"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.

10 January 2015

❖ E. R. STERLING ❖ Many Masts and Many Names.

Home port, Seattle.
Lying in the West Indian Dock, London,
to sail no more.
Original photo dated 17 May 1930
from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©

Six-masted Barque E.R. STERLING of Seattle, WA.
West Indian Dock, London.
With loss of three masts and her first officer. 
The French ships carpenter examines the stump of 
the lost mizzen mast. 
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©

In the above photos in our collection, the famous E. R. STERLING of Seattle, is a sorry mess after a voyage of nine months from Australia, where she had been idle for a year, under command of Capt. E. R. Sterling.  She was caught in a gale off the Falkland Islands on 4 July 1929. Two months later in the latitude of the Cape Verde Islands she experienced another storm, lost her first officer, Roderick Mackenzie, and three masts. Under jury rig, she reached St. Thomas on 15 October. The Dutch tug INDUS towed the STERLING, with her load of wheat, 4,000 miles to the Thames River, England, arriving 28 January 1930. She is photographed at the West Indian Docks, London. After discovering the prohibitive costs of repairing, Capt. Sterling sold his vessel to the Sunderland shipbreakers, where she was dismantled for scrap.
      There has been an inquiry to a history research friend in Seattle, so we shall list the little we know regarding this vessel. It is a guideline. In McCurdy's Maritime History of the PNW, the date of her scrapping is listed as 1927/28 but this above photo has a professional date stamp of 1930.

1883, 21 July. Launched as LORD WOLSELEY. She was built by Harland & Wolff at Belfast, Ireland, as a 4-masted iron ship. Delivered to Irish Shipowners Co. (T. Dixon & Sons), Belfast.
GRT 2,576; NRT 2,518; 308.2-ft x 42.9-ft x 25.1-ft

1898.  Sold to J. C. Tideman & Co., Bremen and renamed COLUMBIA. She was reduced to a barque.
Somewhere in this time period she reverted back to her original name of LORD WOLSELEY.
ON 212613
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
1903. (This date stands to be corrected.) Sold to a Seattle group including lumberman Everett G. Griggs, steamship owner Joshua Green, C. E. Peabody, Vancouver, renamed EVERETT G. GRIGGS.  Still flying the British flag, she was re-masted, re-rigged as a 6-m barquentine, the first in the world.

Launched as 4-masted LORD WOLSELEY, 

Belfast, Ireland 1883.
This typeset text on verso by a Wilbur J. Smith.
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©

1910. Sold to E. R. Sterling, Blaine, WA, and renamed E. R. STERLING.

1930 Broken up in England.

H. W. McCurdy's Marine History of the PNW; Newell, Gordon, editor.
List of Merchant Vessels of the United States 1915. Bureau of Navigation.
Verso of the 1930 photo, S.P.H.S. collection.

On the back of the above matted photo of the EVERETT G. GRIGGS, Wilbur J. Smith has noted that the German Navy was using the GRIGGS as a training vessel at the outbreak of WW I. She was seized in the South Pacific as a Prize of War, and sold to the St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber Co. The data is printed verso.

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