"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.

08 November 2014

Book Review ☛ WHALERS NO MORE ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ by W. A. HAGELUND

BOOK REVIEW BY KEITH STERNBERG

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.©
      In addition to Captain Bill's summer in the BROWN, the book is a history of the whale fishery in the Northwest, including interviews with men who sailed in the whale steamers. The stories of these men are written out just as they were spoken, so well done, that I felt like I could see and hear these old boys telling their stories. some of them were engineers, and I found their perspective very interesting. My only frustration is that one of these engineers tells a story and then says "but that's enough about engineering, you want to hear about whaling." But, of course, I do want to hear engineering stories.
      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. 


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