"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.

19 September 2016


ON 126766
128' x 19.5' x 6'
Original photo rom the archives of the S.P.H.S©
"The sternwheeler CITY OF ABERDEEN was built in 1891 on Grays Harbor, the same year she was sent to Puget Sound to operate on the Seattle-Olympia route for S. Wiley Navigation Co.
      She was commanded by a colorful character known as 'Hell-Roarin'Jack.' This steamer was noted for impromptu races, during which, anything flammable in the cargo was apt to be used for fuel. She once consumed several cases of choice bacon in a tussle with the GREYHOUND. As a result, she was almost worn out by 1907, but was completely rebuilt, given even more powerful engines and renamed VASHON."
"Under her new name the VASHON ran between Seattle
and Bremerton in the excursion trade and on summer
runs to a resort at Useless Bay, Whidbey Island."

Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©

Above notes from Pacific Steamboats. Newell and Williamson. Bonanza Books.
A Saltwater People post about one of the CITY OF ABERDEEN races can be viewed here
1907: She was renamed VASHON and chartered by Schubach and Hamilton, to run out of Seattle, on the Alki Point excursion route. After extensive overhauling, she started on that route on 4 July, making hourly departures from the City Dock in Seattle. 
1911: "On 28 November a fire, presumably caused by spontaneous combustion, totally destroyed the steamer VASHON in Guemes Channel. The vessel owned by Mackie Bros who used the vessel in connection with their Whidbey Island resort. The occasional visitor to this port [Friday Harbor] was a total loss. Captain Robert Fredericks and the crew barely escaped.
      V. Widup, one of the firemen, was the only member of the crew to suffer from the flames. Widup was sleeping when the fire started. When making the rounds of his men to see if they were all safe, he was found still in his bed. He was assisted to the dock where he recovered.
      The VASHON had just arrived in Anacortes from Seattle, and was tied up to the Great Northern dock when the fire started. The VASHON was one of the oldest steamers on Puget Sound. Recently she has been on the Seattle-LaConner route, and also made trips to the San Juan islands. On this trip she was serving the Island Belt Co to load salmon canned at Lummi Island. She was 342 tons, valued at $20,000, with $5,000 insurance."
Above fire report from the San Juan Islander, 1 December 1911, submitted to the archives by Richard Schneider from Orcas Island, WA.
Capt. Harry Bromley
Capt. Robert Fredericks

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