- Feb 10, 2023
Seth Thomas Model 12 - Private Label - Athabasca Pocket WatchThis 1900 18 size Seth Thomas Model 12 has 7 jewels. It is Century USA grade with the movement markings "ATHABASCA" and "MADE IN U.S.A." It has a Canadian dial signed "ATHABASCA", and blued spade and whip hands. There is no serial number marked on the plate and it was uploaded to the Pocket Watch Database with the serial # ATHABASCA12A.
I do not know who commissioned the Athabasca private label pocket watches from Seth Thomas. Research has provided the following information related to the name Athabasca during the period (1885-1915) in which Seth Thomas was producing pocket watches.
1. Athabasca is a Cree Native American word meaning "grass/reeds here and there". A region in the Province of Alberta in Canada has many geographic places named Athabasca. These places include Lake Athabasca, Mount Athabasca, the Athabasca River, Athabasca Falls, the Peace-Athabasca Delta, Athabasca Oil Sands, Athabasca Pass, and Athabasca Basin where Uranium is mined.
2. The Town of Athabasca located on the banks of the Athabasca River is the center of Athabasca County in Alberta. It was known as Athabasca Landing from 1889 to 1913. Boat building became a primary business for many years in Athabasca Landing.
No one lived at The Landing until the Hudson Bay Company built a Trading Post there in 1884 where one employee and his family lived. By 1889 there were a handful of other Trading Post employees living at The Landing also.
3. From 1888 until 1897 the Hudson Bay Company operated a stern wheel steamboat, named SS Athabasca, from the Landing.
In 1896 the presence of huge quantities of gold along the Klondike River was announced. 100,000 prospectors descended on the area between 1896 and 1899. During the Klondike Gold Rush Athabasca Landing was a major stopping point for prospectors traveling on the All-Canadian Route adding to the demand for in Athabasca Landing's boat building industry. Accounts of overnight wealth for prospectors were reported in the New York Times.
4. About 500 miles downstream from the Town of Athabasca there is an Athabasca Hotel in Jasper Alberta which is also located on the Athabasca River.
5. Starting in 1885 the Canadian Pacific ran a 250 foot long Steam Ship Passenger and Freight Cruiser named Athabasca. It operated on Lake Huron and had a crew of fifty-six men. In 1909 the Athabasca ran aground on Flowerpot Island.