Ship Mishap Creates Christmas Bounty

On December 15th, 1927, an Alaskan bound steamer, the Northwestern, with 187 passengers and crew, ran aground onto the rocks at Cape Mudge during blinding a snowstorm with fierce gale-force winds.  The ship left from Seattle and had been following the Union Steamship ‘Chilosan’ in the snowstorm, guided by its whistle.  When the ‘Chilosan’ turned east heading for Cortes Island, the Northwestern failed to negotiate the turn, and as the visibility was extremely poor and they couldn’t see the light of the lighthouse, the ship crashed onto the rocks at Cape Mudge.

All passengers and crew were safely rescued and taken to the Willows Hotel, after a wait in heavy seas of about eight hours.  The Northwestern had been laden with Christmas supplies intended for Alaska and these were ferried ashore to Quadra Island.  As it happened, it had been a particularly tough year in the area, and the goods from the ship, including turkeys, chickens, oranges, apples and grocery supplies, as well as a full cargo of general goods, quickly and mysteriously disappeared. It has been said that a bountiful Christmas was enjoyed by Quadra Island and Campbell River residents that year!


p8260179_loggers_legacyLegacy Goldsmiths – These unique pieces are created by local Campbell River goldsmith David Nickel. What better gift to give than a memento of the logging and mining industries that shaped our Vancouver Island culture. Pictured here is a Logger Legacy piece – sterling silver haulback block miniature (the wheel rotates) in the form of a pendant that can be converted to a key chain…buy it now just in time for Christmas!

Find a great selection Museum Gift Shop Products online at…Click Here

Connect with us here:

Campbell River Museum on Facebook
Campbell River Museum YouTube Channel
Campbell River Museum on Flickr
Campbell River Museum on Twitter

The Campbell River Museum maintains collections and archives from Campbell River’s wide and diverse history, culture and community.  For more information about your local Campbell River Museum, call 250-287-3103 or visit