The story of ‘The Chacon’
DOWN MEMORY LANE
The Chacon, a 100 ton wooden boat owned by Thillman Wallace of Chugiak, has been sitting along the Old Glenn Highway between the Birchwood exits since 1984. Wallace first spotted the grounded vessel while on a fishing trip out of Homer. An adventurer at heart, Wallace fell in love with the old, waterlogged fishing boat that was half tipped over and grounded on a beach. He paid the owner $5,000, and rescued it with the intention of restoring it for a trip around the world.
But the project was much more extensive than Wallace expected. At 82 feet long, 18 feet wide, and 100 tons, the deteriorating vessel turned out to be what Wallace called “having an elephant by the tail”. To get the cumbersome old boat from its beach in Homer to the Port of Anchorage required a ship surveyor, multiple patches, floating it loose at the highest tide of the year, and a crew of helpers. Then, Wallace had to pay a building mover $15,000 to truck the boat along the Glenn Highway to its present resting place.
Wallace still dreams of sailing this Chugiak landmark to foreign ports.