|Museum Ship STAR OF INDIA|
San Diego, CA.
Photo from the archives of S.P.H.S.
Click to enlarge.
EUTERPE was a full-rigged ship and would remain so until 1901, when the Alaska Packers Association rigged her down to a barque, her present rig. She began her sailing life with two near-disastrous voyages to India. On her first trip she suffered a collision and a mutiny. On her second trip, a cyclone caught EUTERPE in the Bay of Bengal, and with her topmasts cut away, she barely made port. Shortly afterward, her first captain, William John Storry, died on board and was buried at sea.
After such a hard luck beginning, EUTERPE settled down and made four more voyages to India as a cargo ship. In 1871 she was purchased by the Shaw Savill line of London and embarked on a quarter century of hauling emigrants to New Zealand, sometimes also touching Australia, California and Chile. She made 21 circumnavigations in this service, some of them lasting up to a year. A baby was born on one of those trips en route to New Zealand and was given the middle name Euterpe. It was rugged voyaging, with the little iron ship battling through terrific gales, 'laboring and rolling in a most distressing manner,' according to her log.
The life aboard was especially hard on the emigrants cooped up in her 'tween deck, fed a diet of hardtack and salt junk, subject to mal-de-mer and a host of other ills. It is astonishing that their death rate was so low. They were a tough lot, however, drawn from the working classes of England, Ireland and Scotland, and most went on to prosper in New Zealand."
Above text from the San Diego Maritime Museum.
Original photo from
Clara Abrahamsen, daughter of Hans Abrahamsen.
The family late of Doe Bay, Orcas Island, WA.
From the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
Tonnage: 1,318 g. tons, 1,247 Net tons
205' LWL, 278' sparred L x 35' x 22' (fully loaded)
Sail plan: full-rigged ship 1863-1901
Barque (1901- )
Registered in the US: 1900.
Name change: 1906.
Last sail from San Francisco to Bristol Bay, AK: 1923.
Seeing STAR OF INDIA decaying in the harbor, he publicized the situation and inspired a group of citizens to form the 'Star of India Auxiliary' in 1959, to buy the vessel for $9,000 and support a restoration. Progress was still slow, but in 1976, STAR finally put to sea again. She houses exhibits for the Maritime Museum of San Diego, is kept fully seaworthy, and sails at least once a year. With the many other ships now in the Museum, she hosts frequent docent-led school tours for over 6,000 children a year, as well as a Living History Program in which students 'step back in time' and are immersed in history and teamwork activities during overnight visits.
The 1863 STAR OF INDIA is the fourth oldest ship afloat in the US, after the 1797 USS CONSTITUTION, the 1841 CHARLES W. MORGAN, and the 1854 USS CONSTELLATION.
Unlike many preserved or restored vessels, her hull, cabins and equipment are nearly 100% original.
1961: "I graduated from high school and my father a State Park Ranger at Half Moon Bay, and an associate of Harry Dring got me a job at the "Old Ships Museum". I drove up in my 52 Chevy 4-door with my sea bag and was shown to bunk in the fo'c's'le of the C A THAYER. The THAYER, the WAMAPA and the EUREKA were in the Oakland Estuary. A couple of working tugs and the mouldering Ferryboat San Leandro on one side and a yacht harbor on the other. The memory is still vivid of rising from my historic bunk, and making coffee alone on the hotplate in the galley, before using the sea suction in the foggy sunrise to hose off all the freshwater dew from overnight to protect her old hull from rot. I met Dickerhoff and a number of other riggers, and 'gophered' for them as they were building the new lower rigging for the STAR OF INDIA which was being restored in San Diego. They strung up the cables on the main car deck of the Ferryboat EUREKA and tensioned them between posts. Those guys could make a pot of coffee! The smell of Stockholm Tar and oakum, and the spin of the mallet was constant for weeks as they wormed and served all that rigging. 20 years later, after the Marines, and college and a little life, I found Harry the king of his realm in the southern wheelhouse of the EUREKA in the new State Park at the foot of Hyde St. in SF. I rapped on the door. Harry, looking surprisingly fit, his pipe still firmly between his teeth, bid me enter. "Remember me?", I said. "Never knew a kid to have more tire trouble." was his immediate response, and I was mortified that all he could remember of me was my teen-aged lies to explain tardiness for work. Now, 56 year later, and in kidney failure, I try not dwell on the old "skipper" hospitalizing me by ordering me into the hold of the WAMAPA with a Hudson Sprayer full of pentachlorophenol until the dioxin got me. Or, the weeks I spend burning and bubbling a 1/4' of lead paint and scraping it off the bulkheads of that delightful little saloon on the same ship. Or, stripping the 1915 insulation off the steam pipes in the engine room and wrapping the dusty pipes in strips of burlap, then painted muslin to look like the original. Asbestos? You bet. Masks? You jest. I'm not too upset. I've got some great stories. P. L. Sims
Location: San Diego Maritime Museum, San Diego, CA., within the Port of San Diego tide lands. This location is slightly west of downtown San Diego, CA.
|Captain Ken Reynard|
One of the main helpers on the restoration project.
Seen here on deck of the restored 205'
STAR OF INDIA,
5 February 1973, San Diego, CA.
Original photo by Bruce Cox, from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
Click image to enlarge.
STAR OF INDIA has become one of the landmark ships in San Diego's Harbor.
WAY TO GO SAN DIEGO!
For some behind the scenes talk and history of this great San Diego preservation team click here
A Link to San Juan County:
|Rigger Hans Abrahamsen (1876-1956)|
Moved to Doe Bay in 1907.
Sons Al and Harry both worked on the water; some of Al Abrahamsen's work was connected to hardhat diving for salvage from the much publicized wreck of the DIAMOND KNOT, posted here.
|Copy of a document from the Hans Abrahamsen family.|
Note signature of the highly regarded author/ WA. historian,
serving as the Hawaiian Consul.
Copy in the archives of the S.P.H.S.
Click to enlarge.