John Golden, PMM Library Researcher
In mid-November, a gentleman from Pasadena, CA stopped by the Library and inquired about a Frank Carver, master of the ship BANGALORE. Captain Carver was a long lost relative.
It seems that the family legend had it that Captain Carver was sailing to Singapore in 1897 when there was a mutiny on board the Bangalore led by the First Mate. The legend continues that Carver physically threw the 1st Mate overboard and ended the mutiny. Upon arriving at their destination of Singapore, Carver was stripped of command by the ship’s owners because of his actions. Carver then continued on to Seattle and eventually California where his family ran a dairy farm. Rumor has it that Carver spent much of his days imbibing at the local saloon and was a bit of a holy terror to his grandchildren.
The Carvers had a history in Searsport so it was pretty easy to find information on Frank. Captain Carver died in Artesia, California on May 6, 1939 at the age of 76 years. On March 6 of that year, he and his wife Nettie celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary. Captain Carver’s obituary listed his many voyages and ships. The obituary’s final paragraph states “The captain’s last command was the steel three sky-sail-yard ship, Bangalore, in which he went from New York to Java, Manila and London. The Bangalore, later an American ship, was then under British flag and after completing his voyage in her, Captain Carver retired from sea life.” Another obituary from the Artesia News states that “In 1895 the family came to Artesia where Mrs. Carver’s father and mother had purchased the home on Pioneer Blvd., where they have lived most of the years since. In 1896, leaving the family in Artesia, he made his last voyage on the British Clipper, Bangalore, from New York to the Philippine Islands and home.” Neither obituary made mention of any mutiny. Researching the ship’s history we could find no indication of any mutiny during it’s time at sea. The ship was lost at sea in 1908 carrying a load of coal from Norfolk, VA to Honolulu.
The BANGALORE itself had a history tied to Searsport. A number of Searsport folks bought the vessel and established the Maine Navigation Company in 1896. In addition to Frank Carver, her Searsport captains were Albert N. Blanchard, 1897-1898, 1900, 1901-1904, 1905, 1906; and Phineas Banning Blanchard 1903-1908. The BANGALORE was lost in a collision at sea in 1908.
NOTE: There is a scale model of the BANGALORE in the lobby of the Stephen Phillips Library, as well as three paintings, eleven photographs and a set of her plans in the Museum collection.