I've passed this old ship for years, always curious about it and wanting to shoot photographs of it. Different reasons why I couldn't shoot always came up and the years went by. Today it was the foggiest I've seen it around here in some time, I had the camera with me and drove past the Chacon. I turned around and went back.
The fog made for a spooky setting. You thought you could feel the ghost of fisherman past. There's a marker on the boat, but it's way up and I figured I go online and find out more about her when I got home.
She was built in Seattle in 1912. The Chacon, a 100 ton wooden boat was owned by Thillman Wallace of Chugiak, and has been sitting along the Old Glenn Highway since 1984. Wallace first spotted the grounded vessel while on a fishing trip out of Homer. An adventurer at heart, Wallace fell in love with the old fishing boat that was half tipped over and grounded on a beach. He paid the owner $5,000, and rescued it with the intention of restoring it for a trip around the world.
But the project was much more extensive than Wallace expected. At 82 feet long, 18 feet wide, and 100 tons, the old ship turned out to be what Thillman called “having an elephant by the tail”. To get the old boat from the beach in Homer to the Port of Anchorage required a ship surveyor, multiple patches, floating it loose at the highest tide of the year, and a crew of helpers. Then, Wallace had to pay a building mover $15,000 to truck the boat along the Glenn Highway to its present resting place.
After Wallace died last year, members of the community and the Chugiak Volunteer Fire & Rescue Center came together to clear away the moss and growth on the Chacon, and placed a plaque on it in memorial. She has been moved a short distance to her own spot that was donated to the Chugiak Volunteer Fire & Rescue Center.
Time has taken its toll on the Chacon, but a Go Fund Me page has been set up to care take her and to do some restoration. If you'd like to read more about what going on with her, read her Go Fund Me page or check out these stories from the Alaska Star;