"Of all national assets, archives are the most precious:
they are the gift of one generation to another,
and the extent of our care of them marks the
extent of our civilization." Arthur Doughty.

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San Juan Islands, Washington State, United States
A society formed in 2009 for the purpose of collecting, preserving, celebrating, and disseminating the maritime history of the San Juan Islands and northern Puget Sound area. Check this log for tales from out-of-print publications as well as from members and friends. There are circa 500, often long entries, on a broad range of maritime topics; there are search aids at the bottom of the log. Please ask for permission to use any photo posted on this site. Thank you.

13 October 2012

❖ A Ship for Captain Louis Van Bogaert ❖

Captain Louis Van Bogaert
Original 1957 photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
"Captain Louis Van Bogaert, who retired in 1957 after 54 years on Puget Sound vessels, had a special fondness for one boat, the ROSALIE.
      He had gone to work on the ROSALIE as a watchman in 1910, later he was second mate, then first mate, and finally, in 1914, her skipper.
      So the captain was especially happy about a gift which he took back to his home in Alhambra, CA, after a visit in Seattle.
Ralph C. Hitchcock
Ship model maker, 1965, Lopez Island.
Original photo from the archives of the S. P. H. S.
      It was a bottle with a scale model of the ROSALIE in it.
      The model was the work of Ralph C. Hitchcock, a retired Boeing engineer. In retirement he became a professional model builder, producing 22 models, most all of museum quality. Mr. Hitchcock and his wife lived on Lopez Island for several years and bestowed 3 ship models to the collection of the Lopez Historical Museum. His work also went to the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society, the WA. State Hist. Museum and the Smithsonian.
     Hitchcock and his wife, Eva, had driven from CA to Seattle with Capt. Van Bogaert and on several occasions Van Bogaert had wanted to stop and look for a bottle with a ship model in it. But Hitchcock always found an objection.
      'I'll get you a bottle,' Hitchcock kept saying.
      But Van Bogaert was surprised when the bottle turned out to have a model which Hitchcock himself had made.
      Hitchcock made the model of the famous Puget Sound passenger ship the FLYER which is in the aforementioned State Museum at Tacoma, but the ROSALIE is the first model he ever assembled in a bottle.
      'And it only took twice as long to make as I thought it would,' he said. That made it an 85-hour job.
      The model was in 34 pieces before Hitchcock began assembling it inside the bottle, which has a neck with a diameter only three-quarters of an inch across.
      The ROSALIE, 136-ft, was built in Alameda, CA in 1893. She carried passengers between San Francisco and Oakland when it cost only a nickel to make the trip.
      The ROSALIE came to Puget Sound, but when gold was discovered in AK she was put into service between Seattle and the North. Among her skippers while she was owned by the Alaska Steamship Co was Capt. Johnny (Dynamite) O'Brien.
      Much of the ROSALIE's service was in the San Juan Islands as part of the Puget Sound Navigation  Co. fleet. That was where Van Bogaert served aboard her.
      The ROSALIE's career came to an end 22 June 1918 when she caught fire while tied to a pier on the Duwamish Waterway and was a total loss."
Above text from The Seattle Times. 1965
Ralph HItchcock recorded that he had made 22 ship models up to this date.

 Steamer ROSALIE, 
West Sound, Orcas Island, WA.
The captain left his Orcas home in 1903 to sign on the  
shrimper VIOLA. He worked on the water for 54 years.
When a passenger asked him if he knew 
where all the rocks were on his route--
he replied--'No, But I know where they aren't."
Photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©


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