"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.

About Us

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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.

18 November 2015


L-R: Author, editor GORDON NEWELL (1913-1991)
Captain Shaver
aboard Steamer PORTLAND,
 27 November 1966.

Delivering 70 years of maritime history pages
 from the Oregon printers to the Washington publisher.

Original photo from the archives of S.P.H.S.©
If you have found yourself involved with any maritime history research of boats or their operators, you've probably found yourself buried in or pointed in the direction of a copy of the H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest. These texts are a little scarce but are found at most important libraries and places of research, an invaluable aid for those studying Washington, Oregon and British Columbia waterfront life. 
      Here is a news clipping that revealed the release of the monumental effort:
     " A truck loaded with 800 books, weighing a 6,200 pounds, left the Lincoln $ Allen Co Bindery, 1600 SE Division Street, Friday afternoon for Seattle, to deliver the first batch of the H. W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest.
      Covering 70 years of maritime history in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, each copy of the book contains 776 pages and weighs 7.75 pounds. It is bound with a heavy imitation leather cover, with a stamped design on the front and back, similar to that of the Lewis and Dryden Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, which was published in 1895. The new book picks up history where the Lewis & Dryden book left off.
      The McCurdy book was compiled and written by Gordon Newell, Seattle and Olympia author, after H. W. McCurdy, Seattle shipbuilder and historian, made a grant of $25,000 as a starting fund. Superior Publishing Co, Seattle, was given the publishing contract.
      Printing, however, was done in Portland by the Graphic Arts Center, which ran more than 1.5 million pages through its presses. The book contains approximately one million words and 1,000 illustrations.
      Composition was done in Portland by Litho Compositors of Oregon, and negatives and half tones were made in Seattle by Artcraft Engraving Co. The paper, weighing 17,000 pounds, came from an Everett, WA, mill; the binding material was from New York. Ten days were required for binding the 2,000 copies.
      The first load was delivered to Superior Publishing Co which will distribute the copies to founder-subscribers who reserved copies at $50 and $75 each. In three days time it will be the official publication date, after which the price will be boosted to $100 a copy, according  to the publishing firm."  Unidentified newspaper clip from 27 November 1966.

Gordon Newell wrote many books including:
So Fair A Dwelling Place
S.O.S. North Pacific
Ships of the Inland Waters
Pacific Lumber Ships
Ocean Liners of the 20th Century
Pacific Steamboats
Pacific Tugboats
Pacific Coastal Liners
Totem Tales of Old Seattle
Westward to Alki

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