The SS Beaver ran aground off Prospect Point, the most famous shipwreck in Vancouver history
On July 26, 1888, the old Hudson’s Bay steamboat The Beaver ran aground on the rocks off Observation Point in Stanley Park (today’s Prospect Point).
“The wind was blowing pretty fresh and with the strong tide running carried the famous old craft onto the rocks just at the entrance to the Narrows,” reported the Daily News-Advertiser on July 28.
It would become Vancouver’s most famous shipwreck, immortalized in photos, paintings and mementoes that early Vancouverites took off the wreck as souvenirs.
Liquor may have had something to do with the wreck. A Vancouver pioneer named Simson told Major Matthews that Capt. Marchant was “an old drunk” and that the crew “were all drunk the night the Beaver went on the rocks.”
A perfect end to an evil death vessel that brought Hudson Bay literally acres of beaver (and otter) skins in its miserable 50 year life. It was built to run up and down the pacific from Alaska to Vancouver stopping and restocking the Hudson Bay Company fur trading posts with every single beaver that could be ripped from the streams along the way.
A fitting week to celebrate its death with the VII annual beaver festival on the calendar.