(Ferdinand Hassler, 1770-1843, first Superintendent of the United States Coast Survey)

(Commemorated by Hassler Glacier in the Straits of Magellan)

Characteristics: Steamer, built by Dialogue and Wood, Camden, New Jersey in 1871 at cost $62,000, 159ft long x 24ft beam x 12ft draft.

Log Period and Areas of Service: 1871-1895, Pacific coast and Alaskan waters.

Summary of Service

4 December 1871 – Sailed from Boston on the Hassler Expedition (science done under Professor Louis Agassiz of Harvard University) for West Coast via Straits of Magellan, collecting biological specimens on passage and stopping in the Galapagos, before arriving in San Francisco.

August 1872 to 1893 – Hydrographic surveys off the West Coast with many seasons spent in Alaska.

1893 – Due to corroded iron plates in her hull, judged fit only for inside waters of Puget Sound and SE Alaska.

February 1895 – Put up for sale asking for sealed bids; the highest bid being far below the appraised value, it was rejected and she was laid up at Port Orchard in charge of a shipkeeper.

25 May 1895 – Put back in service surveying Puget Sound and as transport for personnel to Sitka Alaska.

October 1897 – Condemned as unseaworthy and unfit for the hydrographic work, she was sold.

Fate: Decommissioned October 1897. Sold to the McGuire Brothers in October 1897 and renamed Clara Nevada; sunk 6 February 1898 on her first civilian voyage off Eldred Rock, Alaska.

Links: NOAA History site, Wikipedia, 1871 Hassler Expedition, U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Annual Reports

Hassler 2

Hassler at Fort Wrangell, 1890

Hassler 3

In holiday dress, date unknown

Hassler 4

Iron hull plate caught on the rock that sunk her in 1898

A general note on the sources.