Maine Memory Network
Maine's Online Museum

Login · My Account · Show Album



Schooner 'Bowdoin' melting out, Refuge Harbor, Greenland, 1924

Click on the image to zoom. Click and drag your mouse over the image to move it left or right. Use the small navigation window to select the area you wish to zoom on.

Item 76882 detail enlarge send e-card Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter add to album


By July 1924, the schooner Bowdoin was finally starting to break out of her winter quarters in Refuge Harbor, Northwest Greenland. From a nearby hill, patterns in the ice show that it is moving. But it was a long and hazardous melting out, and the vessel came close to being lost.

This was the schooner's second voyage north, beginning in 1923. The expedition's goals included establishing a scientific station, continual tide and weather observations over a year, and work in botany, geology, ornithology and anthropology. Magnetic observations were taken, and short-wave radio experiments conducted.

While the schooner was deliberately frozen in to her winter quarters (for 325 days), Donald MacMillan, the head of the expedition who had the schooner built to his specifications, took a dog sledge across Smith Sound to Cape Sabine on Ellesmere Island.

There he put up a memorial tablet to the ill-fated Greely Expedition (1881-1884), America's contribution to the first International Polar Year.

Go back

Please post your comment below to share with others. If you'd like to privately share a comment or correction with MMN staff, please use this form.