V13 N2 Spring 1986 The 'Glenesslin' on the Rocks at Neahkahnie Mountain, 1913

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VOL. 13

NO. 2

THE GLENESSLIN ON THE ROCKS AT NEAHKAHNIE MOUNTAIN, 1913 The British Ship Glenesslin sailed straight onto the rocks at the base of Neahkahnie Mountain in 1913, carrying almost full sail, in calm seas and broad daylight. The odd circumstances of her loss and the visually dramatic position in which she came to grief made this one of Oregon's best known shipwrecks. A couple of years ago, Dr. John Nay/on of the University of Keele, England very kindly sent us a photocopy of the official findings of the court of inquiry held on the loss of the G lenesslin. We think it will be of interest to reprint that document here.

• Findings and Order of a Naval Court held at the British Consulate at Portland, Oregon, on 9th and 11th days of October, 1913, to investigate the circumstances attending the

stranding on October 1, 1913, of the British sailing ship "GLENESSLIN," of the Port of Liverpool, Official Number 91227, at Neah-kah-nie Mountain, about 30 miles south of the Columbia River, Oregon, when on a voyage from Santos, Brazil, to Portland, Oregon, and the cause of such stranding, and to enquire into the conduct of the master, certificated first and second mates and crew of said vessel. The "Glenesslin" was a steel sailing, full-rigged, ship, of 1,645 tons registered tonnage, built at Liverpool in 1888. It appears from the evidence before the Court that she sailed from Santos, Brazil, on the 28th of May, 1913, bound for Portland, Oregon, with about 850 tons rubble ballast and a crew of (continued on page 3/





MARITIME WEEK '86 This year will see, as usual, a busy and varied schedule during Astoria's annual Maritime Week: Saturday, May 17th (Jane Barnes Day/ 10:00 a.m . - 4:00 p.m. Rainy Day Bazaar & Open House, U.S . Coast Guard Air Station. 12:30 p.m. "Salmon Run" foot race starts, Air Station. 12:30 - 4:00 p .m. Ship Model Competition, Maritime Museum (10:30 a.m. entry deadline). 1:00 - 4:00 p.m . Open house & demonstrations, USCG cutter Resolute. All Day: Jane Barnes Day activities. Sunday, May 18th 1:00 p.m. Helicopter/boat operation, cutter Resolute. 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Open house & demonstrations, Resolute. Monday, May 19th 3:00 p.m. Rescue & assistance drill, cutter Resolute. 7:30 p .m. Movie "Das Boot," Maritime Museum. Tuesday, May 20th 3:00 p.m. Rescue & assistance drill, cutter Resolute. Wednesday, May 21st 3:00 p.m. Rescue & assistance drill, cutter Resolute. 7:30 p .m. David Barrett, maritime storyteller, Maritime Museum. Thursday, May 22nd (Na tional Maritime Day/ 11 :00 a.m. Rescue & assistance drill, cutter Resolute. 1:00 p.m. Symposium "Experiencing World Trade Opportunities," Maritime Museum . . 3:00 p.m . Rescue & assistance drill, cutter Resolute.

For the thirteenth year, the Museum will hold its annual ship model competition during Maritime Week, on Saturday, May 17th. The competition is open to all amateur model builders and to models of all types of watercraft. Previous contests have drawn as many as 58 models by builders ranging from Nevada to British Columbia. A substantial trophy will be awarded to the best model in the show. Ribbons and certificates will also be given in both adult and junior age divisions for first through third place winners in six model categories: scratch-built scale display models, ships-in-bottles, wooden-kit display models, plastic-kit display models, operating radio-controlled models, and purely decorative or fanciful models. An entry fee of $3.00 per model will be charged for adult entrants, but there is no fee for junior modellers (below age 15) . The entry deadline is 10:30 a.m. on May 17th, and models will be on public display from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m . on that date. Entry forms and additional information can be obtained from the Curator, Larry Gilmore (telephone 503-325-2323 or write the Museum).

• H.M.S. PINAFORE PARTY Allhough invitations have already been sent out to our members, we wish to remind everyone that a benefit dinner I will be held in the Great Hall of the Museum on Saturday, May 10th. Guests will be entertained with songs from Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta "H.M.S. Pinafore," performed by a costumed cast of four members of the Portland Opera Company. It promises to be a delightful event. Cocktails will be served beginning at 6:30 p.m., and dinner at 7:00. Tickets are $35.00 per person. Anyone who did not receive an invitation and wishes to attend should call (503) 325-2323 to make reservations.

Friday, May 23rd 3:00 p.m. Rescue & assistance drill, cutter Resolute. 7:30 p.m. David Bezayiff, musician, Maritime Museum.

Saturday, May 24th 10:00 a.m . Boat race "Lower Columbia Row-In," Maritime Museum. 10:00 a.m. Maritime Museum programs (ongoing): Rope-making demonstration by Bill Barrett. Canoe spreading. Maritime music by David Bezayiff and others. 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Open house, displays & demonstrations, USCG cutter Resolute. 7:30 p.m . Maritime film festival, Maritime Museum.


Ongoing through Week Window displays by downtown merchants. Maritime art contest for students, Public Library. KMUN Radio special programming. Historical vignettes by students on local radio.

Mr. Bruce Weilepp of Shelton, Washington has been selected to fill our new position of associate curator, beginning April 16th. He holds a master's degree from the prestigious Cooperstown Graduate Program of the State University of New York in history and museum studies, as well as a B.A. from Evergreen State College at Olympia, Washington, where his studies included maritime history and technology. His practical experience includes internships at Seattle's Museum of History and Industry and the Oregon Historical Society, con.. struction of his own wooden boat, and temporary positions with the Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown, New York and the National Park Service in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Mr. Weilepp will assist with a wide variety of tasks, but initially his duties will be primarily concerned with cataloging newly donated artifacts and reorganizing collections storage areas.

NEW MEMBERS, INCREASED SUPPORT (*), JANUARY 1 - MARCH 31, 1986 SUSTAINING Dr. & Mrs. Everett E. Jones, Portland* SUPPORTING Mr. Stephen C. Allen, CPA Capt. & Mrs. F.B. Jerrell* Mr. & Mrs. David P. Johnson* National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in Oregon, Portland* Mr. & Mrs. Bruce C. North Mrs . Joseph M. Rogers, Portland* Mr. & Mrs. Peter Whittlesey, Warrenton* CONTRIBUTING Capt. & Mrs. Tony Adams Dr. Michael Buchman* Mr. & Mrs. William Canessa, Tolovana Park* Mr. & Mrs. Andrew J. Cook, Portland*

Mr. & Mrs. Tony DeGregorio, Tigard Mr. & Mrs. Toby Dyal* Dr. & Mrs. Edward W. Harvey* Mr. Roger E. Jolma, Clatskanie* Mr. Oliver M. Knode, Jr., Clatskanie* Mrs. Herb Kottler, Sequim, WA* Dr. & Mrs. Paul W. Lemley, Tacoma, WA* Lovell-McCall Tire Service, Inc.* Mr. C.A. Lund, Portland* Capt. & Mrs. Robert A. Moss, Port Ludlow, WA* Mrs. Katherine M. Nichols, Tolovana Park* Mrs. Susan H. O'Neal, Keokuk, Iowa* Mr. & Mrs. Harry M. Steinbock*

ANNUAL Miss B.J. Agranat, Winterville, NC Ms. Gretta Barr/Mr. Keith Pierce, Clatskanie Mr. & Mrs. John Bryson Mr. & Mrs. Allan P. Collins, Portland Mr. & Mrs. Stephen B. Dudley, Silverton Mr. & Mrs. Robert E. Frame Mr. & Mrs. R.C. Gatenbein, Portland Mr. Paul Haist Mr. & Mrs. Jeffrey C. Honeyman, Kirkland, WA Miss Elizabeth K. Johnson, Scappoose Ms. Janice M. Johnston, Portland Mr. & Mrs. Bob Jones Mr. Scott Perry Mr. Ted T. Sarpola, Snohomish, WA Pastor Robert L. Stumph Mr. & Mrs. James M. Yasutome, Portland


JOHN A. CARLSON Mr. & Mrs. Harry Larson

LESTER BERGERON N.W. Fishermen's Wives Assoc.

WILLARD "BUCK" CASPELL Mr. & Mrs. George Anderson Mrs. Paul Askinen Astoria Elks 180 PER Club Mr. Kenneth Berg Mr. & Mrs. Max Bigby, Sr. Mrs. Helen Blomquist Mr. & Mrs. Jack S. Brown Capt. & Mrs. Joseph Bruneau Mr . & Mrs. Don Brunner Mrs. Vieno A. Canessa Mr. Lawrence Carlson Mrs. Vera Craig Mr. & Mrs. Arnold Curtis, Sr.

HARVEY N. BLACK Mr. Alan Green, Jr. ROBERT A. BURNS Andrew & Steve's Cafe Mrs. Shirley L. Cole Mrs. O.A. Kiminki Mr. Orvi Kiminki Ms. Helmi L. Romppanen Ms. Mabel Swift Ms. Helen K. Wilson

Mr. & Mrs. Alf Dahl Capt. & Mrs. Dale Dickinson Mr. & Mrs. Donald Doran Mrs. Mildred G. Doran Mr. & Mrs. Clarence Dreyer Durham & Bates Agencies Mr. & Mrs. Trygve Duoos Mr. & Mrs. Charles Gustafson Mr. Leonard Haga Mrs. Dorothea Handran Mr. & Mrs. Eric Hauke Mr. & Mrs. Carl Hellberg Mr. & Mrs. Howard Henningsen Mr. & Mrs. Gene Hill Mr. & Mrs. A.V. Hilton Mr. Charles W. Hoell, Jr.

MEMORIAL CONTRIBUTIONS (CONTINUED) Mrs. Hanna E. Isaacson Mr. & Mrs. Willard Ivanoff Mr. & Mrs. Richard C. Jackson Mrs. Elsie Jarvinen Mr. & Mrs. Gunnar Johanson Miss Nannie A. Johnson Mr. & Mrs. Myron E. Jones Mrs. Ila Rae J uola Mr. & Mrs. John Kenmerer Mr. & Mrs. Elmer Koskelo Mr. & Mrs. Toivo Kuivala Mr. & Mrs. A.J. L' Amie Mr. & Mrs. Howard Lovvold Ms. Philippa S. Mardesich Mr. & Mrs. Charles Mestrich Mr. & Mrs. Ruben A. Mund Mr. & Mrs. Clyde McIntyre Mr. & Mrs. Henry E. Nilsen Mr. & Mrs. Robert Oja Mr. & Mrs. Erling Orwick Mr. & Mrs. A.W. Ostrom Mr. & Mrs. Ward Paldanius Mr. & Mrs. Arnold Petersen Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence Petersen Mr. & Mrs. Jim Pilgreen Mr. & Mrs. Ervin Rinell Mr. & Mrs. Roger Riutta Mr. Marlowe Roeser RADM & Mrs. D.L. Roscoe, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. Lennart Ross Mr. & Mrs. Myron Salo Ms. Ellen K. Sanford Mrs. T. Sarampaa Mr. & Mrs. Rod Sarpola Mrs. Ted Sarpola Ms. Hannah Seeborg Mr. Ralph Shaw Mr. & Mrs. George Siverson Ms. Marie Skei Mr. & Mrs. Vincent Tadei Mr. & Mrs. Larry Telen Mr. & Mrs. Chris Thompson Mr. & Mrs. Denny Thompson Mr. & Mrs. Dick Thompson Mr. Peter Thompson Mr. Howard Tihila U.S. National Bank - Astoria Mr. & Mrs. David Urell Mr. & Mrs. William Welch Mr. & Mrs. Ron Westerlund Mr. & Mrs. Wm. Whitten, Sr. Mr. Robert N. Williamson Mr. & Mrs. Fleming Wilson Ms. Ruth Wirth LARRY DABNER Mr. & Mrs. George Fulton MAYBELLE PERRING Ms. Mary Conover Mr. & Mrs. Lloyd Nikkila Mr. & Mrs. Norman Nikkila Mr. & Mrs. George Webber

GLORIA J. GRAYBEAL Astor Elementary School Staff MRS. DAN HALL Mrs. John A. Warren ELLEN M. HANSEN Mr. & Mrs . A.J. L' Amie GEORGE HAUER Yergen & Meyer ROB HENDERSON Mrs. Theodore Lilley, Jr. CHARLES EDWARD "TED" HODGES Mr. & Mrs . George Fulton JESSIE M. ITZEN Capt. & Mrs. Gene Itzen & Family THELMA P. JAAKKOLA Mr. & Mrs. Roy Aspen Mrs . Barenice I. Baker Ms. Nora S. Bue Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Fick Mr. & Mrs. Carl E. Larson Mr. & Mrs. R.A. Mund Mr. & Mrs. Steven Mund Mr. & Mrs. Arvid North Mr. & Mrs. Carl Paronen Mr. & Mrs. Uno Rautio Ms. Ellen K. Sanford Mr. & Mrs. George E. Siverson Mrs. Lydia Siverson Ms. Crystal Stevens Mr. & Mrs. Bob Thompson ARVID JACOBSON Mr . & Mrs. Wilbur Hissner Mr. Jon Hissner ERNEST KAISALAHTI Mr. & Mrs. Michael Riva Mr. John P. Syvanen SYLVIA LANGHAM Mrs. Dorothea Handran EDNA DOROTHY LARISON Mr. Ed Classen Mr. & Mrs. Lloyd Classen Mr. Harold S. Manus Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Pettett HARRY LOFGREN Mr. Charles W. Hoell, Jr. Mr. Clarence Johnson Mr. & Mrs. F.E. Ross ED LUND Mr . & Mrs . George Fulton

JOHN F. GAMBLE Mr. & Mrs. Ronald C. Honeyman


HARRY GARLAND Honeyman-Brink Company

JOHN MINKOFF Ocean Foods of Astoria

KRIS V. NIELSON Andrew & Steve's Cafe Mr. & Mrs. John Lum ERIC RANTANEN Mr. & Mrs. O.A. Kiminki Mr. & Mrs. Onnie V. Silver ALEX SARPOLA Ms . Estelle McClellan TED SARPOLA Mr. Bob Caspell Mrs. Helen Caspell Mr. Tom Caspell RADM & Mrs. John H. Dick Mr. Tom Jaasko & Family Mr. & Mrs. John F. Jensen, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. O.A. Kiminki Mr. & Mrs. Edwin Kiska Mr. & Mrs. Eldon Korpela Mr. & Mrs . Elmer Koskelo Mr. & Mrs . W.I. Loomis, Sr. Mr. & Mrs . Albert Luukinen Mr. & Mrs . William Malmberg Mr. & Mrs . Richard Mathews Mr. Eino M. Mattson Mr. & Mrs. E.V. McNeeley Mr. & Mrs. A. W. Ostrom Mr. & Mrs. Ward Paldanius Mr. & Mrs. Donald Riswick Mr. & Mrs. Ken Riswick Mr. Edward Riutta Mr. & Mrs. F.E. Ross Mr. R. Scott Ryding & Family Mr. & Mrs . Myron Salo Ms. Esther Sarpola Mr. & Mrs. Arnold Seeborg Mr. & Mrs. Joseph L. Thompson Mr. & Mrs. Leverne Truax Mr. & Mrs. David U rell Lt. Cdr. R.G. Uutela Mr. & Mrs. Fleming Wilson THEODORE E. SAVOLA Hildreth Lindstrom Mr. & Mrs. Willie Richburg MAX SCHAEFER, JR. Seaside High School Reunion Committee ELMER SCHWEITZER Mr. Walter Gadsby, Jr. BRENHAM VAN DUSEN Ms . Hilda Andersen Andrew & Steve's Cafe Mr. & Mrs. George Fulton Mr. & Mrs. Hugh Seppa Mr. & Mrs. Willis Van Dusen FRITZ A. WESTMAN Mr. & Mrs. Carl Tolonen BEN WINTERS T.J. Kuivala

LOWER COLUMBIA ROW-IN A gathering of rowing, sculling, and paddling craft of all types will again be held by the Museum at 10:00 a.m . on Saturday, May 24th. Ribbons will be awarded to all participants, and races will be conducted over 1½-mile and 3-mile courses. There is no entry fee. Contact the Museum for full details on rules, launching sites, courses, etc.

• THE GLENESSLIN (CONTINUED) 23 hands, all told. She was drawing 13 feet. The ballast was properly secured. According to the evidence before the Court, about 8 o'clock in the evening of September 30th the light at Tillamook Bay was sighted. At 1:30 a.m. the course was changed to west-south-west to get off shore again, which course was maintained until 8:00 a.m . The course was then set to come in shore again. Sights were taken at 8:30 and land was sighted about 11, but it was very hazy, and latitude at noon was 45°38' and 124°26' west. At about 30 minutes to one the master went to the chart house to lie down, leaving the, second mate in charge of the vessel, with instructions to hold the course set and to call the master at 2 p.m. At five minutes before two the second mate states that he called the master, as the vessel was getting close to the shore, and again called him at five minutes after two, and was told by the master to call him again at 2:30. The second mate then called the first mate, who came on deck, looked at the shore and went back to his room. In two or three minutes the second mate called the first mate again, and the first mate then went to the master, who came on deck and ordered the crew to wear ship, but before this could be done she struck and immediately began to fill with water. The Court, having regard to the circumstances above stated, find as follows:

That the master, Owen Williams, was negligent in his duty, and the Court orders that his certificate as master be suspended for three months. That the first mate, L.W. Howarth, is reprimanded for not acting immediately on his being notified of the threatened danger, but was not notified in time to save the ship. That the second mate was acting under orders, but showed great negligence in running so close to shore without insisting on the master coming on deck, and, also, when the master did not answer his second call, negligence in not taking matters into his own hands and ordering the crew to wear ship in the critical position in which he considered the vessel to be, and the Court therefore orders that his certificate as second mate be suspended for the term of six months. The expenses of the Court, fixed at £26 14s. 4d., are approved . Dated at Portland, Oregon, this 11th day of October, 1913. THOMAS ERSKINE, British Consul, President of the Court. H .C. DAVISON, Master of the British Merchant ship "Lord Templeton," of Victoria, B.C., Official Number 93156. ERNEST DALTON, O .C. 024534, Master of the British merchant ship "Border Knight," of Liverpool, Official Number 110591.

Members of the Court.

(Issued in London by the Board of Trade on the 18th day of November, 1913.)

• The court's findings fail to mention that a lifeline was shot across to the rocks, after the stranding, and all hands safely reached shore. The Glenesslin's bottom was impaled on the jagged rocks, and she began breaking up almost immediately. With a storm brewing, there was no hope of salvaging her, and she was smashed to pieces within a few days. There were rumors that the Glenesslin had been deliberately wrecked to collect the insurance, or that her captain had been drunk. However, Professor William A. Williams discounts these allegations in an article that appeared in the April 1981 issue of The American Neptune. He points out that had there been any evidence of deliberate wrecking, the local agent for Lloyd's of London would not have recommended, as he did, for settling the claim. As for the charge of drunkeness, the captain previously had an unblemished 26-year career. Professor Williams concludes that the wreck resulted from the dense offshore haze, the captain's fatigue, inexperienced mates (both were only 22 years old), and a windless pocket between Cape Falcon and Neahkahnie Mountain. The captain had been up most of the previous two nights trying to get sextant sights in difficult weather, and Second Mate John Colefield apparently failed to make clear the extreme danger in his messages to the captain. By the time the captain came on deck, there was no room or wind for maneuvering the ship out of danger.

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SPECIAL GIFTS JANUARY 1 - MARCH 31, 1986 Columbia River Maritime Museum Auxiliary Uniontown Peddler/ Bach 'N Rock Mr. Larry Wacken Mrs. J.A. Warren


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CONCERTO FOR SHIP'S BELL & FOGHORN A unique competition for composition of a piece of symphonic music featuring the sounds of a ship 's bell and foghorn is being jointly sponsored by the Maritime Museum and KMUN-FM, Astoria's community radio station. The scores that are submitted are to be perforrr.ed in the open aboard our own lightship Columbia by the North Coast Symphonic Band during Astoria's Regatta Week in August. The winner will be awarded a cash prize of $500 and a week's stay in a home overlooking the Pacific at Cannon Beach. The winner will also gain public exposure through interviews and air play of his piece on public radio stations throughout the Northwest.

It is envisioned that the work should be composed for a full symphonic band and ten to fifteen minutes in length. The ship's bell and foghorn are to be integral elements of the composition, rather than mere added affectations. Judging will be conducted by a panel of Northwest musicians and artists. Completed scores must be submitted no later than July 1st, but interested composers should immediately obtain technical details from: Doug Sweet, Station Manager, KMUN-FM Radio, P.O. Box 269, Astoria, OR 97103 (tel. 503-325-0010) .




Non-Profit O rganization U.S . POSTAGE PA ID Astoria, Oregon Permit No. 209

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