"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 Archipelago, 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 650, 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.

29 January 2016

❖ FREIGHT JITNEY going down ❖

ON 167601
Built Tacoma in 1919.
896 G.t. / 896 N.t.
130.9' x 35.2' x 9.3'
Back stamped date of May 1938.
Documented until 1946.
All that was visible of the barge JITNEY of Anacortes, WA after she sank in Elliott Bay, Seattle. She was loaded with 35,000 cases of empty cans, consigned to a floating cannery. She had just undergone repairs at Tacoma.

23 January 2016

❖ CHIEF ENGINEER without an engine

Schooner AZALEA
ON 106787
Built 1890, Fairhaven, CA.
344 G.t. 327 N.t. 
150' x 35' x 11'
This photo hung in the office of Rich Exton for many years.
Photo kindly donated by Miles McCoy of Orcas Island.
"About 1914, the AZALEA went into the Bering Sea long line cod fishing. I heard she carried 24 dories for Robinson Fisheries of Anacortes. About 1920, Robinson remodeled her, put a full deck house on and installed a one-line, one-pound, tall-can salmon fish cannery. They didn't make any money.
Leaving for the Bering.

Click to enlarge.
A little later than Eber Bruns employment.
Undated, original photo by James A. Turner of Seattle.

 From the archives of S.P.H.S.©
In 1924 I went up on her. That year we all signed on before a shipping commissioner. When he asked the skipper my duties he said 'chief engineer.' So I was chief engineer of a full rigged schooner with no power.
Eber Bruns, the highest in the rigging.
Image shared by his daughter, Ellen.
      My job with the cannery was to try and keep all engines workable, cannery boat, beach seine winches, outboards and any other thing that needed doing. That included running the cannery for about 10 days when the foreman got sick. I went back again in 1925. Long hours when the fish were running good, but fun in lots of ways.
      I was furnished a boat the first year, a 32-ft troller with a 16-HP. The second year, a 44-ft seiner with 40-HP. We used to run her up and down the coastline so I could check the winches the fishermen used on the beach for pulling seine.
      The schooner was anchored out from shore about 1/2-mile in the middle of the long bay. We had to bring water from shore in a scow, out to the cannery. We had a chute fixed up at a creek to fill the scow, then pumped it aboard.
      The AZALEA was towed from Seattle to off Cape Flattery. They sailed across the Gulf. We were met by one of our power boats and towed into Zacher Bay, Kodiak Island, AK."
Above text by Eber Bruns  (1902-1982). Shared with web admin by his daughter Ellen Madan.

1939: SOPHIE CHRISTENSON, AZALEA, and WAWONA made up the Bering Sea codfishing fleet this year, making a combined catch of 863,263 fish.

1946: Robinson Fisheries received WAWONA back from the government, succeeded in refitting her, but the AZALEA was hard-used by the Army as a barge and was not returned to service by Robinsons. AZALEA ended up in Sausalito Harbor where she sunk, stern to the old schooner BEULAH of 1882.

❖ Eber was born on Lopez Island, raised on Blind Bay, Shaw Island and then later moved with his wife, to raise their children on Orcas Island. 

      Bruns worked on the mailboat SAN JUAN II, under ownership of San Juan Transportation Company out of Bellingham, the work boat CALCITE of Roche Harbor, towing scows of lime rock to paper mills down sound, as an engineer on SALMONERO for Henry Cayou of Deer Harbor, as engineer on the ARTHUR FOSS, and on the M.V. FEARLESS, buying fish for Capt. Jones for the Deer Harbor Cannery. 
      After his time as a well-known commercial boatman on Puget Sound, the Orcas Power and Light Company hired Eber as chief engineer and operations superintendent, where he kept things running for almost thirty years.
Cod fishing schooner AZALEA 
Winter moorage tucked in behind

her big friend WAWONA.
Undated photograph by James A. Turner, Seattle. 
Original from the archives of S.P.H.S.©

20 January 2016


S.S. ISLAND MAIL (474-ft)
Adjacent to the Anacortes ferry landing.

No injuries. 
Standing by in this photo, 
the USCG, an unknown tug, 
and the beautiful Seattle yacht THEA FOSS.
Wire photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
"The C-2 motorship ISLAND MAIL of American Mail Line, commanded by Capt. H.D. Smith and in charge of Capt. Dewey Soriano, Puget Sound pilot, struck a submerged object off Smith Island between Port Townsend and Anacortes, 29 May 1961. 
      A 134-ft gash, ten feet in width, was torn in the vessel's hull on the starboard side although the inner hull was only slightly penetrated. Even so, it was necessary to beach her in 25-ft of water off Fidalgo Island to prevent her sinking in deep water. Following temporary repairs, she was towed to the Todd Seattle Yard for dry docking and major repairs. The litigation was lengthy."
Above text from the H.W. McCurdy's Marine History of the PNW. Newell, Gordon. Superior.(1966)
San Juan County mariner, Skip Bold, has memories of viewing this scene on one of his early trips to the family summer house in the islands. Skip and his dad had driven up to park in the car lanes to await a westbound ferry, looked over the hood, and saw this big girl within 200-ft of the shore.

18 January 2016

❖ MONDAY'S MARINERS, manning SLO-MO 10 ❖

Merlin Montgomery at the outboard and
Cecil Padfield stood by with pike pole.
Carpenters aboard SLO-MO 10
Seattle Army Terminal.
Click to enlarge.

Original photo back stamped 15 July 1956,
from the archives of S.P.H.S.©
Thousands of hydroplane participants have heard of one SLO-MO but this particular one was only known by a few people in the Seattle Army Terminal.
      It was a craft made up of four old hot-water tanks, about 60-gallon capacity each, planked over with lumber and powered by an outboard motor.
      Horsepower of this SLO-MO: 10.
      Purpose: To transport her crew safely around Elliott Bay, while the men aboard checked the condition of the pilings and the fender logs that took the brunt of the shock when huge transports slid in at the piers.
      Skipper of this informal SLO-MO was Merlin F. Montgomery, carpenter in the engineering division, who had been with the Seattle Army Terminal since 1950.
      "It's nice work," said Montgomery. "Oh, it gets kind of miserable in the winter, but it's all right."
      It must be more than that, because Montgomery knew just how to employ his spare time out of hunting season––he went salt-water fishing.
      Poling about among the pilings with Merlin was his first Mate, Cecil A. Padfield, who had worked as a carpenter at Fort Lawton and the Naval Ammunition Depot.
      The SLO-MO wasn't always as fancy as she was at this time. Her predecessors were mere logs, lashed together and powered by a similar motor.
      When pilings need replacement, Montgomery and Padfield advised their superiors, who called in a contractor.
      When the horizontal fender logs needed replacement, the two men did the work themselves. Those were the logs that took the most punishment from the hulls of the big ships.
      Cedar fender logs lasted about 10 years; fir, five or six.
      Montgomery operated the motor of the SLO-MO as the men went about their daily chores. They towed new fender logs from a nearby pier when needed, drilled 2-inch holes, inserted a ferrule, ran through a 40-ft cable and attached a block of concrete.
      Logs weren't drilled before being placed in the water, or they wouldn't be balanced. About 200 of them were in use at the Seattle Army Terminal.
      The two men had electric drills, bars, wrenches and life jackets.
      Looking for trouble wasn't half as bothersome as finding it. In emergencies, the men went out regardless of weather. Their toughest spots were at the end of piers, where there was the most wind and motion.
      Men of humor, Montgomery and Padfield knew how to salute an exciting sport.
      They called their craft the SLO-MO in affectionate fun, for obvious reasons.
Research from The Seattle Times, 15 July 1956. 

15 January 2016


Mouth of Chimacum Creek.
Litho postcard from the archives of S.P.H.S.©
"The Joe Kuhn Clambake was perhaps the earliest of Port Townsend's community celebrations. Begun in 1866 and continuing episodically into the next century, the festive, and often ribald, occasion was traditionally held at Kuhn spit near Chimacum Creek. The date was flexible, but the invitation invariable:

Nika Tillicums, Klosh nanitch: Al-ki nika tickey manook ict hyas Potlatch, caqua nesika mamook ahn kottie. Mesika kiosh charco copa Port Townsend, kah Klallam Siwash mitlite ahn kottie, wake syah Chimacum Creek, kah nesika mamook hyu he-he; pe manook tin-tin, pe much a muck-byu Clams, pe clap klosh chuck. Spose nika nanitch pirechuck, nika iskum delate sullox-klosh wake lo-lo. Klosh charco pe lo-lo konaway tenas man pe tenas klootchman, pe tenas sap-olil icktas. Spose mesika wake charco, nika iskum sick tum-tum.

My friends please take notice: Soon I wish to make a big clambake such as we made long ago. You please come to Port Townsend where the Klallam Indians lived long ago, not far from Chimacum Creek, where we will have lots of amusements and music, and eat plenty of clams, and fine good water. If I see any liquor I will be angry-don't bring any. Please come and bring the little boys and girls, and things made of flour. If you fail to come I will be sorry."
City of Dreams, A Guide to Port Townsend. Simpson, Peter. Bay Press. (1986)

Every summer Kuhn would load locals aboard a boat
and head to Kuhn Spit near Chimacum Creek.
There, the group would eat clams, drink whiskey,
make music, and debauch until dawn.

11 January 2016

❖ MONDAY'S MARINER, Barbara Leighton, 1930

Miss Barbara Leighton
Transatlantic crossing January 1930.
Photo by Acme
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
      Driving famous schooner WANDERBIRD, commanded by Captain Warwick M. Tompkins, who later brought his ship to live and be loved in San Francisco. They are sailing 'er home on a transatlantic, 5,000 mile crossing from Vigo, Spain to Miami Beach, FL. There was a crew of 6 men and 2 women. Barbara was from New Haven, CT.
      According to one report the journey took 48 days. 

08 January 2016


322' x 45.3' x 25.5'
Built in 1899, Bath, ME.
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
Donated by Skip Bold.
Click to enlarge.
      "The American four-masted bark EDWARD SEWALL arrived at Seattle, WA, on 6 August 1914, after a passage of 293 days from Philadelphia. This was the last westward passage of the Horn by an American ship. In addition to this distinction, the SEWALL's passage (one of the longest in recent times) is noteworthy in the history of the Cape Horn trade on account of accident and a run of headwinds exceeding the usual experience of vessels in negotiating that difficult corner.
by artist/author  W.S. STEPHENSON, USN.
 SHIPS, A Collection of Marine Illustrations.
Ben Kreis Agency, Vancouver, WA. 1947

Archived S.P.H.S. Library.
      The EDWARD SEWALL, under command of Capt. R. Quick, sailed from Philadelphia, 18 October 1913, for Seattle. While in the South Atlantic her bowsprit broke, and she was compelled to put back to Bahia Blanca. After repairs, she sailed from the latter port on 9 Jan. 1914. A few days later the bowsprit again gave trouble, necessitating a second return to port. On 1 March she again set sail from Bahia Blanca, after a loss of about two months' time.
      On 10 March, the SEWALL passed through the Strait of Le Maire. Four days later she had reached a position west of Cape Horn. On the 15th she was within three miles of the beach. At this moment the wind hauled ahead. During the next five days, the vessel made a course almost due south, arriving on the 19th at a point 68 W., 60.20 S., or about 300 miles south of her position on the 14th.
      During the next three days, a number of tacks were made, resulting in a net loss of westing. Between 22 and 26 March, the vessel made about 300 miles of westing and reached a point 79.09 W., 60.40 S. This was the farthest south made during the struggle to weather the Cape.
Off Cape Horn
      Two days later (28 Mar.) the SEWALL's position was 80.05 W. 60.10 S. This was the best westing so far made since 13 Mar. During the next nineteen days a number of tacks were made, the net result of which carried the vessel to a position 67.26 W., 56.09 S. Thus, all the westing which had been gained since 13 Mar was lost, and the vessel was now about 35 miles due east of Cape Horn. A whole month's work had gone for nothing!
      During the next three days (16-19 April) the vessel made about 250 miles of westing. Between 19 April and 4 May, many tacks were made. At one time (26 April) the SEWALL reached a point 76.57 W., which longitude had been reached a month previously. She was driven back, and on 4 May had arrived at the longitude of 71.47 W.
      The latter date marks the turning of the corner, the end of a fight which had lasted without intermission for two months. Between 4 and 6 May the SEWALL made a course nearly due west. At midnight on the 6th, she crossed the meridian of 76 W., which position she had previously reached on two occasions (28 Mar and 26 April.) From this time the course lay north and west. On 8-9 May the position was about 79 W., 55 S. Cape Horn had been weathered. The hard-fought battle had been won.
Courses made by American Ship
From Last Days of Sail on the West Coast,
Walter MacArthur. (1929)

      The full period occupied in making the passage from 55 S. in the Atlantic to 55 S. in the Pacific (10 Mar-8 May) was 59 days. Estimating the net distance in westing at 15 degrees (or 500 miles), the average gain was about eight miles a day. During the entire period, the ship traversed fifty-four courses and crossed her own tracks twenty-five times. The distance sailed on the numerous courses aggregated 3,564 miles. During the entire passage from Philadelphia to Seattle, the SEWALL traversed a distance of 23,407 miles. Excluding the time occupied in returning to Bahia Blanca and making repairs, the actual sailing time was 216 days.

      Then follows many ship log notes...
     The EDWARD SEWALL loaded at Seattle for Dublin and made the eastward passage by way of Cape Horn. Between 1915 and 1920 she made several voyages to S. American ports and to the Orient with case-oil under the ownership of the Texas Oil Co. In 1922, while lying at New Orleans, she was bought by the Alaska Packers Assoc; her name was changed to STAR OF SHETLAND. She made the passage to San Francisco by way of the Panama Canal and was then employed in the AK salmon fisheries."
 Above text from; Last Days of Sail on the West Coast. MacArthur, Walter.
 Press of The James H. Barry Co. San Francisco. (1929)
     This ship made numerous calls in Puget Sound and Alaskan waters during her active career.
     Wilfred S. Stephenson was born in Vancouver, BC, in 1912. Later a Washington artist, who formerly did commercial drawings for a Vancouver, WA printing firm. He joined the Navy where he had leisure hours at sea and mailed drawings in one at a time. The pen sketches and wash drawings gathered together by his former employer, Ben Kreis, were reproduced in the book mentioned. Especially noteworthy are the nine old sailing ships of the Alaska Packers fleet.
     During the war, Stephenson was stationed at Bremerton and Friday Harbor, later being attached to the Asiatic Fleet, stationed in China and the Philippines. He visited nearly every port in the Orient, from Japan and Russia to India. During WW II he was promoted from enlisted status to that of a commissioned officer. 

04 January 2016


Retired Columbia River pilot.
Original photo dated 1 June 1969,
from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©

Werner R. Eckhart, age 83 in this photo, was a prominent pilot on the Columbia, Snake, and Willamette Rivers. He holds a photo of the Norwegian 4-masted bark, ERBRIN, that he photographed in 1914.
      "Captain Eckhart was born in Germany, going to sea at 18, in European sailing and steam vessels. Arriving at Portland in 1909 on the British four-masted bark POLTALLOCH, he was paid off when the owners became bankrupt. He went to work as deckhand on river steamers and as watchman at port of Portland dredges and the steamers OCKLAHAMA and DIAMOND O. He qualified for both citizenship papers and a mate's license in 1915, serving as mate on the OCKLAHAMA, HASSALO, JOHN McCRACKEN, LEWISTON and SPOKANE. 
HASSALO on the Columbia River.
She was built at the Dalles in 1880 as the first
new vessel of the Oregon Railway & Nav. Co;  employed
on the middle river until 1888. She was taken to Puget Sound
for service between Seattle and Olympia and Whatcom,
later she came back to the River and converted to a towboat.

Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
     Obtaining masters papers in 1917, he subsequently commanded the JOHN McCRACKEN, PRONTO, and WENONA, transferring in 1918 to the Army Engineers and commanding the H.M. ADAMS and GEORGE H. MENDELL before becoming pilot for the Luckenbach Steamship Co in 1928."
Above quote from H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the PNW. Newell, Gordon, editor. Superior. (1966)
An Army Engineers vessel on which Eckhart sailed.
Original 8" x 10" photograph donated by San Juan County
mariner Corkey North, who had a relative, Ed Willis,
who served as radioman on this vessel before
retiring to San Juan County, WA.
All the boats link to home.

01 January 2016

❖ WRECKS ❖ SHIPS C-D (10) ❖ ❖

O.N. 209157
192 G.t., 110 N.t.
117' x 22' x 5.8' Passenger/Frt. Vessel
Blt at Dockton, WA. 1911.
Designer/project manager, Capt. Howard Bentley Lovejoy.
Master this day: son Capt. Bart Lovejoy.
Wrecked: Off West Point in Elliott Bay.
27 July 1922.
Lives lost: none.
Little steamer JUANITA being overtaken by CALISTA
Original, undated photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©

Click image to enlarge.

The CALISTA had a mail contract and on weekdays, loaded mail at Oak Harbor, Coupeville, Langley, and Clinton. She delivered mail to the same towns on her return trip.

The Day the CALISTA Went Down
by Wilbur Sherman
for the Whidbey News-Times,
23 July 1986.

"I can see Capt. Bart Lovejoy on the after-well deck of the HAWAII MARU as if it was yesterday. Tears streaming down his face. He had just lost his father's ship through no fault of his own.
      I was aboard that day with my mother, father, sisters, and boyhood sweetheart, Alice Powell. We were going to see the 'Wayfarer', a big production that was being shown in the UW stadium.
      I loved this ship. I had gone down into the engine room and found the chief engineer who was willing to talk to a boy. I was thrilled to see the triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine that had been salvaged from the WHIDBY, a steamer that had burned at the Oak Harbor dock in 1911. While talking to the engineer, the bell to slow and stop the ship came down from the wheelhouse, and as I knew that we were still a ways from Seattle, I left to see what was happening. I went up on the boat deck and there to my horror appeared out of a dense fog, the bow of the HAWAII MARU. It was immediately obvious that we were going to be sunk. We were only a few yards away and there was considerable bow wave which would indicate speed. At that point I remember hearing the bell from our Captain for full ahead. The bell was never answered.
      Afterward, while talking to the engineer of the CALISTA, I learned that the only thing that saved us from being cut in two was that the bow of the MARU crashed into the boiler and actually moved it five or six feet to one side of the hull. No steam escaped which was bound to have scalded many people and cut off their ability to get to the lifeboats and over on to the HAWAII MARU.
      The Japanese sailors put a rope ladder over the bow and quite a few passengers escaped this way. The purser of the CALISTA was assisting the passengers up onto the rope ladder. Capt. Arnold [on board as a passenger] was very involved in getting life jackets on as many people as possible.
      The ship was rapidly sinking. The deck of the CALISTA sunk to where no more could get on the ladder. At this point all left on the ship had to get into the lifeboats. Those people completely filled the ship's two lifeboats-- which were never launched--they just simply floated out of their chocks.
      My family was in one of the lifeboats that had not been released from the CALISTA. The lifeboat was starting to go down. A deckhand sitting on the bow of the lifeboat with feet hanging outside, as he was unable to get into the boat, saw what was happening and called, 'does anyone have a knife?' My dad produced a sharp knife and with one swift slice the boat was released from the CALISTA; it came back up and didn't even take on water. A tugboat in the vicinity backed into position and took one person off. The engineer escaped on the overturned workboat of the CALISTA. It was still upside down as he paddled with his hands to safety.
      I was on the bow of the MARU, watching the lifeboats clear the CALISTA. As I looked over the port side I could see the vessel was completely below water. A few minutes later she was gone.
Original photo from the 
James A. Turner Collection,
Saltwater People Historical Society©

We were only a few minutes on the Japanese ship when a small steamer, the HYAK from Seattle, came and took us on board and on to Seattle. By wireless, the Port of Seattle had been informed of the CALISTA's sinking and the steamer was sent to get the passengers. So we arrived, but what a day! We got to see the 'Wayfarer', but with the earlier excitement, I can't say that I recall too much of the pageant.
      Tribute should be paid to the captain, pilot, and crew of the HAWAII MARU. We just have to realize a masterful job of handling the big ship had to be done to see that the passengers and crew from the CALISTA were all saved in a tragic, no-fault situation. After this was over and I was in Seattle, I went down to the waterfront to see the HAWAII MARU in berth, to see if she had sustained any damage. She had a scratch in her paint across the bow. The difference between a wooden ship and a steel ship! One was in the berth and one was at the bottom of the bay."

This boat was named for Calista Kinney (1837-1920), daughter of Capt. Simeon Bartlett Kinney, who came to Whidbey Island on her father's ship the BURNHAM in 1854. Calista married Captain Howard Lovejoy on board his ship the CHALCEDONY in 1855, under sail to the Russian village of Sitka, AK.
      They later settled on Whidbey Island at Lovejoy's Point, which is now part of Coupeville. Their eldest son, Howard B. Lovejoy was an early steamboat master who became manager of the Island Transportation Co. The Lovejoys were a large, salty family--more another day.
      Thank you to author/mariner Roger M. Sherman of Coupeville, WA for permission to steal this piece from his book:
The Sinking of the CALISTA; Part I of A Maritime History of Central Whidbey Island, author published, 1998.

Wrecked, 1 August 1921
Willapa Harbor, WA.
1 August 1921

Heavy fog was the cause of the grounding and loss of the Canadian Merchant Marine freighter CANADIAN EXPORTER at the Willapa Harbor entrance on 1 Aug. 1921. En route for Portland from Vancouver to complete a lumber cargo for the Orient, she struck the beach and efforts to back her off were unsuccessful, as were later attempts to free her by the bar tug WALLULA and the BC salvage steamer ALGERINE. Heavy surf caused her to work heavily in the sand and her back was soon broken. The crews of the salvage vessels were convinced of ghostly doings when the steam whistle of the deserted wreck suddenly began a series of eerie blasts. Investigation showed that the apparently supernatural occurrence was the result of the sagging of the severed forward section of the vessel, which alternately tightened and slackened the whistle cord. The underwriters sold the wreck to H. R. MacMillan and Percy Sills of Vancouver, who made arrangements with Hugh Delanty of the Grays Harbor Stevedoring Co for skilled workers to assist in salvaging fittings and cargo. Although the considerable material was recovered, the costs of the operation were high and the salvage efforts were not a financial success."
From: H. W. McCurdy's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Newell; Superior, 1966.

672 G.t. 135' x 33' x 12.1'
Built by Edward Heath Shipyard, Tacoma.
Value: $80,000.
Christened 15 April 1903.
Wrecked; 8 Jan. 1904.
Capt. George Roberts
Lost: 51-56,
Between Smith Island and San Juan Island, WA.
8 January 1904.
 "A sinister jinx followed the Puget Sound Navigation Company's steamer CLALLAM from her cradle to the grave. When she was launched at Tacoma in 1903, a young lady swung a bottle of champagne at her bow at the christening and missed. The vessel slid down the ways with the American flag flying at her masthead upside down, the conventional signal of a dying ship.
      Among her early passengers was an old bell sheep, which made nearly every round-trip from Seattle to Victoria. It would lure sheep aboard at Seattle and off at Victoria for the market there.
      The old sheep always had fulfilled the mission cheerfully and seemed to enjoy it, but one day it balked at the gangway and no persuasion could induce it to go aboard, and she watched the ship steam out of Elliott Bay with sorrowful eyes.
      The CLALLAM, then queen of the mosquito fleet, set out across the straits from Port Townsend in a stiff southwest wind, with storm signals flying. Little did those who saw her disappear in the storm dream that they were seeing the last of the proud CLALLAM.
      The following morning this dispatch appeared in the morning papers.
      'Victoria, B.C. 8 Jan. 1904 --The steamer CLALLAM got within half an hour of port this afternoon, and since then, Victoria has been wondering what became of her.
      She was seen rolling in the heavy seas until about four miles east of Clover Point, making no headway, and seemingly in distress.
      An hour later, with her jib set forward, she was seen running before a heavy southward gale on a flood tide, her engines seemingly disabled and drifting before the wind.'
      The agent at Clover Point sighted her, but could not induce the little harbor tugs to go out. The Canadian steamer IROQUOIS set out from Sydney and the RICHARD HOLYOKE and the SEA LION set out from the American side.
      It later developed that the CLALLAM's chief engineer, Scott A. de Launay had reported a sprung deadlight, but nothing had been done about it. She doubtless was overwhelmed by the great seas that smashed her deadlights and filled the hold.
      Capt. Roberts launched the boats and put the women and children in them. All were lost. One young mother floated by holding up her baby. A man came over the side of the CLALLAM on a rope and had a tenuous hold on the baby when a great wave washed it away.
      Capt. Roberts set the crew to bailing and then the tugs appeared, got lines aboard and began towing the CLALLAM to Pt. Townsend. Roberts felt the CLALLAM sinking and signaled the tugs to cut loose and stand by to rescue the passengers. The signal was misunderstood and the CLALLAM went down.
      More than 50 of the 90 people aboard were lost, the most tragic marine catastrophe in the history of Puget Sound.
      An investigation showed that the CLALLAM carried no rockets or flares to signal for help. Her owners were fined, as were the owners of most of the other Puget Sound steamers, for operating without fog horns, flares, fire axes, or proper lifeboat equipment".
C. T. Conover, The Seattle Times.
2 March 1952
Tugboat crews rescued c. 34 survivors; they were transported to Seattle by the Alaska Steamship Co. steamer SS DIRIGO.
Bits and pieces of wreckage was sold at auction for $296.

Capt. N.E. Cousins
Owner: Pacific Coast Steamship Co.
Burned: 14 September 1916.
Three miles off Coos Bay, OR.

"There were all the makings of a terrible marine tragedy on that 14th day of Sept 1916. The $2,000,000 liner CONGRESS of the Pacific Coast Steamship Co was afire 3 miles off Coos Bay, with 423 souls aboard.
      The liner was out of San Francisco, Seattle-bound when the fire was reported in the after hold.
      It grew in intensity, spread among the general cargo, and ate its way through the hatch coves. The officers attempted to play down the situation but on board, nothing remains a secret for long. Passengers began evacuating their cabins, the saloon was emptied, the deck games ceased, and conversation became low and whispering in all sections of the ship.
1916, Oregon Coast.
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©

The purser was hounded as were the stewards. A mask of grave concern had now come over the captain's face and he conveniently avoided the passengers.
      Fire at sea can be a terrible thing. If allowed to go unchecked it can result in a terrible ordeal. Thus no stone was left unturned by the ship's master.
      When all reports were in, he was convinced that the fire was out of control. He headed directly for the wireless room. 'Sparks!' Get out an urgent call for assistance.'
      The anxious passengers under the all-seeing eye of the crew were herded to their lifeboat stations, clad in the jackets. As they went, the ship's whistle blasted its weird warnings. Outside of some emotional women, the operation went like clockwork.
      Both excitement and fear prevailed among the passengers. None among them had ever been forced to take to lifeboats while on the high seas. Fortunately, the water was calm. One after another the boats were lowered from the davits until a sizable fleet hovered about the liner like ducklings turned away from their sick mother.
      The fire blazed hotter and hotter as the breeze fanned it. The liner was like a blast furnace. So enthralled were the survivors with the fire that many were unaware of the arrival of the rescue lifeboat from Coos Bay.
      Other ships including the government dredge OL. P.S. MITCHIE arrived on the scene. The lifesaving craft flitted like a water-bug transferring survivors to the larger vessels. Soon all of the passengers and crew of the CONGRESS had been evacuated from the lifeboats.
Now the CONGRESS was aflame from stem to stern. The salvage tug SALVOR arrived and tried to get near the liner. The heat raised paint blisters on the tug and she retreated, content to let the fire run its course.
      Never did a ship burn more thoroughly and not sink. Everything above the waterline was consumed except the steel hull and superstructure that was seared and scorched into a smutty black. The liner got so hot that witnesses said it actually glowed red through its steel plates. No living thing could get within 50-ft of her.
      The blackened ghost was towed to Seattle and rebuilt for the China Mail Steamship Co at a cost of $2,000,000, the amount for which she was originally constructed. It required 14 months to complete the job.
      Renamed NANKING she entered service to the Orient. But shadows of opium smuggling and white slavery crept into the life of the liner. Several times on arrival at San Fran she was libeled for $1,000,000. For this and other reasons, her owners folded financially.
      Next, the ship reverted to her original owners as the EMMA ALEXANDER and again entered coastwise passenger service. She was laid up in the late 30s, and not restored to service until WW II. The British took her over as the transport EMPIRE WOODLARKS, and she weathered the ravages of the hostilities. In a half-century of service, the fire off the Oregon coast in 1916 was her only serious setback."
From: Shipwrecks of the Pacific Coast. Gibbs, James A., Jr. Binfords & Mort. 1957.p 1950-52.

ON 207806
Capt. and owner John Courage of Seattle, WA
3 m gas schooner built by Hall Bros in 1883 at Port Blakely, WA.
394.36 G.t./ 374.65 N.t. burden
142.6' x 34.6' x 11.3'
Wrecked; 15-mi WSW of Noyes Island, AK.
The crew of 11 saved by TORDENSKOLD.
20 August 1929.
All crew saved.
Value $23,000 + 2,500 lbs of halibut. Vessel insurance $10,000. Cargo insurance none.

ON 215145
Blt 1917, 
by St. Helens Shipbuilding Co. , 
St. Helens, OR.
190' x 43' x 15.4' Steam Sch.
Owned by E. H Stahlbahm, S.F.
Wrecked 10 February 1937 
Location: N 42° 44.589 W 124° 29.568
Battle Rock, 
Port Orford, OR.
Lives lost: none. 
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
A number of well-known PNW vessels vanished from the maritime scene in 1937, both through accident and at the hands of shipbreakers. The steam schooner COTTONEVA, purchased only a week earlier at a foreclosure sale by Charles R. Ayers of San Fran, stranded off Port Orford, OR on the night of 10 Feb 1917 during a 75-mile-an-hour gale. The 26 crew members were removed safely by breeches buoy, but the wooden vessel became a total loss. The COTTONEVA had been bound for Grays Harbor from L.A., at the time of her stranding.
Text from H. W. McCurdy's Marine History of the PNW; Gordon Newell, editor. Superior. 
Pacific Coast Steamship Co.
Capt. C.P. McCarthy of Seattle, WA.
A steam schooner built at Hall Bros. Shipyard, WA. 1906.
Lost: 18 Jan. 1915
Steam schooner DELHI,
Lost 18 January 1915.
Original photo from the archives of S.P.H.S.©
The DELHI hit an uncharted rock and stranded at Straits Island reef, AK. Salvagers towed her to Prince Rupert, BC where she was rendered worthless with a huge hole torn out of the bottom timbers. Loss set at $140,000. The crew of 27 survived. Text: H.W. McCurdy's Marine History of the PNW. Newell, Gordon, editor. 

for the CLARKSDALE VICTORY tragedy
Alaska Steamship Company
Captain Ben Aspen
US Army Transport
Captain: Gerald Laugeson
Location: Hippa Island, BC.
24 November 1947.
Victims: 49 crew reported lost.
Rescue attempt from the crew of
DENALI at scene of the wreck of the
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
Nine men whom death brushed terribly close, when they launched a lifeboat in tempestuous seas in a heroic but futile effort to take aid to survivors of the wrecked CLARKSDALE VICTORY on Hippa Island, landed at Pier 42 yesterday afternoon aboard the Alaska passenger vessel DENALI.
      “We were mighty lucky to get back alive,” said big Chris Nilsen, first mate of the DENALI, an Alaska Steamship Co vessel.
      Forty-nine men––all but four of the crew were lost when the CLARKSDALE VICTORY, an Army transport, piled up on a reef of Hippa Island, off the Northern B.C. coast.
      Nilsen had command of the lifeboat, and eight of the crew went with him. They could see the severed bow section of the transport hanging on the reef, but huge breakers made it impossible to approach it.
      As the only possible alternative, the lifeboat crew attempted to row around to the opposite side of the island, the northeast side, where there was calmer water. They planned to land there and make their way across the steep little hump of an island to the wreck scene, where coast guardsmen in a plane had seen three survivors.
      The lifeboat crew fought waves in an attempt to skirt the island, but it was not long before they saw there was no chance––human strength just could not do it.
      They had been swept within 100 yards of the reef which held the CLARKSDALE VICTORY bow when they gave in.
      “There wasn’t a chance of making it around the island. We started back to our ship. We rowed for a full hour before we could make any headway,” Nilsen said.
      Capt. Ben Aspen, the master of the DENALI, saw the plight of his men and put his ship about, to return for them. He had moved the DENALI about a mile offshore, but now he swung her in closer and got the lifeboat in her lee.
      “We couldn’t save the boat, but we felt pretty lucky just to get back to our ship and lucky again to get aboard. The deck crew threw us a line and put nets over and we cut the lifeboat loose and clambered up the side.”
      Nilsen praised his lifeboat crew as “good men,” and said it was fortunate they were all huskies” or they would not have been able to row their boat away from the island, once in the grip of the current and waves.
      Third Officer William M. Rasmussen, and Clair E. Driscoll were flown in a Coast Guard plane to Ketchikan and Second Mate Henry H. Wolfe, was flown to Annette Island and taken by boat to the hospital.
      The fourth survivor, Carlos Sanabria, of Honduras, was aboard the cutter WACHUSETTS, that continued the search for bodies.
      With Nilsen in the lifeboat were Boatswain Jack Adams, Quarter-masters Ed Rod and James Nelson, and Martin Carlson, John Totland, Cecil Longacre, Ralph Erlandson and Reino Ross, able seamen.
      Capt. Aspen said he could not understand how the CLARKSDALE got so far off course as to hit Hippa Island. He showed a sketch that he had made of the island, that showed Hippa as a small, steep hump in the sea.
      A second landing party was set ashore on the island this forenoon in a final search for missing crewmen.
      A party was to go aboard the bow section of the wreck as soon as winds and seas abate.
Text from the Seattle-Times Nov. 1947.

Capt. C.J. Dugan
Lost 12 January 1913
Coos Bay, OR.
Lost: 24 seamen
1,045 G.t. 793 N.t.
216' x 30.8' x 14.1'
475 indicated horsepower.

Original photo from Saltwater People archives©

"The most disastrous shipwreck from the standpoint of loss of life in the Coos Bay area occurred in 1910. The CZARINA crossed out over the Coos Bay Bar, bound for San Francisco with coal, cement, and lumber. 
      As she crossed the bar tremendous breakers mounted to great summits, crashing and foaming. Pitching like a pump handle, the ship poked its nose into one, hoisted it aside and tackled the next. It was a touchy game and one that might have been victorious for the steamer had not its steering apparatus become disabled.
      It took only seconds for the seas to move in for the kill. The CZARINA was literally thrown on the north spit, an open target for the laughing tempest. The steamer scraped over the shelves of sand, each breaker wedging her tighter than the last. When she became immobile the seas really settled down to business. Gray, gruesome, liquid acclivities bore down on the imperiled ship. Holes were opened in her decks, the boats were torn from their davits, the cowls, railings, and fittings carried overboard. Water scudded through the superstructure, down the passageways, into the holds. The onslaught was indescribable.
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
      The nearby lifesaving station was alerted, but the seas were so savage that rescue was a virtual impossibility. Beach equipment was rushed to the scene but even as it was assembled the desperate men on the CZARINA were already in the rigging of the foremast trying desperately to escape. The 220' iron vessel was foundering amidst the breakers and her heavy cargo fastened her to the bottom.
      By this time hundreds had gathered on the beach. All wanted to render aid but were completely helpless. In the sea mist far out in the breakers, beyond the reach of the line-throwing gun, they could see the helpless seamen clinging for their very existence. Few can imagine their agony in their last precious minutes. Numbed by the chill air and soaked by driving salt spray, their cries for help froze in their mouths. One by one they were swept from their perch. After each rolling sea, the numbers would lessen. They appeared like spiders being spun from a web. Before the brief but terrible ordeal had ended the rigging was void of all life--24 men were carried to their deaths. There was but one survivor, the chief engineer who miraculously reached shore.
      The CZARINA wreck became a silent one. People had little desire to discuss it. It is a torment to watch men die before one's very eyes and yet be unable to do anything about it.
      The CZARINA was valued at $75,000 and was a staunch iron-hulled vessel, an 1883 product of Sunderland, England."
Text from: Shipwrecks of the Pacific Coast. Gibbs, James A. Jr.
Binfords & Mort,1957.

ON 81534
Capt. Charles Stanley
Built Hoquiam 1896
Wrecked: 20 July 1910
Marrowstone Point, WA.
DODE (ex- Schooner WILLIAM J. BRYANT.)
Her 300 HP engine was salvaged for tug FOREST CROSBY.
98.8' x 21.6' x 7.9'
Original photo from the Saltwater People Log.©

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