Sentinel Island Light, Lynn Canal

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Sentinel Island Light, Lynn Canal

by | Jul 30, 2018

Sentinel Island is located along the eastern shore of Lynn Canal at the northern entrance to Favorite Channel, about 51 miles (82 km) south-southeast of Haines and 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Juneau, Alaska.  Favorite Channel is often used by ships leaving Auke Bay, about 10 miles (16 km) northwest of Juneau.

This was the main route to Skagway for most of the stampeders heading to the Klondike goldfields. Strong currents, fog, rain, and a rocky shoreline made navigating the Inside Passage very challenging, and in 1898 at the peak of the gold rush, over three hundred maritime accidents were reported. The Sentinel Island Lighthouse was activated on March 1, 1902, but navigating Lynn Canal was still treacherous. Early in the morning of August 5, 1910, the Princess May was southbound from Skagway carrying 80 passengers and a crew of 68 when she ran aground on a reef just off the northern end of Sentinel Island, and on July 25, 1933, Northwestern ran aground and subsequently was beached on Eagle River Sand Spit on the mainland.

In 1935 the original wooden lighthouse on Sentinel Island was replaced with a concrete tower built in an Art Deco style. The light station was automated in 1966. Read more here and here. Explore more of Sentinel Island here:

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