Leffingwell Camp, Flaxman Island

The remains of the Leffingwell Camp are on Flaxman Island, about 58 miles (93 km) west of Barter Island on the Arctic coast of Alaska. The camp was used by polar explorer and geologist Ernest de Koven Leffingwell during the Anglo-American Polar Expedition of 1906–1908. Leffingwell created the first accurate map for this section of coastline. He was the first to scientifically describe permafrost, and to accurately identify the oil potential of the area. The expedition support ship, the Duchess of Bedford, was intentionally locked in sea ice and eventually crushed. The explorers salvaged the wood and built a cabin, the remains of which are now a National Historic Landmark. Following the destruction of the Duchess of Bedford, the expedition was evacuated by Captain George B. Leavitt on the whaler Narwhal. Leffingwell subsequently named Leavitt Island and Narwhal Island on the Arctic coast of Alaska. Learn more about Leffingwell and the Polar Expedition here, and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore Flaxman Island and the Arctic coast.