Whalers No More by W. A. Hagelund, published by Harbour Publishing of Madeira Park, B.C. in 1987, is a history of 20th C. whaling on the coast of Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska. Hagelund signed on the steam whaler BROWN at Victoria in 1941 at the age of 17. Hagelund has a lively writing style and describes his adventure in detail, as the BROWN hunts whales off the Queen Charlottes. Coal-fired with no electric plant and no pilot house, life on these steamers was very old fashioned by 1941 standards.
|Top two photos, coastal whaling|
station at Gray's Harbor, WA.
click to enlarge.
Photos from the archives of S.P.H.S.©
The ships were powered by 3-furnace scotch boilers and triple expansion engines of 350-HP. There were a number of whaling stations along the coast, and the ships wintered at Victoria. One man owned all of the stations and ships, which included several American flag ships built at Seattle. These wintered in Meydenbauer Bay, Bellevue, on Lake Washington. The owner, William Shupp, had his home there. The business collapsed after WWII. The ships were sold and scrapped, except the SS GREEN, that remained in Victoria Harbor, and is still there. But all that remains is a rusted boiler and a few bits and pieces. She sank at her dock in 1968."
WHALERS NO MORE won the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize in 1988.
Keith Sternberg is an engineer, of course, from Lopez Island, WA.
Stay tuned for a column with more of Sternberg's written work and also a post with some of his engineering feats.