"The past actually happened but history is only what someone wrote down." A. Whitney Brown.

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 700, 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.

23 February 2017

❖ KEHLOKEN ❖ The Death of a Friend.

ON 225772
Built 1926, Alameda, CA.
3 Diesel engines coupled to 2 Westinghouse 
electric motors developing 950 HP.
RL 226.8' x 44.0' x 15.9'
Photo by James A. Turner, Seattle,
from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
To The Herald editor, October 1979,

"An old friend of mine died early on the morning of 19 Sept.1979 in a fire. 

      She was 53.
      Probably the majority of people now living on Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap will not recognize her name, but there was a time years ago when she figured prominently in all our lives.
      It was a time when this area was as close to paradise as I ever expect to get. Dirt roads, rolling farmlands and strawberry fields, mile upon mile of forest; houses and people few and far between. It was a time before bridges and super ferries, before developers and zoning ordinances, and this lady was a vital part of it all.
      Oddly enough, I was thinking about her just before I learned of her demise.
      She had already been a professional lady for a dozen years when she migrated here from California in 1938 with three of her sisters.
      When she moved to the Northwest, this lady changed her name to the beautiful Indian word for 'aquatic bird,' KEHLOKEN. She was of course, not a human lady, nor even alive in the strict sense of the word––except to those of us who knew and loved her.
      She was a ferryboat.
      Today's residents would scoff at her if they had met her. She had none of the glamor, the glitter, the garishness of those huge floating restaurants to which we have grown accustomed.
      She was a plain wooden ferryboat, 240-ft long and 50-ft wide.
      She glided through the water at a modest, lady-like 11 knots. Her time on the Seattle-Winslow run, dock to dock, was 40 minutes. Her passenger cabin was furnished with hard, straight-backed wooden benches. Her windows were small, square and usually flecked with white paint. Always there was a strong odor of disinfectant emanating from the men's lavatory, which permeated the entire ferry.
      There was a separate compartment for men, another for women, a third one for card
players and smokers, and a fourth that housed the coffee shop––where the accommodations were not fancy but the food delicious. She didn't even have an open deck for fresh air fiends.

      On the other hand, you could scarcely hear her smooth running Ingersol-Rand Diesel-electric engines even on the car deck. She never vibrated or rattled, even when making the turn into Eagle Harbor. She never had mechanical problems; she absolutely never broke down.
      I can recall one instance when she was out of service for two or three days with a bent tail shaft and another occasion one summer when the tide in Eagle Harbor was too low to permit her to dock at Winslow. Otherwise, she seldom missed a trip, except for regulation maintenance, that was also minimal.
      As a matter of fact, she was the most cost-effective ferryboat in the history of Puget Sound transportation.
      Her record of economy efficiency and reliability will certainly never be surpassed by her monstrous steel replacements. We depended on her and she never let us down.
      It was the KEHLOKEN that inaugurated ferry service from downtown Seattle to Suquamish and Indianola in 1938, but several years later, she arrived on the Bainbridge run and served as our boat for a decade, working alongside a variety of running mates, including her sisters, ELWHA and KLAHANIE, and the familiar SHASTA, CHIPPEWA, BAINBRIDGE and QUINAULT at various times. 
      During her years on the Winslow run, high school boys working aboard her for the summer got permanent jobs as deckhands, became mates and then captains, eventually retiring.
      When the Agate Pass Bridge was opened, bringing 'progress' to Bainbridge and North Kitsap, the tremendous increase in traffic necessitated bringing in larger faster ferries. So the KEHLOKEN moved to Vashon Island, where the commuters there depended on her for another decade.
      After that, she was relegated to the status of a spare boat, but even then, she was almost continually in service, and frequently it was on the Winslow or Kingston runs.
      State ferry officials seem to have regarded the old boats with undisguised derision, preferring to build large, gleaming, new, steel monuments to their bureaucratic tenure to replace the good old ferries (which are always labeled as 'expensive to maintain' or 'overdue for retirement.')
      So, back in 1973, with an overabundance of large, new vessels in the fleet, the KEHLOKEN was put out to pasture, even though she was still in first class condition.
      I bet they would have given their eye teeth this past summer to have had her back to help haul some of these long lines of cars waiting at Edmonds and Port Townsend!
      As I said, I was thinking of the KEHLOKEN only recently. At the time, I was aboard the crippled KALEETAN, and for the first time, I can remember, enjoying a quiet, leisurely voyage across the Sound, instead of the usual noisy, vibrating, ear-splitting Teddy Roosevelt-like charge.
      I was reminded of that the other day, in the summer of 1968, during the period when the newly arrived super ferries were being broken in. There just simply weren't enough super ferries in running condition to maintain the scheduled Winslow service. The KEHLOKEN was tied up at the maintenance yard, awaiting her afternoon rush-hour service at Vashon Island.
      So ferry officials called on Good Old Dependable KEHLOKEN to step into the breach. She did. She cleared the Winslow dock of the waiting, impatient travelers, carried them smoothly across to Seattle (in the usual 40 minutes running time), deposited them and picked up a fresh load, that the broken down KALEETAN had stranded there.
      I had the great pleasure of being onboard that trip back to Winslow. It was my last ride on the KEHLOKEN. 
      But I remarked to someone this morning, as we pulled into Winslow exactly 40 minutes after we left Seattle, "this is almost like being back on the good old KEHLOKEN."
      A few days ago I sat down in front of my television to watch the early news and beheld the KEHLOKEN, my dear old friend, being consumed by flames. I am not at all ashamed to admit that I burst into tears and wept with the same kind of grief I would have felt had I been watching the death of a long time human friend.
      My apologies to Katy Warner for usurping her usual privilege and writing this obituary, but I was afraid this longtime Bainbridge Island personality might be overlooked.
Bon Voyage, KEHLOKEN. Sail on down the line. Alki."
Above letter signed, Bob Whithed, Bainbridge Island. The Bainbridge Herald. October 1979.

1937: The KEHLOKEN (ex-GOLDEN STATE) was one of 6 former San Francisco Bay ferries put out of work by the completion of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridges. The GOLDEN STATE was towed north by the Puget Sound Tug and Barge Co.'s COMMISSIONER. 1937-1938: Capt. Walter Clarence Beachum was one of her skippers.
1983: KEHLOKEN was intentionally sunk off the southern tip of Whidbey Island.The artificial reef is popular for diving and one of the richest dives in Puget Sound. Check out this site––The Possession Point Ferry. 

20 February 2017

❖ ❖ OCTOPUS WEEK ❖ ❖ Seattle until Sunday 26 Feb 2017

Seattle Aquarium until 26 February '17

This antique postcard with a giant Pacific Octopus has no
publisher listed, but verso includes some out-of-date information
on what was commonly called a "Devilfish" in the Pacific NW.
A highly intelligent Enteroctopus dofleini grows bigger and
lives longer with it's three hearts, than any other Octopus species.
There will be one waiting to see you this week at
the Seattle Aquarium.

18 February 2017


Viewing Lummi Island from Chuckanut Drive,
Bellingham, WA
Photo by Clyde Banks, undated.
From the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
June Burn published this piece in February 1930, from mail she received from one of her readers on Lummi Island. 
One of the lovely views of which the Lummi Islander writes.
Photo by E.I. Jacobson 

from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
"I would love to tell folks about Lummi Island. On the west one can see the San Juan Islands and Juan de Fuca beyond them. Over this wide strait, our beautiful sunsets that no artist can paint. On the east we can see Mt. Baker robed in white with the waters of Hales Pass and the foothills in between.
      To the north of us lies the Gulf of Georgia, and on clear days, across miles of water, we can see Point Roberts with the Coast Range in the background. The south end of Lummi is mountainous and there people love to spend the day hiking, following trails and climbing through nature's forests. Often they see wild game, that adds to the thrill.
      At night we can see our nearest city of Bellingham all aglow and Chuckanut Drive with the headlights rounding the curves. It is a beautiful sight.
Carlisle Cannery, Lummi Island, WA.
With broadside view of fish tenders moored to
offload salmon catch. Dated 1911.

The bottom photo mailed by Lummi Island's 

Fannie Winslow Granger (1860-1921)
states this view as the boarding house where the
Carlisle Cannery bosses live. (photo undated.)
Click image to enlarge.
Original photos from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
      We have three salmon canneries and six families who are engaged in chicken raising as a business, a blue fox farm, a few large and several small ranches. We have an $18,000 school house and a township hall adjoining it. This hall is used for business meetings, basketball, and dancing. We also have a Congregational Church, the basement being used for a Grange hall.
      Our roads are good graveled roads and are being widened. In summer the traffic is as bad as on the highways. You will wonder at this, but our summer hotels explain it.
      The Hotel Grange was known years ago as Mother Grange's home, and a wonderful place it was to spend happy days. Since her death, the hotel has been run by her son and daughter, the Austins.
      Then comes the Lodge run by Mr. and Mrs. Granger. This hotel can take care of two or three hundred people. Mrs. Granger does the cooking, and talk about fried chicken and all the goodies that go with it! A four-piece orchestra entertains here twice a week. There are dancing, cards, pool, tennis and horseshoe games with a lovely sandy beach close by where marshmallows are toasted at bonfires.
"The Willows"
Lummi Island, WA. 

Lower photo of three cabins by Clyde Banks.
Original photos from the archives of the S.P.H.S.© 

From the cozy living room of "The Willows,"
Lummi Island, WA.,
this notation was written on the bottom photocard:
"It was too hot to do anything but lie in the hammock.
Weather is gorgeous."
Both photos by Clyde Banks from the archives of the S.P.H.S.© 

"The Willows", kept by [founders,] Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Taft, is the garden of flowers. Here are a dozen cabins where guests spend the nights, each with flowers of its own, and here every kind of amusement, including a weekly picnic for those who love to spend the day in the beautiful places on Lummi.
Ferry Landing at Beach, Lummi Island,
for the Gooseberry Point route.

The Post Office was officially named Beach
honoring the first Postmaster, Wade H. Beach,
and not changed until 1946.

Two original photos from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
      You can motor to Gooseberry Point and ferry across in about five minutes. The ferry makes nine trips a day, so don't forget the route!"
      Thank you, T.K., for the story. I'll be over on that ferry some of these days just to see one of your sunsets out across de Fuca way! See you tomorrow." June.
Puget Soundings. Feb. 1930
For some history notes about Lummi Island, WA., please click here

16 February 2017


Steam Schooner DIRIGO
Built in Hoquiam, WA. 1898.
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S©
"In the Gold Rush days of 1897, as a temporary measure, the Alaska Line joined forces with the Washington and Alaska Steamship Co., each contributing a boat to the Skagway run. The ROSALIE and the CITY OF SEATTLE alternated each week with sailings from the Northern Pacific Dock in Tacoma and Schwabacher's in Seattle. By July 1898, the Alaska line had chartered a second ship, the DIRIGO outright. 
      The DIRIGO was a steam schooner built at Hoquiam, WA. She was 165' x 35' x 13.50' and 843 Gross tons overall. Immediately after completion, she was placed in the Alaska trade by J.S. Kimball and Co. She was noted for her hard luck. In April 1898, she left Skagway and put in at Juneau because of condenser troubles. When she tried to come alongside the steamer CZARINA at Peoples Wharf, her engine room signals got crossed and she rammed the other vessel, badly holing her side. The CZARINA had to make a quick run to the beach at Douglas.
Undated original photo from the S.P.H.S.©
      On 9 March 1899, the DIRIGO was stranded with 100 passengers off Midway Island, south of Juneau, during a heavy snowstorm. She was on the rocks for 46 hours before she was re-floated. The steamer was commanded by two well-known officers Capt. George Roberts and Chief Engineer George Lent. On 12 March the DIRIGO was towed to Juneau and was later brought to Seattle. She was so badly damaged she required a new keel and garboard strakes. Repairs ran to about $30,000, more than a third of the vessel's value. Eventually Alaska Steam had her back on the run with the ROSALIE on a regular schedule.
      The DIRIGO figured in a more cheerful news story the same year. The 18 Oct. 1899 edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer described her return to Seattle with the largest single shipment of gold up to that time, sent by way of Lynn Canal. The metal was valued at more than $1,064,000 and weighed two tons. It consisted mostly of gold bars, melted at Dawson, that were enclosed in wooden boxes bound with steel. Two officers of the North West Mounted Police accompanied the consignment, altogether there were six armed guards standing six-hour watches. Also on board were two leather trunks containing $90,000 in gold dust from one bank and another box containing $37,000 shipped by the Alaska Commercial Co. The vessel also brought 7,500 cases of canned salmon and 78 passengers on that trip."
Above text from Alaska Steam. Lucile McDonald & the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society. Seattle. 1984.
Some of the officers who served DIRIGO:
Capt. Gus Soderman, Capt. Charles L MacGregor, Capt. George Roberts
Chief Engineer John H. Bragdon
, Capt. John A. Johnson.
1914, 11 April. Owing to increased activity in the Cook Inlet district, officials of the Alaska Steamship Co., announced they had decided to establish a regular freight and passenger route from Seward to that section of the country. To that end, steamship DIRIGO will be commissioned and pressed into service. The DIRIGO is being overhauled and will begin service in May. 
Above news clip from The Progressive. Petersburg, AK 11 April 1914.
1914, 16 November.  Commaded by Capt. John A. Johnson, foundered while in tow of the CORDOVA off Cape Spencer. The US Merchant Vessels publication lists DIRIGO was lost 40 miles east of Cape Elias. Crew safe.

14 February 2017


24 November 1931
home from a circumnavigation
on his 32-ft ketch SVAAP.
Photo by International Newsreel Photo
Original from the S.P.H.S.©
Here's a nice Valentine's Day kiss for all my history helpers. 
      This was published in November 1931 when author, explorer, William Albert Robinson, 29-yr old Boston sailor was being heartily greeted when he concluded a trip around the world consuming three and one-half years. He sailed out of New London, bound for Bermuda. He liked the trip so much he decided to continue on around the world. In all, Robinson traveled 30,000 miles and visited 435 small villages and ports, at all points of the compass. His entire crew consisted of 'Etera', a native of Tahiti, and himself.
      The news reporter for the day decided this was Robinson's mother, but something makes me believe that might be an alternative fact with the name of Florence Crane.

08 February 2017

❖ SALTY FERRY HIYU ❖ heading for fresh water today

ON 508159
Cost when new: $750,000.
Photo and article below courtesy of Marine Link 7 Feb. '17
Washington State Ferries (WSF) has sold its smallest retired ferry, HIYU, for $150,000 to Menagerie Inc., who plans to repurpose the vessel as a floating entertainment venue.
     “We make every effort to keep our retired ferries operational, instead of being sold for scrap,” said WSF Chief of Staff Elizabeth Kosa. “I’m pleased the HIYU will continue to serve Washingtonians on the water in her second life as a floating entertainment locale.”
     At 162-feet-long, the ferry is considered to be the among "cutest and most cherished" in Washington history, WSF said, but with only a 34-vehicle capacity, lack of ADA accommodations and high maintenance costs, HIYU outlived her usefulness to move people and goods across the Puget Sound, making her final sailing on July 23, 2015.
      The 1967-built HIYU, which in the Native American language Chinookan means “plenty”, has served several different routes over the course of her 50-year career, most notably the Point Defiance/Tahlequah and San Juan Islands inter-island routes. After being put in storage in the late 1990s for over a decade, the HIYU reemerged in recent years as a relief vessel and has become known and loved as “baby HIYU.”

     Now the 50-year-old ferry is due to officially change hands Wednesday, February 8, when it will be towed from the Eagle Harbor maintenance yard. HIYU will travel through the Lake Washington Ship Canal and the Chittenden Locks in Ballard on its way to its new home on Lake Union.
     HIYU is one of two WSF vessels retired and put up for sale in 2016. WSF said it is in negotiation with parties interested in purchasing the second ferry, EVERGREEN STATE, however no firm sale agreements are in place yet.
Type: Auto/Passenger Ferry
Length: 162'
Beam: 63' 1"
Draft: 11' 3"
Displacement (weight in long tons): 621
Max Passengers: 199
Max Vehicles: 34
Tall Deck Space: 12
Auto Deck Clearance: 15'
Engines: 2
Horsepower: 860
Propulsion: Diesel
Speed in Knots: 10
Built: [by Gunderson Brothers,] Portland, OR
Launched: 1967

06 February 2017


ON 214056
140.6' x 25.6' x 7.3'
Gross tons 258
Net tons 149
Built by Joseph Supple of Portland for 

the Kitsap County Transportation Co. 
Location: Colman Dock, Seattle, WA.
Original photo by Roger Dudley of Seattle,
archived with the S.P.H.S.©
Click to enlarge.

"The Liberty Bay Transportation Co, known locally as the "Farmer's Line" gave serious competition to Kitsap County Transportation Co. with their steamers the ATHLON, MAGNOLIA, VERONA, and the LIBERTY. 
      Warren L. Gazzam and his associates of KCTC decided to build a very fast steamer that the "Farmer's Line" could not compete with, and as a result, an order was placed with Joe Supple, Portland, OR for a vessel to be known as the KITSAP II.
      The new vessel was of striking appearance with her flush cabins and two funnels, all very well proportioned.
      As beautiful as the KITSAP II was, her crowning jewel was her power plant, a four-cylinder triple expansion engine that ran with the precision of a fine watch. The Curtis engines that Joe Supple obtained to power the KITSAP II gave very fine service throughout the life of the vessel. Steam was supplied by two Seabury boilers with a pressure of 340 pounds per sq. inch.
Original photo from the S.P.H.S.©
Click image to enlarge.

      On arrival at Seattle from her builders, Capt. Alf Hostmark took over as master of the KITSAP II with Ole Hansen as Chief Engineer. There was quite a bit of talk about the speed of the new boat. Joe Supple claimed that she would make 22-mph. Mr. Gazzam claimed to have the fastest steamer on Puget Sound and it is said he offered PSNC a $1,000 bet that the KITSAP II could beat the TACOMA. PSNC paid no attention to this offer, but evidently tiring of what they were hearing, gave Capt. Everrett B. Coffin of the TACOMA the word to take the KITSAP II. The writer has been told the story of this race by three men in the TACOMA who were there––Capt. Coffin, Carl Williamson, one of the engineers, and Peter Christiansen, quartermaster. All told the same story, about how the TACOMA backed out of Colman Dock and laid there waiting for the KITSAP II to come out. When the KITSAP men saw the TACOMA waiting, they realized their bluff had been called and they had better get going. The KITSAP II not only was given a chance to get underway but was given a fairly long lead before Capt. Coffin "hooked" the TACOMA on. 
Elliott Bay, Seattle, WA.
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S©
Click image to enlarge.
The TACOMA carried only her normal steam pressure that was regularly used on the Seattle-Tacoma run. By Smith Cove, she had not only overtaken the KITSAP II but had a lead of c. 4 lengths. Capt. Hostmark, fine gentleman that he was, conceded to the TACOMA by saluting her with three blasts of the whistle, and then the TACOMA came about and headed for Alki Point. Mr. Gassam never gave up trying to arrange races for his speed queen. One story is that the crew of the KITSAP II offered a bet of $5,000 of their own money that she could beat the H.B. KENNEDY. No race developed as it would be quite a feat for a crew that was paid $40.00 a month to raise that kind of money. In researching this article, an item was found in Pacific Marine Review that stated the KITSAP II and the H.B. KENNEDY had an impromptu race, with the KENNEDY winning. The KENNEDY on speed trial had made 18.37  knots. 
      When put into service on the Sea-Poulsbo route, the KITSAP II proved to be a disappointment to her owners, not that she did not come up to expectations or failed in her performance, but she was large enough to be unhandy on her landings. Her revenue did not justify the increased operating costs over the earlier steamers. After trying for a year to make a success of the KITSAP II, she was sold to the Navy Yard Route and placed on that run. This was one of the few mainline routes on the Sound and the KITSAP II settled down to show everyone what a fine and dependable vessel she was, making the run to Bremerton in 55 minutes. The KITSAP II ran to that city for many years with an occasional side trip, now and then. 
      The year 1926 came along and with it the demand for a different type of transportation, the auto ferry. This put an end to the service that had been so successfully performed by the little KITSAP II. 
As an auto ferry making her first swing on the new
schedule from Bellingham to Sidney and Victoria, BC
via the San Juan Islands route.
Photo stamped with the date of 27 Oct. 1929,
from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
Click image to enlarge.
      She was rebuilt that year into an auto ferry and renamed CITY OF BELLINGHAM. Sponsoned out, the only recognizable features were her cables, wheelhouse, Texas and two stacks. PSNC ran her between Bellingham and Sidney, BC making two round trips daily with a stop at Orcas.
Awaiting her turn behind the
to depart the Orcas Landing.
San Juan Archipelago, WA.
Original undated photo from the S.P.H.S.©
Click image to enlarge.

Most of this period she was under the command of the justly famous Capt Sam Barlow, the dean of the San Juan County skippers.
ON 214056
Photo dated 25 Dec. 1930
The Black Ball ferry QUILCENE was given a rousing
reception at Pt. Townsend on her first trip from Seattle.
The remodeling was so complete she was virtually a new ship.
She was rebuilt at Lake Washington Shipyards.

Photo by Acme Engraving Co, Seattle,
from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
Click image to enlarge.

In 1929-1930, Capt. Alexander Peabody, who was one of the most progressive steamship operators that Puget Sound ever had, had the KITSAP II rebuilt, this time renaming her QUILCENE. The passenger accommodations in the QUILCENE were exceedingly well planned and very fine, providing every comfort that could be desired by the passenger. She still retained her original engine and according to Capt. Asmund Rindal, who commanded her when the writer sailed in her, she could make close to 14 knots. 
      When the QUILCENE was placed on the Pt. Townsend run after her rebuilding, it was under the command of Capt. Allen P. 'Paddy' Burneson. 
      In 1933, Cap. Asmund Rindal took the QUILCENE into Colman Dock in Seattle, where her final rebuilding took place. The house was raised in order to give clearance to allow trucks aboard. 
      The writer was in the QUILCENE two winters on this run with Capt. Rindal as master. During this time, she made what is believed to be her quickest passage from Edmonds to Pt. Townsend, which was one hour and 32 min.
      In 1938, the necessary truck clearance was such that she was replaced by the double-ended ferry KLAHANIE that had come up from San Francisco. 
      From then on the QUILCENE was run on occasional excursions, used as a spare boat, until she was taken over by the USN in 1942. Five years later she was sold to Freeman & Gibson in Seattle for conversion to a floating machine shop. 
      Many of the top men in steam-boating spent some very enjoyable times in the KITSAP II (ex-CITY OF BELLINGHAM, ex-QUILCENE), such as Captains Alfred Hostmark, Louis Van Bogaert, Wally Mangan, Sam Barlow, Asmund Rindal, Greg Mangan, Harry Owens, and many others. Three of the men in charge of her engine room were Ole Hansen, First Chief Engineer; Ernie Shelgren and Al Grady, who went on to become Port Engineer for PSNC and later Outside Super for Todd Shipyards. "
Above text by Wilbur B. Thompson for The Sea Chest, membership journal of the Puget Sound Maritime Society in Seattle, WA. December 1979.

02 February 2017


Barkentine CONQUEROR
ON 216140
All flags flying on launch day 22 February 1918
231.4' RL x 43.5' x 18.6'
G.t. 1,395  N.t. 1,221
Rolph Shipyard, Rolph, CA.
Former yard of the highly regarded builder, Hans Bendixen.

Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S©
"Twenty thousand people watched the launching, 22 February 1918, of the barkentine CONQUEROR, the first to be launched from the Rolph Shipbuilding Co plant at Rolph, opposite Eureka.
      The occasion was notable, not only because of the gala air which pervaded the plant, and the presence of distinguished guests from San Francisco and other bay cities, but because of the presence of every one of the county's citizens who could possibly be present. It was more than curiosity that assembled the crowd. The Rolph Co is spending nearly a million dollars a year all told in Humboldt County and this means much to a town of 15,000 persons." Sausalito News 2 March 1918.
      It was reported the two day two night party cost Mr. Rolph $25,000. There is an  interesting write-up here.
      Following the launching Mayor "Sunny Jim" Rolph spoke at the dedication of the school house, that he presented to the town of Rolph. 


To bring the California-built barkentine closer to our local history in the PNW,  the CONQUEROR was in Victoria to load over 1,000 tons of lumber for S. Africa.
She was laid up at Sausalito, CA, for the past two years.
The barkentine was idle at Winslow, WA, since her last voyage in 1928; sold by Hind, Rolph & Co to Capt. James Hersey, her master since completion. Capt and Mrs. Hersey had been living aboard since lay-up. 
The CONQUEROR was sold by Capt. Hersey to Romano Marine Salvage Co of Seattle who fitted her with salvage gear and a diving bell. Hersey took command of the schooner NANUK for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. H.W. McCurdy's Marine History of the PNW. Newell, G. editor. 
CONQUEROR recently acquired by W.E. Harned and then resold to James Griffiths & Sons [Seattle] for conversion to a barge. Work not completed and she deteriorated.
"Never again will the proud old windjammer tow out to sea and spread her sails to the winds of the Pacific. The CONQUEROR has made her last voyage.
     At the plant of the Pacific Metals & Salvage Co on the Duwamish Waterway yesterday the veteran four master tugged impatient at her lines while her owners considered plans for consigning her to a funeral pyre. The CONQUEROR is to be beached in the sands of the Sound and burned for the metals in her hull. Soon she will be stripped of all moveable equipment. A ship wrecker's torch will spell her doom. 
      From Royal Roads, Victoria, BC, to Durham, South Africa, and Callao, Peru, the CONQUEROR was known as one of the fastest 'wind ships' that ever sailed the seas. She made the voyage from Victoria to Durban and then to San Francisco in 219 days. During this passage she averaged 231 miles a day for twenty days.
      Capt. James Hersey, who roamed the seas for more than 50 years, was the CONQUEROR's only master, taking her over soon after she was launched. Mrs. Hersey made many voyages with her husband; the ship was their home for 15 years.
Steamers FLORENCE K AND BAINBRIDGE at the dock.
Unidentified wind ships; undated photo
from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
Click image to enlarge.

For more than a decade, the CONQUEROR was idle at Eagle Harbor, ever since she towed up the Sound after a voyage from Port Elizabeth, S.A., 26 January 1928. Then came the world-wide depression in shipping and the picturesque vessel rode at anchor in Eagle Harbor awaiting sailing orders that never came. 
      Captain Hersey was informed that the ship was to be disposed of by her owners, Hind, Rolph & Co. The home that he and Mrs. Hersey had learned to love was to be sold over his head. He communicated with the San Francisco firm and learned that he would be able to finance a deal for the vessel's purchase. The sale was closed and ownership of the barkentine passed to her veteran skipper.
      For several years, Captain and Mrs. Hersey made their home aboard the CONQUEROR as the vessel rode at anchor in Eagle Harbor. Aboard the old ship was as fine a suite of rooms as could be found in a first-class apartment. They were well furnished with a piano, a radio, a photograph and easy chairs.
      When there appeared to be no chance for the CONQUEROR to be called back to the sea lanes, Captain Hersey sold the vessel and joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, moving picture producers. He was employed by the firm in connection with the filming of sea stories.
      Capt. Hersey often entertained the Seattle waterfront with stories of his experiences in the CONQUEROR during five voyages to South Africa and one to Callao, Peru, from the PNW. 
      Since Capt Hersey had the CONQUEROR, she has changed ownership several times and now has reached her last port of call after a notable career."
1938 article from The Seattle Times , 16 October 1938.

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