hendrika!
Happy Birthday to Capt. Moore born on this day, March 30, 1822 in Emden, Hanover, Germany. He came up here from Vancouver in 1862 as an explorer. He and his wife, Hendrika Fenn had several kids and grandkids who lived here prior to the gold rush. He once owned much of the land that is now Skagway, but was over run by goldrushers in 1897-1898. His original cabin and house is now owned and has been renovated by the National Park Service.
When Capt. Moore left Skagway, he and his family moved back to their lovely home in Victoria. In November I walked the road where the house once stood, but unfortunately has been replaced by condos. There are a few renovated Victorian Houses on that street. He and Hendrika are buried in the Ross Bay Cemetery, a two mile walk from downtown Victoria. Try as we might, even with the exact plot number, we could not find the actual graves, but I’m sure they are there.
Nellie Cashman came to the Klondike about 1898. She was a native of County Cork, Ireland and had worked as both a nurse and a grocer. She was known as the “Angel of the Cassiar” because of her tireless work with the sick men. She was also known as the Frontier Angel, Saint of the Sourdoughs, Miner’s Angel, and The Angel of Tombstone.
Her energy and selfless work is an inspiration. She died in Victoria on this day, January 4, 1925 at the age of 80 in the hospital there that she helped to build. She is buried in the Ross Bay Cemetery near all the Religious nuns and priests. I visited her grave in November. The cemetery is beautiful with a view of Ross Bay, a short walk from downtown through some very pretty neighborhoods.