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.©
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©
'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.
Seattle Times, 28 December 1951