The Polar Bear

What connection is there between a polar bear and Captain LaGasa?

unknown maybe Joe

Captain Good was kind enough to send me yesterday more information about Captain LaGasa he had on his Website.

Warren Pogo Good


Vessel: Polar Bear

Type: Diesel screw

Length: 92 feet

92 tons

Date: 19 July 1935

Ship built in 1926

Location: On a reef off W end of Dry Spruce Island, Kupreanof Strait, near Kodiak.


Event narrative:

Broke up after navigation error by mate caused ship to strand on reef. Crew of 10 taken off by herring boat and transferred to CG cutter Aurora. Capt. Carl E. Anderson stayed with the wreck in the hope of salvaging some of the equipment, but the vessel was finally abandoned as a total loss. The ship was raised for salvage from 17 fathoms by deep sea diver Captain Arthur LaGasa in December 1937. The Polar Bear was formerly named the Margnita and worked out of Juneau under Capt. H.M. Peterson. It was purchased in 1931 by Capt. Charles Madsen, noted Alaska guide and wildlife authority, for the Kodiak Guides’ Association of Alaska. She was placed in service in charge of Capt. Peter Wold, supplying hunting expeditions on the Kenai Peninsula and renamed the Polar Bear.


CR, MV 1936, Berman, AK Weekly, AFJ, MCC

Something else happen in 1938.

Vessel: Polar Bear

Type: Motorship

Date: 29 March 1938

Location: At Red Fox Bay, near Port Williams, Kodiak Island.


Event narrative:

Blown ashore after suffering engine trouble and hitting a reef. CG cutter Morris found crew of Capt. A.J. LaGasa, J.A. LaGasa, Alex Woche, and Paul Anderson camped on beach.


This was the Polar Bear’s first trip after being raised after hitting a reef and sinking off Kodiak in 1935. The Morris tried to convoy the Polar Bear to Cape Spencer, but, when 30 mi out to sea, the wooden propeller that LaGasa had whittled from a tree dropped off, the Morris was forced to tow the Polar Bear to Sawmill Bay where it awaited a two-blade, 40″ steel metal prop built by Jack English at the machine shop

Source: Seward Gateway

Again in 1938…

Vessel: Macray

Type: Diesel tug

86 tons

Date: 16 October 1938

Built: 1922

Lcation: Near Cape St. Elias, S end of Kanak Island, Gulf of Alaska.


Event narrative:

Tug swamped on shoals of Okalee Channel in Controller Bay, S end of Kanak Island and was blown ashore in 85 mi hurricane winds. Six crew escaped to the beach and rescued 2 days later by the CG cutter Morris which took them to Cordova. The SS Denali took crew to Seattle. The tug lost a scow that it had in tow. Salvage of the tug, still aground at Okalee Channel near Kanak Island, was attempted Dec. 28 by Capt. LaGasa and a crew of six aboard the Debs. The barge was said to have been salvaged as well.

Source: CR, Berman, MCC, Int’l. Reg. #2, Seward Gateway, MV 1939


Where is Captain LaGasa in 1940?

Cordoba, Alaska!

1940 Arthur J LaGasa

Cordova_Alaska_aerial_view Cordova 3


Guess what?

This was to be published only tomorrow.

I think I really need a vacation.

Catch Me if You Can: Closing Chapter Young Myra Alexandre

Yesterday I posted something unintentionally.


It was a draft article about two sisters and how I found out who they were after a two-year search…

I had kept it in store for the right occasion to post it on the blog.


Having posted it by mistake, I have decided to follow-up on this unintentional post.

Since I won’t be posting anything new on this blog until next September, unless some of Arthur LaGasa’s descendants come forward, I have decided to reblog some old posts so new readers can see the scope of all the research I have done since September 2009 when I started to write this English version of my blog about genealogy.

This story is quite similar to the story of Delia Roch or Delia Roche that we think is on this old picture…

Eliza Jane Wilson

Koeni LaGasa started the whole thing.


I had nothing to do about it.

I think this woman is Delia, but I am not 100% sure, not even 50%, not even 25%.

Being 25% sure is just half the fun of searching for lost ancestors…


I don’t believe in spirits, ghosts nor do I believe in reincarnation.

Well maybe spirits… and I can keep an open mind on reincarnation.

young Myra Alexandre

Myra Alexandre died in 1958 when I was 10 years old.

I have never met her. Myra was living in the United States and I was living in Montreal in 1958.

Myra Alexandre and William Archambeault

22 October 1902

I had heard when I was a child that my grandfather Léo Lagacé Senior once had lived in the U.S.

That was the only link between Myra and I.

I did not know Myra had ever existed before 2010 when my third cousin Sandy first contacted me on Ancestry. Since then I have found almost everything about Myra’s life, even met one of her grandsons and had breakfast with him.

So this is the closing chapter of young Myra Alexandre. 

Joe had this cabinet card in his collection when I met him last September. Joe and I went on a scanning frenzy.

Sandy had the same picture of Myra in her collection in 2010. We did not know it was her at that time.

We had few clues.

This is why we had called this young woman Bristol late 1890s.

Sandy had also these.

Phoebe (Flavie) Alexandre Lestage and Myra Alexandre Archambault

I first thought the picture of Myra was that of either Malvina Lagasse or Lillie Lagasse, my grandfather’s sisters.

Boy was I wrong!

I have come a long way since 2010 haven’t I. 

Look at those eyes…

Myra Alexandre 1877-1958

Frank Archambeault (the grandson I had breakfast with) told me his grandmother had quite a strong character.

He did not have to tell me.

Frank  also told me about little Raymond, Myra’s first child.

When Frank, Joe and I visited St. Joseph cemetery I did not know little Raymond Archambeault was resting in peace beside his daughter Marian.

Marian died when she was only 12.

Little Raymond must have been devastated by her death.

I know I would have been.

Myra Alexandre died in 1958 at the age of 81. Marian was four years old. Myra probably played with her granddaughter Marian sometimes like I do with my two grandchildren.

I love to play with my grandchildren probably like Stanislas Lagacé  seen here with his grandchildren Marie Rose Elmira and Harvey Lagasse when they were young.

I don’t believe in reincarnation, but if I did, I think I am the reincarnation of Grandpa Lagassy…

Just a thought.


Now you know why I am addicted to old pictures and why I am trying to identify who is this young woman from the past, part of Joe’s collection of old pictures…

unknown young lady

and why I am so interested in that man… a deep sea diver in Alaska,

unknown maybe Joe

and finding all the excuses in the world to keep writing this blog…