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200-year-old anchor will be displayed at MOHAI for short time

200-year-old anchor will be displayed at MOHAI for short time
The 200-year-old anchor found last month in Admiralty Bay was transported to the Museum of History & Industry this morning for a quick four day residency before moving on to Texas A&M University for conservation and research. (Joshua Lewis / Seattle Refined)
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The 200-year-old anchor found last month in Admiralty Bay was transported to the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) this morning for a quick four day residency before moving on to Texas A&M University for conservation and research.

Local divers and historians hauled the 1,400-pound, 10-foot iron anchor out of the Bay on June 9, where local historians believe it has been since 1792. They believe that this was the smallest anchor of the HMS Chatham, the ship which escorted George Vancouver on the Vancouver Expedition of 1791 - 1795.

The Chatham, along with the HMS Discovery, are credited with exploring the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound for over a month. In fact, several passengers aboard the ship are the namesakes of many of our landmarks in the Pacific Northwest: Whidbey Island, for Lieutenant Joseph Whidbey, Puget Sound for Lieutenant Peter Puget and Mount Baker for Lieutenant Joseph Baker.

Ship logs from the journey mention an anchor snapping off the Chatham in June of 1792 due to strong currents. While it was once believe that it came off in the Bellingham Channel, new analysis has several local authorities believing it actually detached off the coast of Whidbey Island - in which case, the anchor found is most likely that of the Chatham.

If you're interested in the story of the Chatham and further analysis of the anchor, local historian Scott Grimm will be hosting a special talk at MOHAI tonight at 6:30. Tickets are $5 per person.

The anchor will only be on display here through July 11, when it begins its journey to Texas A&M University for conservation and research.

MOHAI museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. 

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