"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

My photo
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.

22 January 2019


Schooner at left, W.J. PATTERSON 1901-1923
and Barkentine GLEANER
Loading lumber at American Mill Company,
Hoquiam, WA.
Click to enlarge.
Photographer and date unknown.
From the C. Weber Collection
Saltwater People Historical Society©
The four-masted schooner W. J. PATTERSON was built at the Lindstrom Yard in Aberdeen, WA., in 1901, for J. Tyler Turner. 
      She was sold in 1918 to J.M. Scott of Mobile, Alabama. The PATTERSON put into Beaumont, TX., in 1923 in damaged condition and the wreck was sold for scrap at auction. 
John Lindstrom Shipbuilding
Aberdeen, WA.
Photos from the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©
      John Lindstrom & C.R. Green established Lindstrom Shipbuilding in 1899 in Aberdeen, WA. It closed in 1907 after Lindstrom bought Bendixsen Shipbuilding in Eureka, CA., and moved the business south. 
      When WWI approached, the Aberdeen yard was leased by Grays Harbor Shipbuilding Corporation –– later Grays Harbor Motor Ship Corporation and modernized for the construction of cargo ships for the US Shipping Board. 

17 January 2019


Research ship reported costing $45,000
for the University of WA. Oceanography Department.
She is seen 29 May 1932,
just prior to launch festivities on Lake Union, Seattle.
A painter on deck is dealing with finishing touches
for the celebration in two weeks.
R. L 68.2' x 18.3' x 10.5'
Displacement 110 tons.

Click image to enlarge.

Photographer unknown.
Original photo from the archives of
the Saltwater People Historical Society©
"The University of Washington faculty members, T.M. Reynolds, and Frank E. Strickland, the designers, were among the group of 22 passengers that sailed from the Lake Union Drydock 11 June 1932 on the UW Oceanographic department's new survey ship CATALYST." *
      The new 75' diesel motor cruiser design was the first oceanographic research vessel for the University. It was based on the experiences of the University scientists who had suffered through many expeditions aboard poorly equipped converted fishing boats. Every aspect of her construction, from the location of the engine to the size of the vessel, was centered around the needs of the laboratory students.
      In these early years in her history, she wintered over in Seattle.
      Her power was and still is a 6-cyl WA Estep, 120 HP at 450 rpm. The present owners** in 2019 write that the original engine was rebuilt and is maintained.  
      After the launching celebrations, she was to undergo her builders' speed trials in the vicinity of Haro Strait off Friday Harbor for two days and then return to her home port of Seattle.
      Capt. Chris Larsen, veteran Puget Sound skipper was to handle the CATALYST on her maiden voyage. 
      On 15 June the Oceanographic Laboratory at the UW was dedicated with impressive ceremonies. The Rockefeller Foundation donated $200,000 for the Laboratory building as well as funds for the vessel. Dr. Thomas G. Thompson, the director, recited his 29-year history of marine study at the university. She took her first experimental cruise to Alaska that summer."
*This paragraph from the Seattle-Times. May 1932.

** More of her history can be viewed on the Pacific Catalyst site HERE.

12 January 2019

❖ Sailor Cruickshank "Mayor of 3rd Avenue"

George Cruickshank,
sailing at age 16;
San Francisco to Vancouver,
then to Australia and New Zealand.

Photo from the archives of the 
Saltwater People Historical Society©
"George Cruickshank was one of Seattle's most colorful personalities, known as 'Whitehat George.'
      The name came from the wide-brimmed, white Stetson he always wore. He also was called "the Mayor of Third Avenue," where his business ventures had centered for 60 years.
      He always said he'd like to die on the corner of Third and Union. He had a heart attack as he walked along Third Avenue near Union St [1978.]
      Born and reared in San Francisco, he went to sea on one of the last three-masted windjammers when he was 16.
Photo courtesy of the Western Australia State Library

      "Scab Johnny, a 'Frisco character whose job was to recruit men for sailing ships, talked me into sailing on the W.F. BABCOCK, one of the last three full-riggers to fly the American Flag. We sailed from San Francisco to Vancouver, B.C., then to Australia and New Zealand.
      We were gone 11-months, 21 days. I learned all about black beans and plum duff, a sugarless pudding. We had black beans and plum duff twice a day for 45 consecutive days. Part of the skipper's graft was what he could save on meals, plus what he could get for the deckload.
      He was a real belly-robber. Every time he would go below, we would shove off a few of the 2,000 barrels of tar that was his precious deckload.
      After being gone 11 days short of a year, I was paid off $120. I hit some joint and ordered a couple of drinks. I doubt whether I ever finished the second drink. When I woke up I was as free of money as a cat is of feathers. 
      I bummed ten cents, bought a nickel glass of beer and used the other nickel for carfare home. I sure was ashamed of myself. Later, I shipped out on the USS UNALGA for a year. She was part of the old Revenue Cutter Service. Seattle was her home and I was discharged here in March 1915. 
      Mr. Cruickshank worked as a deputy in the King County assessor's office from 1919 to 1933, leaving his post as chief deputy assessor to help establish the Longacres Race Track.
      When George and Seattle both were young, he was known as a speculator, horseplayer, prizefight manager, and power behind the scenes of Republican Party politics. But all of that, he reminisced in the Seattle Times a decade ago, was once upon a time and long ago. Like the city, he grew more dignified with age." Text published by the Seattle Times. 1966.

09 January 2019



Hanging out in Olympia, WA.
Click to enlarge.
Photo by M. Woltjer
27 December 2018
 "These two proud old gals are being mothballed and are waiting at the Port of Olympia to be shipped or towed to the east coast where they have been sold to private interests. They are the EVERGREEN STATE and the STEILACOOM,  at first misidentified as the RHODODENDRON, [which resides up in British Columbia] both of which Maggie and I have ridden many times over the years. Once, in the mid-1970s, I was working on the LIZARD KING in Dockton on Maury Island, WA., and living in Multnomah, on the edge of Portland, OR. I built a toolbox to carry all my tools on my back and would stuff some extra underwear and toothbrush inside of it and catch the train or bus to Tacoma where I would transfer to a bus out to Tahlequah to catch the ferry to Vashon Island where I would hitch-hike to Dockton and row out to the LIZARD KING. I would stay a week or so working and living on the big schooner. One day I got off the bus at Tahlequah only to see the ferry RHODODENDRON start to leave the dock. I was about a hundred yards up the hill and I started running. Believe it or not, the RHODODENDRON stopped about thirty feet from the dock, reversed engines and returned to wait for me. That was a once in a lifetime experience. Those days are long gone now. And so will our beloved RHODODENDRON and EVERGREEN STATE. So is being able to run a hundred yards with an 80-pound toolbox over my shoulder."
Submitted by Aho'i & Maggie, spidsgatter PIA, Olympia, WA. 

01 January 2019


In the mist of Seattle according to the building sign,
in the background. The six-master was
loading up with lumber to head down under.
Click to enlarge.

c. 1927 original photo by James A. Turner, Seattle, WA.
from the archives of the
Saltwater People Historical Society©

2,526 G.t./ 2,350 N.t.
267' x 49.6' x 25.2'
Launched 1920, Portland, OR.

Original photo from the archives of 
the Saltwater People Historical Society©
We haven't been under the canvas for a while so let us go into the new year aboard a big girl sailing from the US west coast to Sydney, Australia, of course, with a cargo of lumber.
      The OREGON FIR was built at the Peninsula Shipbuilding yard in Portland, OR., for Grant-Smith-Porter & Co., for the offshore lumber trade. She ended her career in Australia in 1934.

1927: She was purchased by Capt. J.C. Brownfield of WA. Tug and Barge from the Schwabacher Hardware Co and resold the same year to Portland Pacific Export Lumber Co. of Portland, OR. 
      She arrived off the Northwest coast in Jan 1927 under Capt. F.G. Nelson, 81 days out from Shanghai with sails and gaffs lost in a series of heavy storms and drifted into Queen Charlotte Sound. She was within 300 yards of the beach before she was towed to safety. Arriving at Astoria 18 Jan, she was sold to Capt. E.R. STERLING, receiving her new name. As the HELEN B. STERLING, she made only one voyage under Capt. Sterling's ownership. She made two more voyages to Australia with lumber.
1930s: The second photo is dated 1930 with notation she is off Sydney, Australia. She was libeled for debt that year. Capt. Henry Oosterhuis stayed with his ship for almost two years, finally returning to the Pacific coast almost destitute. The vessel was eventually dismantled at Sydney in 1934.
Sydney Harbor, Australia,

where she ended her life.
Courtesy of the Australia National Maritime Museum
Gordon Newell, editor. H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the PNW; 
The Australia National Maritime Museum.


Ships R - S
Work in progress (1)
O.N. 115835
Built 1882
Lost 14 May 1917
Capt. J.A. Rosengren
1 mile south of Middle Point (now Sennett Point)
Unimak Island, AK.

1,898 G.t. / 1,757 N.t. 
she departed San Francisco on 21 April 1917 bound 
Kvichak, Bristol Bay with a crew of 17.
Click to enlarge.

Original photo from the archives of
the Saltwater People Historical Society©
Saint Francis was a downeaster built in Bath, Maine. The square-rigger spent most of her career on the Pacific. After a long term of duty with the Alaska Fisherman's Packing Co, according to the Marine Digest, she passed to Libby, McNeill & Libby when she was lost.

USCG Report of Casualty, 15 May 1917:
"At night and dark, fresh SW, misty, moderate.
1 mile south of Middle Point, missed tack, in veering vessel, went ashore. Unable to do anything. Steamers NORWOOD and GOLIAH stood by and rescued people –– took all on board. Total loss." Captain J.A. Rosengren

The FRANCIS was carrying a cargo of 1,500 tons of general merchandise and cannery supplies valued at $150,000. The ship was valued at $75,000. Both were insured for ? amount.

Marine Digest. Number 50, August 14, 1965.
Alaska Shipwrecks website.

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