Nanaimo Public Art Inventory - Anchor


Photo of the art
Artist: Unknown
Location: Anchor Park
Category: Historical Artefact
Year Created: 1985
Materials: Anchor, Paint
Sponsors: Port of Nanaimo, Commonwealth Holding Society
Cost: N/A
Status: Public


This hand-forged anchor stands as a testimonial to the men and ships that sailed the area, providing important links of trade and communications to world markets. The Anchor came from one of the largest ships to load coal in Boat Harbour, approximately five miles south of Nanaimo. The ship, thought to be the SS Northland and known as a steam packet, was a three masted sailing ship with a steam engine. While attempting to approach the coal bunkers to load coal, which were 600 feet from shore, it ran into strong winds approximately 1/2 a mile off the dock. In an attempt to slow the ship the anchor was lowered, it snagged on a reef, thus possibly breaking the dog on the winch. This accounts for all of the chain being recovered with the anchor. The ship eventually ran into the dock. The steam packets were originally built in the 1950's-1960's and constituted some of the largest cargo ships to sail this coast in the early part of the century. This anchor and chain, now at rest, are a direct link to when coal was King in Nanaimo. Thanks to the volunteers this anchor was positioned here June, 1985. The plaque is courtesy of Nanaimo Commonwealth Holding Society.


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