"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.

05 June 2013

❖ Summer Sail Race ❖ of 1895

L-R: Race winner Charlie Fischer
 with Tyee YC Commodore Joe Williamson.
Photo dated 1951.
Photo by the Seattle marine historian/photographer Joe Williamson,
from the archives of the S. P. H. S.©
"Charlie Fischer's old yachting trophy, from which happy members of the old Elliott Bay Yacht Club drank to the great sport of sailboat racing one gala evening in 1895, has been brought back to Seattle from Fischer's Bainbridge Island home.
      The big silver cup was Fischer's prize for winning the yacht club's 1895 race over a 16-mile course. The race began at the club, which was on Elliott Bay near where the Union Oil Co. dock now is situated. The racers went to Four-mile Rock, then toward a buoy off West Seattle, and finished at the coal bunkers, which then were one of the most important installations on the waterfront.
      Fischer had built his boat himself and had launched her only two days before the race.
Charlie Fischer and crew, 1895.
Original photo from Joe Williamson collection,
from the archives of SPHS©
      The boat was named the DOLPHIN, and Fischer knew she was a good craft, but in spite of the boat and his racing skill he was in second place as he rounded the buoy and went into the home stretch. The wind was bad, and Fischer knew that common sense said to use a little caution.
      'But I decided to take a chance. I told myself, I'm going for a swim or I'm going to win. I won.'
      For more than half a century the cup which Fischer won has been a prized possession. He has shown it to anyone who has visited him at his home at Eagledale and has talked boats.
      One of the visitors whose interest in boats has never waned was Joe Williamson, a marine photographer and newly elected commodore of the Tyee Yacht Club. Williamson's wife, Evelyn, is Fischer's niece.
      On a recent visit to Seattle, Fischer handed Williamson the cup. 'I want to give this to someone who really likes boats. The cup is yours.' Fischer said.
      Fischer's life, incidentally, also has been linked to a vessel even more historic than the DOLPHIN, though not as high in Fischer's affection
      Fischer was born in Denmark. When he came to the US as a boy about 7-yrs old, he traveled in the Cunard Line's proud ship, the PARTHIA, which had been built at Dumbarton, Scotland, in 1870.
Shown a few years after Fischer purchased passage from Denmark to USA.
Original photo from the archives of the S. P. H. S.©

      That ship calls Seattle her home. She is now the Alaska Steamship Co's VICTORIA, the oldest active ship in the American merchant marine.
Writer unknown.
Seattle Times, 28 December 1951

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