"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 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.

07 October 2017


Wooden oil screw 224220
Launched in 1884 for a US Coast & Geodetic Survey ship.
Here she is in service as an Arctic Trader
Photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
September 1938:


      With a cargo of furs, ivory, curios, and strange Eskimo ceremonial apparel, the motorship PATTERSON was in Seattle yesterday after a trading cruise to the Arctic. 
      After an eventful voyage to Point Barrow, the famous Arctic trader PATTERSON was in Seattle with a cargo obtained from Eskimos who swarmed out to meet the vessel in skin boats as she approached their villages on the far-flung coast of Northern Alaska.
      The two-master, of a picturesque rig and large crow's nest, used when she was operated as a whaler, was dogged by heavy weather during most of her cruise along the Arctic Coast.
      At Wainwright, on the northbound voyage, her master, Capt. Walter Tinn, a veteran of the northern seas, became seriously ill and Capt. A.J. Hartland, chief officer, took command of the vessel. At Nome, Capt. Tinn was placed in a hospital and later brought to Seattle in the Alaska Steamship Co liner DENALI, which was returning from a cruise to Arctic Siberia. 
      The cargo of the PATTERSON included Eskimo ceremonial maks, mukluks, bows and arrows, spears, snowshoes, carved ivory, native baskets, Eskimo combs, fossil ivory, parkas, miniature kayaks, and a bright red reindeer coat. 
      The PATTERSON was at Point Barrow three days putting ashore 400 tons of supplies needed for the long winter. There was much ice in the roadstead and along the shore. She was the only commercial vessel to call at Point Barrow this year. 
      With her arrival in Seattle, the PATTERSON completed her first voyage for Motorship Patterson, Inc, a new company organized to operate the trader. She was purchased recently in San Francisco from Capt. C. T. Pedersen, a veteran of the Far North.
      Officers of the new company are Charles Gilkey, president; Walter Gilkey, vice president; George T. Stickney, secretary-treasurer, and Elmer Leader, assistant secretary-treasurer."
Above text: Seattle Times news clip. September 1938.

1883: Ordered at the yard of James D. Leary, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Cost: $100,000.
Installed Power: Cross compound vertical steam engine, cylinders 17 and 31 inches x 28-inch stroke, 215 HP, replaced by 325 HP diesel in 1924.
Propulsion: 8-ft screw.
Sail Plan: Barkentine
Boats & landing craft carried: 7
Crew: 12-13 officers, 40-46 crewmen.

1884, 15 January: Launched and named for Carlile P. Patterson, Superintendent of the US Coast and Geodetic Survey. 
1918: Renamed FORWARD and transferred to US Navy for a patrol ship during last months of WW I.
Sold back to the US Coast & Geodetic Survey because she was no longer strong enough for offshore use and regained her original name. She was out of service for several years and finally sold by WA tug & Barge Co to C.K. West of Portland.
Owned by Northern Whaling & Trading Co. When the motor ship PATTERSON arrived in San Francisco in 1931, with Capt. C. T. Pedersen in command, her cargo of white fox, ivory, and whalebone was valued at $300,000. (1931 prices.)
Sold to Alaska Patterson Co.

Captain H.H. Bune, Seattle, WA.
Wrecked 11 December 1938
Near Cape Fairweather, AK.
Photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
1938, December 11:   
"The most serious loss of life during 1938 resulted from the stranding of motorship PATTERSON, owned by Alaska Patterson, Inc. on the surf-lashed shore at Cape Fairweather, near Sea Otter Creek, Gulf of Alaska. Capt. Gustaf F. Swanson, first mate, was washed overboard and lost trying to launch a lifeboat. James Moore, winchman, was drowned in a swollen creek while attempting to rig a lifeline to get the crew ashore. The other 18 survivors were marooned on the rugged shore for some time, supplies were dropped to them by air. 
      Sheldon Simmons, "mercy flier" rescued two crew who arrived in Seattle in time for Christmas. Two USN planes from Sitka flew out seven crew and USCG HAIDA the remaining men. Both groups were rescued at Lituya Bay where the men hiked 30 miles through storms with guide Nels Ludwinson, left by Simmons' plane. Ludwinson was a local trapper who had been jailed for drunkenness and let out early for the job. 
The vessel had been bound from Kodiak for Seattle, was pounded to pieces in the surf."
Wreck notes from the N.Y. Times published 25 December 1938 
H.W. McCurdy's Marine History of the PNW. Newell, Gordon, editor. 

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