In 1845, Sir John Franklin departed England on a quest to traverse the last uncharted section of the fabled Northwest Passage. His ships became icebound high in the Canadian Arctic and Franklin, with his crew of 128 men, ware never heard from again. For more than 150 years, the fate and final resting place of Franklin's lost expedition was on the greatest mysteries of Canadian history.
But it's a mystery no longer - and now Vancouverites can get the inside scoop at a special new exhibition at the Vancouver Maritime Museum as of March 23rd.
In 2014, after years of scouring the Arctic waters around Victoria Straits, a Canadian search team located the remains of Franklin's vessel, the HMS Erebus, remarkably preserved after all this time. Sonar picked up tantalizing details of the ship, including the hull, deck planking and objects onboard. Underwater archaeologists subsequently recovered dozens of artifacts, ranging from a canon, the wheel of the ship, plates, a boot and mariner' tools.
Now replicas of some of those artififacts, as well as in-depth diplays about the expedition itself, are coming to Vancouver.
The Franklin Exploration kicks off on March 23rd with a special Parks Canada presentation at the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Join along online starting at 11am for an interactive presenation about the Franklin Expedition and the latest discoveries. From 2pm to 4pm, stop by for a view and handle reproductions of real artifacts from the HMS Erebus, including an illuminator, a patterned plate and a small replica of the HMS Erebus bell.