V17 N2 The Several Lives of the 'Daniel Kern'

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Steam tug Daniel Kern near Ilwaco, Washington, with rock barges for Columbia River north jetty, circa 1915. 85.77.4

the UARTERDECK Vol. 17 No. 2 Winter 1991

The Several Lives of the Daniel Kern

The 153-foot wooden steam tug Daniel Kem had a career spanning six decades. Built in 1879 as the U.S. Lighthouse Service Tender Manzanita, she was first assigned to the California District. The Manzanita came north in 1885 to replace the tender Shubrick.

A review and newsletter from the Columbia River Maritime Museum at 1792 Marine Drive in Astoria, Oregon

The Daniel Kem worked on some of the most notable engineering features of this region: the massive jetties which abut the mouth of the Columbia River. These jetties, easily taken for granted today, represent hard-won victories wrested from the sea with prodigious effort. In their own way, they are monuments to those who built them. One such person was Daniel Kern, president of Columbia Contract Co. Yet, his conspicuous absence from standard biographical references indicates a man not much concerned with leaving his name on things. Instead, he left behind a lifetime of deeds, remarkable in their own right. For an account of this noteworthy but not well known individual, please turn to page 4 of this issue of the Quarterdeck.

In 1905, the Manzanita sank after striking a submerged portion of Warrior Rock, just off the tip of Sauvie Island. Ironically, the Manzanita had brought the supplies for building a lighthouse at Warrior Rock in 1889, as a warning to mariners of this very same hazard. After she was abandoned as a total loss, the Columbia Contract Co. of Portland purchased her salvage rights the following year. Completely refurbished as a steam tug, she emerged from the yards renamed for the president of the firm.

The Daniel Kem labored from 1906 through 1917 transporting barge loads of rock to the mouth of the Columbia River and to Grays Harbor for jetty construction. In 1909, she went to the bottom again in a collision with the steamer George W. Elder. Just as before, she was raised and put back to work. Two years later, the sternwheeler M.F. Henderson, with a Standard Oil Co barge in tow, was rammed and sunk by the Daniel Kem while she was towing rock barges to the jetty.

In 1917, Columbia Contract Co sold the Daniel Kem. She spent the rest of her career in coastwise service and on Puget Sound The old wooden steam tug was deactivated in 1936. In 1939, she was towed to Richmond Beach near Seattle and burned for scrap.

Editor, Hobe Kytr. Editorial Staff: Jerry L. Ostermiller, Anne Witty, Barbara Minard, Rachel Wynne, Amy Ross.

May 8: Dr. William Pearcy, Oregon State University, retired, on salmon migration routes.

. • •

All talks will be held on Wednesday evenings, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Museum's Kern Room. Scheduled speakers and topics for the series are as follows:

Volume 17 No. 2


Photo Credits: Columbia River Maritime Museum photo archives, pages 1, 4, 5, 9, and 12. Jerry Ostermiller, page 3. Edward S. Curtis photo, page 6, from Portraits from American Indian Life, by E.S. Curtis, A.D. Coleman, and T.C. McLuhan, copyright 1972, Outerbridge and Lazard, used by permission of E.P. Dutton.

rewarding to both v1s1tors and staff. Establishing more interactive exhibits and programs adds a new dimension to the activities at the Museum. We are proud that the Museum's schedule now includes regularly changing temporary exhibits and shows in the Great Hall, as well as numerous programs on a variety of topics and demonstrations of maritime skills on weekends. The new "Observation Deck'' exhibit will be a nice addition to these programs, and is sure to involve large numbers of visitors.

It is inspiring to note that projects like the "Observation Deck" come about through the generosity and support of many individuals in partnership with corporate sponsors. Your personal support, in the form of memberships and donations to our growing endowment, directly provide the foundation necessary to create such new and intriguing exhibits and programs.

* .*

from the Wheelhouse

Oregon State University Sea Grant Extension Service and the Columbia River Maritime Museum are pleased to present a spring lecture series at the Museum, focusing on current research topics and issues concerning salmon.

-Jerry L. Ostermiller Executive Director

they were standing in a wheelhouse. All of these sights and sounds will be the product of the maritime activities, as they are occurring, within view of the visitor.

Visitors to the Museum often inquire about the many vessels they see operating on the river. A large bulk carrier, entering the river from Japan, Korea or another Pacific Rim country, stimulates considerable interest. Coast Guard cutters, fishing boats and pleasure craft pass by daily. Watching the distinctive green and white Brix Maritime tug transferring the river and bar pilots is always fascinating. Last year, as an observation aid for our many visitors, we installed outdoor binoculars on the plaza. This year we will expand observation opportunities inside the Museum as part of an entirely new exhibit


The QUARTERDECK is published four times a year by the Columbia River Maritime Museum, 1792 Marine Dr, Astoria, OR 97103.

As I write this, we are in the process of installing an exhibit to be known as the "Observation Deck." Taking advantage of the terrific river view from the balcony of the Great Hall, this exhibit will feature displays relating directly to lower Columbia weather, river traffic, and navigation. The focus will be on the sights, sounds and technology of contemporary river operations, combining visual observations with working instruments of the types actually used by vessels on the river. This will allow our visitors to experience ship traffic as if


March 13: Robin Brown, with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, on marine mammal impacts on salmon;

Salmon Focus of Spring Lecture Series

April 17: Rick Applegate, Northwest Power Planning Council, on resource management, fish vs . power;

February 13: Dr. James Lannen, professor at Oregon State University, on genetic variability of salmon and how it is altered by human activities;

As the coming year unfolds, plan an expedition to our new Observation Deck. From there you, too, can see the "Mighty River of the West" from the perspective of the operators of the vessels that travel across your view.

Through the generous support of Jensen Communications and Furuno Electronics, the visitor will be able to see and hear the action as it happens. This is accomplished through the exhibit's working radar set, radio receivers and other shipboard instruments. A river chart will correspond with images from the display radar as well as with the view from the windows. The radio scanner will convey the communications by tug operators, shipping traffic, pilots, and the U.S. Coast Guard. A complete set of highquality weather instruments (the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Lowe) will record rainfall, wind speed, and barometric pressure, and will even ring the current time in ship's bells. A series of interpretive panels will identify the various vessels which can be viewed from the exhibit's excellent location.

Recent efforts to place several runs of Columbia River salmon on the endangered species list have pushed fishery issues into the public spotlight. Enhancement projects, wild vs. hatchery-raised salmon, destruction of habitat, resource allocation methods, water shortages, environmental priorities-current issues involved with salmon in the Northwest are complex and increasingly controversial. Join us for what promises to be a fascinating and timely series of talks.

The "Observation Deck" is a prime example of a new, more interactive exhibit direction for the Columbia River Maritime Museum, one which is proving

Reunion participants, page 8, photographed at Cape Disappointment, January 10, 1991. Back row, from left: Darrell Murray, Don McMillin, Junior Meyer, John Webb, Ronnie Jansson. Middle row, from left: Larry Dixon, James Croker, Ron Brooks, Acie Maxwell, Terry Lowe. In front: Gordon Huggins. Not pictured: Douglas Ponton, Larry Fredrickson, Don Davis. Photo by Jeanette Mullican. Printed at Anchor Graphics, Astoria, Oregon

The HVAC renovation project is the result of over two years intensive planning, consultation with other museums and preservation professionals, fund-raising, and specification work by systems engineers. Funding has been provided by grants from the Murdock Charitable Trust, the Fred Meyer Memorial Trust, and the Confidence Foundation, and by generous donations by members, friends, and trustees of the Museum

It has not been a convenient project for our visitors, the Museum staff, or our members. But the rewards, we firmly believe, will be well worth it. A comfortable atmosphere for visitors, and one that will best preserve our collections for the future, moves the Museum closer to our main goals of preserving the artifacts in our care and educating our large and diverse audience.

peratures and air flow that are comfortable for people as well as humidity that is comfortable for artifacts. The two go hand-in-hand

total volume of air-drops dramatically. So what, you may ask? We're all familiar with the wintertime dry throat, nose and eyes we can sometimes experience in heated spaces.

Actual construction work started in late January, when workers began modifying ductwork throughout the building. Ductwork was added to each gallery and storage area. Museum staff have been present constantly, working to move artifacts safely out of the way and to protect standing exhibits from dust and debris. Systems installation and balancing is expected to be accomplished by the end of May. Thereafter, we will slowly adjust the temperature and humidity levels so that artifacts do not experience "shock" from the change.

A comfortable and steady atmosphere inside the Museum building is essential for our collections as well as for our visitors' and employees' comfort The original systems did not include either air conditioning (except for office spaces) or humidification. At first glance, this makes sense After all, on the cool and rainy North Coast of Oregon, why should we need to super-chill the air or add more humidity?


Dramatic evidence appeared at the Museum two winters ago, when a severe cold spell, which called for higher-thannormal heating needs, resulted in a drop to 10% relative humidity. The bone-dry air caused visible damage to many artifacts, including boats in the Museum's Great Hall. In more recent cold snaps, we managed to slow the plunge in humidity by lowering the indoor temperature to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Less apparent, but equally important, is that museum artifacts can also suffer from extremes of temperature. Many materials expand with heat and contract with cooling. Over time, continual changes of even a few degrees can weaken and damage, even corrode, artifacts. Objects in storage as well as those on display are affected by the swings in temperature.

-Anne Witty

Steady humidity is even more crucial to preservation than a steady temperature During the winter season, chilly days call for heating. Here human comfort intersects with preservation needs in a very subtle balance. Every degree of heat added to the (humid) fresh air pumped in from outside removes water vapor, literally wringing the air dry. Relative humidity inside the buildingthe amount of water vapor relative to the

Improvements to Building Systems Planned

Heated, dry air doesn't seem like much of a problem, until you consider the important factor of museum collections Many artifacts, particularly wood, paper, textile, or leather, are hygroscopic, meaning that they absorb varying amounts of humidity from the atmosphere immediately surrounding them. Therefore, most artifacts are quite sensitive to fluctuating humidity.

You've probably noticed this phenomenon in your home, when that favorite chair develops loose joints in the wintertime, or when doors or windows become swollen and tight during rainy spells. A drop in indoor relative humidity from 65% on a rainy, warm day to 35% on a clear, cold winter's day can even cause old furniture to crack.

Quarterdeck, Vol. 17 No. 2

To preserve the Museum collection over the long term, we must achieve a steady level of relative humidity that changes only slightly with the seasons Consistency is the key. The revamped systems will enable us to achieve tern-

HVAC is an acronym for ''heating, ventilation and air conditioning. 11 The Museum is undertaking a "retrofit" of these systems, to add greater air conditioning capacity, better air distribution, and new humidification capabilities. This will enable us to control the indoor environment more closely, and to meet professional preservation standards, human comfort needs, and acceptable fresh air ventilation standards.

The Museum has embarked on a winter's worth of remodeling designed to improve the HVAC system. The what, you may ask? Good question!

The answer lies in a combination of human comfort and preservation considerations. Even with our moderate coastal climate, air conditioning and ventilation are necessary to maintain a steady temperature inside the Museum. In the galleries, for example, the incandescent lights-track lighting and ceiling spotsused to illuminate the displays drive air temperature up, sometimes to uncomfortable levels. Add the heat of 300 or more warm, perhaps even sunburned, bodies strolling through the Museum on a summer's day, and the need for air conditioning becomes uncomfortably apparent.

CRMM Exhibit Specialist Hampton Scudder inspects progress in the Steam and Motor Vessel gallery during construction phase of the HVAC project.

Early references cite a much different line of work. In 1896, Daniel and John H. Kern formed the Kern Bros Packing Co., opening a cannery on the north bank of the Siletz River near the present site of Kernville. The cannery was sold two years later to Mat P Kiernan and J.W. Cook [part owner of the J W and V Cook Cannery at Clifton), who in turn later sold it to Samuel Elmore . By 1898, Daniel Kern had turned his attention to marine construction. Perhaps the clue to this rapid career change is tied to another event of 1896. On March 19, the British full-rigged ship Glenmorag came ashore on the North Beach Peninsula seven miles north of Ilwaco Though little damaged, attempts to tow her off the beach proved futile. The hull was subsequently dismantled by Daniel Kern, who one could reasonably infer found the salvage business more profitable than pat.:king fish.

In 1911, the Alaska Barge Co. of Tacoma chartered the bar tug Daring from the Grays Harbor Tugboat Co for the purpose of towing the barges Washington, Washougal, Wallacut, and Washtucna from Puget Sound to Alaska. According to McCurdy's, ''These craft were not converted sailing vessels as were most of the offshore barges then in use, but were built by Daniel Kern for Columbia River jetty work. 11 Museum members may recall from reading Larry Gilmore's article "The Columbia River Jetties" (Quarterdeck Review, Vol. 15 No 2, Spring 1988), that general construction on the Columbia River south jetty was completed in 1895. However, hydrographic surveys showed a yearly decrease in channel depth following 1897. In 1902, a 2.5 mile extension was recommended, which was begun in 1903 and completed in 1913 The following

The H. W. Mccurdy Marine History of

the Pacific Northwest, Gordon Newell editor, lists fourteen references to Daniel Kern between 1896 and 1939. Mr. Kern was a prominent marine industrialist of the early 20th century, the founder of Columbia Contract Co. of Portland. During his career, Daniel Kern's accomplishments included harbor improvements, marine salvage, and vessel construction and operation. He is perhaps best known as the contractor for much of the later work on the Columbia River jetties, the Grays Harbor jetty, and Yaquina River jetty. Jetty construction required transporting large quantities of rock, for which purpose tugs and barges were employed. As well as being involved with the building or refurbishing of a number of the Northwest's best known towboats of the period, Daniel Kern is credited with being the first to construct barges for offshore use-the ordinary practice at the time being to cut down out-of date sailing vessels for conversion to barges.

Use of the Columbia River Maritime Museum's Kern Room for maritime related gatherings and community meetings over the past two years has increased markedly, due in part to Museum policy, and partly because it is one of the nicest meeting rooms in town. But when a visitor walks through the front door and asks where a meeting is being held, instructions to go down the hallway to the Kern Room often draw a blank expression, indicating complete lack of comprehension. On occasion, recognizing that maritime museums are filled with nautical stuff, visitors will venture the question, 'What exactly is a kern, anyway?" The answer is that the Kern Room refers not to a what but a who: namely, Daniel Kern. Yet even longtime CRMM members generally know little or nothing about the man for whom our multi-purpose room was named.


In 1898, Daniel Kern purchased the wrecked sternwheel steamers Staghound and Gamecock, which had broken apart off the Columbia bar while under tow for the Yukon. Thus began a long career of salvaging and r efurbishing vessels which otherwise might have been give up for lost The Staghound was rebuilt in 1899 at Kern's boatyard at the foot of East Market Street in Portland as the steam sternwheel tugboat Hercules, under which name she was well known on the Columbia River for more than three decades. The Gamecock was placed back in service under her original name, operating out of Portland until 1910, at which time she was again rebuilt. She was finally abandoned in 1938.

Daniel Kern, Marine Salvor and Jetty Builder

During World War I, Daniel Kern joined the regional effort to boost wartime shipbuilding capacity Kiernan and Kern, a subsidiary of Columbia Contract Co , built the wooden freighter Katia, which was said to have been equipped with the triple expansion engine taken from the old Columbia Contract tug Samson The reader may recall that Mat Kiernan was one of the partners who acquired the Kern brothers' interest in the Kernville cannery in 1898 . We may, however, be speaking here of two sets of brothers . References in the CRMM photo archives indicate the firm of Hale, Kiernan & Kern was engaged in Grays Harbor jetty

year work began on the Columbia River north jetty. Daniel Kern's Columbia Contract Co. was the principal contractor for these later phases of Columbia River jetty construction.

construction in 1898 Meanwhile, according to MacArthur's Oregon Geographical Names, John Kern was appointed first postmaster at Kernville following the sale of the cannery He was succeeded in that position by the same Mat Kiernan, after the sale of the cannery to Samuel Elmore.

Quarterdeck, Vol 17 No. 2

steamer Catherine was built for Columbia Contract at Portland In 1931, he was in charge of building the first leg of a trestle for the Port of Astoria. Two years later, in April of 1933, Daniel Kern died at the age of 75

In 1912, Columbia Contract rebuilt the Minnie E. Kelton, which Kern had used as a barge for several years, convert ing her into the steam schooner Rochelle for the J.S. Gill Co. of San Francisco. Constructed as a Great Lakes ''lumber hooker, 11 the Minnie E. Kelton was operating on the West Coast by 1908. In May of that year she was disabled with a full load of lumber off the Yaquina River, Oregon. Hit by a huge wave, her deckload, afterdeckhouse, lifeboats, and eleven of her crew were swept away. Surviving crew members were rescued the following day by the Yaquina Bay lifeboat. The vessel was subsequently salvaged and converted for use as a barge in Columbia jetty construction by Daniel Kern. Hard luck followed her after conversion to the Rochelle. Grounded on Clatsop Spit with a full cargo of British Columbia coal in October of 1914, her crew was rescued by the Point Adams Lifesaving Station, but the Rochelle caught fire and was completely destroyed.

The sternwheel steam tug Hercules, rebuilt from the wreck of the Staghound, on the ways of Daniel Kern's East Portland yard, 1906. Grace Kern Collection. 72.73.37

A more personal side of the man is revealed by a story related to the steam tug which bore his name. While the wrecked lighthouse tender Manzanita was in the Columbia Contract Co. yards, Mr. Kern was hospitalized with a serious illness. The company officials voted to honor the president of the firm by naming the reconstructed vessel for him. After jetty construction was officially declared complete at the outset of American entrance into the World War, the Daniel Kern was sold to Washington Tug and Barge of Seattle. Miss Grace Kern later recalled that her father drove to all of Portland's Willamette bridges in turn to bid farewell to his namesake. This suggests a bit more than a purely commercial relationship.

During 1917, before jetty work was completed, a mishap occurred at Grays Harbor that suggests some of the tenacity which must have been part of Daniel Kern's basic character. The tug Daniel Kern, bound for Puget Sound from the Columbia River, lost the tow of the 1200-ton barge Columbia No. 38 off Grays Harbor jetty. The barge's name and number would indicate she was part of a sizable working fleet. But Daniel Kern was not a man to let a good craft go to waste. He had long been in the business of salvaging the results of others' misfortunes. This time he went to work on his own. The barge was considered by some to be a total loss, but Kern obviously disagreed. Columbia No. 38 eventually was towed more than two miles overland and relaunched in the protected waters of Grays Harbor-a feat at the time compared to the remarkable overland journey of Lightship No. 50 following her grounding on MacKenzie Head at the mouth of the Columbia River in 1899. Such salvage operations often had been attempted in similar situations, but very seldom had successful outcomes Daniel Kern's active career extended through the rest of his life. In 1923, the sternwheel steamer Maria, rebuilt in 1877 from the Vancouver of 18 70, and last operated by Columbia Contract Co , was dismantled. The same year, the •

Perhaps these references to the life's work of Daniel Kern give us but little insight to the man behind this inventory of deeds However, looking beneath the record, we find not just a man of industry, but one who succeeded because of industriousness We see a man who found opportunity in what others found undoable or had abandoned as of no further value. We see a man recognized for his ingenuity during a period of Northwest history often termed the ''Progressive Era. 11

The final references to Daniel Kern are from 1939, and relate to the final disposition of the steam tug Daniel Kern. Towed to Richmond Beach near Seattle, the sixty-year-old wooden vessel was burned for her metal, but not before a last sentimental gesture by those who had known her The pilot house and texas were moved to nearby Anderson Island, finding a resting place at the home of Gunnar Johnson . It was there in the early 1960s that the last pilot's log from the old tug was discovered, and later donated to the Columbia River Maritime Museum by Miss Grace Kern of Portland. When the Museum's new building was nearing completion, Miss Kern established a lasting memorial to her father by donating the funds for the multi-purpose room which now bears his name. Grace Kern passed away in 1984.




interaction between humans and pinnipeds on the Northwest Coast: native subsistence hunting, commercial exploitation, and international efforts to protect dwindling seal herds.

Seal hunting was practiced by most of the native peoples of the Northwest Coast. From the Columbia River north, leopard seals and sea lions were hunted along the coastline, at low water on the rivers, and in the sea caves off the Straits of Juan de Fuca. From Cape Flattery north through Southeast Alaska, seal hunters from various groups, most notably the Nootkans and Kwakiutl, ventured out beyond the immediate coastline for the northern migration of

Historic Dilemma: Seal Hunting on the Northwest Coast

fur seal herds . In the far north, Aleut and Inuit peoples depended upon seal meat as a staple of their diet.

On the Columbia River, seals posed a threat to ancient fishermen. Anthropologist Franz Boas, who did groundbreaking fieldwork among Native Americans on the Northwest Coast in the late 19th century, noted in Kathlamet Texts (1901) that the Cathlamets of the lower Columbia engaged in "drives to capture and harpoon sea lions down to the sea.'' A seal drive witnessed by Alexander Henry of John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Trading Company began near Oak Point, approximately 50 miles from the mouth of the river The purpose of such seal drives was to prevent these aquatic carnivores from interfering with fishing ef forts during the yearly salmon runs, which were the Cathlamet's primary source of food.

Visitors to Astoria often witness the playful antics of certain clowns of the sea which frequent the Columbia River in ever increasing numbers, but with mixed popularity: harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) and sea lions (Eumetopias stelleri and Zalophus californianus). These marine mammals have returned to the coastlines of California, Oregon and Washington in force after being hunted to near extinction. For nearly two hundred years commercial sealing fleets pursued the once immense herds of North Pacific sea elephants, sea lions, northern fur seals, and lesser groups of banded, leopard, and harbor seals for their skins and oil. This article examines three different eras of

The introduction of the commercial fur trade in the Northwest heightened native peoples' awareness of the economic value of seal skins in a larger trade world. As early as 1743, Aleut natives were encouraged to hunt seals by Rus sian fur traders. By 1790, American fur traders were in quest of seal pelts on the Northwest Coast. With purchase of Alaska from the Russians in 1867, the U.S. government subsequently granted Hutchinson, Kohl & Co. exclusive killing rights to fur seal and stellar seal lion breeding grounds on the Pribilof Islands. In 1868, Americans and Canadians began to recruit Nootkans and Kwakiutl hunters as sealing schooner crew mem-

"The Nootka Method of Spearing."

James G. Swan, in his The Northwest Coast, or Three Years Residence in the Washington Territory (1853), described how Chief Toke of the Shoalwater Bay Chinooks hunted seals using a twentyfoot spear with a detachable head Entering the water naked, spear in right hand, he carried thirty fathoms of line coiled from his left arm and attached to the spear on one end. Swimming just below the surface of the water, with only his face and top of head showing, he appeared to be another seal in the water He would approach to the leeward of a beached herd, slowly and noiselessly coming as close as he could underwater. Placing himself between the seals and deep water, he would wade ashore, then rising swiftly, throw his spear into a seal. Digging his heels into the sand, he braced himself, and played the panicked animal like a hooked steelhead. Eventually, he tired the animal enough to dispatch it with a club

Edward S. Curtis photo

Quarterdeck, Vol. 17 No. 2

Suggested Reading from the Museum Store

Handbook of North American Indians, Northwest Coast, Vol. 7, Wayne Suttles, editor, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 1990. 55.00/Members 49.50.


Lewis and Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, E.W. Wright, editor, Superior Publishing Co., Seattle, WA, 1967.

The Nootka Connection, Europe eJ the Northwest Coast 1790-1795, by Derek Pethick, Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver, B.C., 1980.

The numbers of seals and sea lions in certain parts of their range seem to have increased since 1973 But in a larger sense, the numbers of pinnipeds in the North Pacific may never recover from

In 1911, an International Pelagic Sealing Treaty was concluded between Canada, the United States, Russia and Japan, placing a fifteen year moratorium upon seal hunting on the high seas. A number of the old sealing schooners at Victoria, home port to the largest sealing fleet in the Northwest, were converted for the rapidly developing halibut fishery. The 1911 treaty also prohibited non-native hunters on the principal breeding grounds. On the Pribilofs, the treaty limitations were skirted by hiring Aleut natives, originally transported to the Islands as slaves during Russian occupancy of Alaska. Seven additional treaties were enacted through 1957. The Interim Convention on Conservation of North Pacific Fur Seals of 1957 prohibited pelagic sealing except for research purposes, and required the sharing of the annual commercial seal kill on land for the same purposes However, staggering numbers of animals continued to be taken from the Pribilof breeding grounds.

Sealing had the potential to be highly lucrative for native hunters. By early 1870, commercial pelagic sealing had become the preferred occupation of the Nootkans. Several successful sealing chiefs bought their own schooners and hunted with full native crews. In 1885, the Canadian and American fleets furnished employment to over two hundred canoes and five hundred native hunters

bers, because of their hunting expertise and their willingness to venture out beyond the sight of land.

During the mid 1880s, the Alaska Commercial Company, monopoly holders for killing rights on the Pribilofs, grew increasingly concerned about the growing international sealing fleet intercepting the animals before they returned to the breeding grounds. In response to their lobbying, the U S. Revenue Cutter Service was called in to patrol the Bering Sea and adjacent waters. Sealing schooners were boarded on the high seas, catches confiscated, and crews put into chains. Most native hunters and crew members were released. The schooners, however, were impounded and often never released Canadian, Russian, Japanese, and American vessels were boarded, oftentimes over 60 miles from shore in international waters. Protest and defiance by Canadian sealers eventually forced the American and British governments to arbitrate mutually acceptable regulations.

Growing populations of seals and sea lions have brought with them a dilemma The California sea lion community of San Francisco Bay impedes water traffic and has caused considerable damage to docks and small craft. In Seattle, marine mammal authorities unsuccessfully have tried relocation, loud noises and underwater broadcasting of predator sounds to discourage seals and sea lions from loitering inside Ballard Locks to feed on incoming salmon. On the Columbia River, commercial fishermen, already hard-pressed to maintain their livelihood, find themselves under increasing scrutiny concerning their interaction with marine mammals Gillnet fishermen on the river complain about damaged gear and half-eaten fish from the seals' habit of feeding in the schooled salmon near or in a fisherman's net. Before enactment of the Endangered Species Act, seal populations in the river were regulated through controlled hunting.

The challenge for the future will be to balance competing needs with diminishing resources. Can we protect marine mammals without endangering other species we may wish to protect, such as salmon, or vice versa? Indeed, can we balance conflicting human claims on our resources, such as those presented by sports, commercial, and treaty tribe fishermen on the Columbia River, with conservation efforts aimed at competing species, predator and prey?

Astoria and Empire, by James P Rhonda, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 1990. 25.00/Mernbers 23.50.

commercial depredations beginning with the early days of the fur trade. Ancient rookery grounds have been invaded by man Asian high seas driftnet fishermen sweep the ocean clean of the deepwater food resources on which most seals feed. Pollution and marine debris threaten the young and unborn.

The Northwest Coast or Three Years Residence in Washington Territory, by James G. Swan, Washington Paperbacks, Seattle, WA, 1973. 19 95/Mernbers 17.95.

In 1973, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act, which made it illegal for non-natives to hunt pinnipeds, and

Soft Gold, The Fur Trade and Cultural Exchange on the Northwest Coast of America, by James Vaughan & Bill Holm, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland, OR, 1982. 25.00/Mernbers 23.50 .

Indians of the Northwest Coast, by Philip Drucker, The Natural History Press, New York, NY, 1955.


-Rachel Wynne

The Marine Mammals of the Northwestern Coast of North America, by Charles Scammon, Dover Publications Inc., New York, NY, 1968.

placed marine mammals under strict protections. The law extends to all activities of American citizens, whether at home or abroad. Native hunters still are allowed to hunt marine mammals for subsistence On the Pribilof breeding grounds, there is an annual regulated hunt of bachelor bull fur seals

North Pacific Fur Seal Commission Report on Investigations From 1958 to 1961, Standing Scientific Committee, 1962.

The Chinook Indians, Traders of the Lower Columbia River, by Robert H Ruby and John A. Brown, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, 1976.

The situation here on this great river is especially complex. Enormous engineering and environmental changes have been brought about during this century by such activities as darn building, power generation, irrigation projects, pollution, and extensive logging. Humans are now the principal determiners of water quality and quantity. The future of a system severely out of balance may be decided more by political factors than those based on biological diversity or ecological balance. Knowledge of our maritime past could well play a vital role in helping us to make intelligent, if increasingly difficult, choices in the years ahead.

Newsreel footage the evening of January 10 showed Admiral Kime with the new 47-footer. He commented on her seaworthiness. Meteorologists pointed out that Friday and Saturday would be good days for watching storm waves on the coast.

As the Sea King rolled over, men were seen scrambling A couple made it over the side before she began to go down. The Triumph cut the tow. The 47-footer swooped in to pull survivors out of the water. Next it responded to a rigid-hulled inflatable from the Iris , which had lost power and was drifting into the breakers on Peacock Spit. With survivors on board, the 4 7-footer made for Station Cape Disappointment at 30 knots, twice the speed of the 44-footers now in use.

Darrell Murray dedicated a wreath of carnations "to those who made the supreme sacrifice last night, 11 as well as those who died thirty years before. But for Murray, who has spent much of the past ten years counseling veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, the sense of recognition for the living was perhaps the most important part of the reunion. After thirty years, there is finally a sense of completion .

As the survivors of the Triumph/Mermaid disaster gathered at the Museum on Saturday the 12th, several were drawn to make comparisons. Gordon Huggins, the only surviving crew member of the ill-fated Triumph in 1961, commented, "It's scary. We are at the mercy of Mother Nature-even with radar and other technological advances. Everything seems to be going fine. Then bamm! That's when you get it."

Outside the Museum, signal flags flew from the flagpole, spelling out a salute to those who brave the perils of the sea : "Honor All . 11 We will not forget.

The reunion was organized by Darrell Murray, coxswain of the 40-foot Coast Guard utility boat lost back in 1961. It had been Murray who walked into the Museum last spring when Michael Mccusker was searching for material to do a piece on motor lifeboats for the Quarterdeck. His unexpected visit was highly emotionally charged. Murray had been living with the memory of that night in 1961 for thirty years.

The Resonance of Distant Events


- >™ uww•ww•

The Daily Astorian that evening reported that Admiral J. William Kime, commandant of the Coast Guard, would be at Cape Disappointment Thursday, January 10 to review the sea trials of the prototype 4 7-foot motor lifeboat currently being put through its paces at the National Motor Lifeboat School. The Admiral also was scheduled to meet with those attending the reunion.

Seas were mounting to 20 feet Winds were gusting over 40 knots. Attempts to lift off a second fisherman were abandoned. The 52-foot motor lifeboat Triumph, second of that name, arrived to take the Sea King under tow. With pumps operating and the vessel under tow, all seemed well in hand. But the tide had reached hard ebb. Heading in over the bar would have to wait.

Petty Officer Charles Sexton and fisherman David Haynes drowned that afternoon. Fisherman John Blunk was missing and believed to have gone down with the Sea King.

When the Triumph and the Sea King started across the bar, they had the cutter Iris, a rescue chopper, and several motor lifeboats in attendance. One of these was the new 47-footer. Everything looked good. Then, a wave, one of many large waves that day, rolled the Sea King to port. She never came back up.

Reunion participants at Cape Disappointment. (Names listed with credits, page 2.)

Certain events are so eerily similar that it seems as if they are mirrored by a mysterious phenomenon that overcomes the separations of mere time and space Just as in some great drama, though the players be different, the play is the same.

The Columbia River Maritime Museum recently hosted a thirty-year reunion for the remaining survivors of the Triumph/Mermaid disaster of January 12, 1961. Museum members will recall that the story of that incident was recounted in a feature article in the Quarterdeck, Vol. 16, No 3, "They Don't Have to Come Back.''

Ron Jansson, youngest man out on that night thirty years ago, also spoke about changes. ''I was 17 and 25 days out of boot camp when the call came. Back then there were no survival suits, helmets or radar. We were iron men in wooden boats."

Friday morning at the Museum, the Kern Room was readied for an evening reception. Outside, it was working up to a blow. The marine radio scanner kept crackling with word of Coast Guard response to a dragger in trouble The Sea King had gone out Wednesday to go bottom fishing . At 8:45 a.m. on Friday, the Sea King radioed a distress call. A Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Astoria responded, but had to abort the mission when the rescue basket cable broke. Two other choppers at CGAS were grounded. An hour later, another helicopter arrived from Newport One fisherman was taken off the Sea King and two Coast Guardsmen were put on board to operate emergency pumps.

As memorial plaques were presented to Coast Guard Group Astoria and to the Columbia River Maritime Museum, Gordon Huggins paused to remember ''The very first rescue mission by the Triumph was on January 12, 1936, when the S.S. Iowa went down with all hands. Twenty-five years later to the day, she sank in nearly the same weather conditions, at the very same spot on Pe acock Spit . Yesterday, the Sea King went down there, too . 11

When he returned in early January, Darrell Murray looked like a new man. "Everything' s changed," he said. ''Would you believe we have 65 people coming? Survivors, family members, people stationed here, Coast Guard officials-I never would have believed it."

"14.13 Cape Disappointment ... [6th paragraph] Seen from S, Cape Disappointment appears as three low knobs, separated by low, flat ridges From W, the cape is not prominent From NW, the cape appears as a flat island, with a slight depression in the centre and a wooded knob at either end;

What makes the entrance to the Columbia so formidable is not just that conditions can change abruptly, but that the bar is so long . Compounding the matter, it is far from a straight run. A vessel negotiating the shipping channel between the outer end of the south jetty and Pt. Adams must make a minimum of three course corrections And this is with

The exhibits at the Columbia River Maritime Museum resound with tales of the infamy of the Columbia bar. Yet, for visitors who come here during fair weather, this can be quite confusing. To offer an illustration, a cruise ship full of passengers embarks on a tour of the Columbia River valley during an exquisite Pacific Northwest Indian summer. Just before they come to the Museum, they go out to see the bar, and it is well marked, smooth as glass, picture perfect. Ah, but the lady is changeable. Catch her when she is angry. See her when breakers bigger than boxcars stretch from shore to shore, and you will understand.

Consider these entries from Pacific Coasts of Central America and United States Pilot (Eighth edition, 197 5):

And what of this moody cape, named for disappointment? In 1775, the Portuguese Bruno Heceta, sailing for the viceroy of New Spain in the Santiago, found what he believed was the entrance to a great river in this latitude. Pushed back by a tremendous outflow of river-colored water, he was unable to gain entrance. Standing offshore, he drew a chart, labeling what he saw Baya de la Assumpcion and the Rio San Roque. To the south was Caba Frondoso, and to the north, Caba San Roque. Thirteen years later, John Meares, late of the British Navy, pursuing the fur trade in the vessel Felice, arrived with a Spanish chart and immediately recognized "Heceta' s Entrada."

Two hundred years ago, Robert Gray by dint of courage felt his way through the breakers south of Cape Disappointment and found his way into a great river. His passage crossed what is now dry land. Broughton, entering the river with Gray's chart six months later, found the features so different as toquestion Gray's veracity. In 1841, the illfated Peacock of the Wilkes' expedition ran aground on the sandy spit which has since borne her name. That spot, faithfully charted by the U.S. Exploring Expedition, is today on the main channel

Creeping around the northerly cape, he found the water to shoal alarmingly, and viewed a solid line of enormous breakers extending as far as the south shore of the supposed bay. Before he departed, he reasserted a new set of geographic names reflecting his own sentiments: Cape Disappointment and Deception Bay. It remained for the American, Robert Gray, to disprove his opinion. But the name of the cape has persisted, and so it remains to this day.

-Hobe Kytr 9

range. (Peacock Spit, which once swung around seasonally with the prevailing current and wind, has been anchored by the north jetty.) In 1899, Lightship No. 50 was swept off station and driven ashore at the foot of McKenzie Head But, where once the fury of the open ocean pounded the face of this headland, families today go camping on dry land inside Ft. Canby State Park.

The Lady is Changeable. Catch Her When She is Angry.

French barque Colonel de Villebois Mareuil crossing Columbia bar under tow. Photo taken from the steam tug Goliah, Captain 0. Beaton, master, October, 1912.

Quarterdeck, Vol. 17 No. 2

"14.6 Pilotage across Columbia River bar. . .is compulsory.

modern navigation improvements. The crossing used to be much more difficult. It is no wonder that large vessels under sail, especially square-riggers dependent on a favorable wind, found this bar treacherous. The mouth of the river is lined with the bones of vessels whose masters trusted to the whims of the winds and tides.

"14.12 [2nd paragraph) South Jetty extends for a distance of about 5 ½ miles from Point Adams the outer half is submerged Shoal ground extends NW and W from the outer end of Clatsop Spit along the N side of the South jetty; due to spring freshets and NW storms there is a tendency for the shoal to grow in a NW direction.

The old-timers spoke of phantom shoal sands that changed with every tide. Many is the master who came to grief by trusting an old chart for safe passage. This great river carries the largest freshwater outflow entering the Pacific Ocean in the Western hemisphere. And the vast area of western North America she drains is volcanic country. Great quantities of sand, volcanic ash, and pumice are borne downstream until they meet the might of the North Pacific. The world's two longest sandy beaches extend to the north and south of the mouth of the Columbia. Sand accretion since jetty construction began over a hundred years ago is measured in miles.

"Bar. Caution. [2nd paragraph] Tidal Streams. The bar is said to be very dangerous because of sudden and unpredictable changes in the tidal streams, often accompanied by breakers

"[3rd paragraph] On the flood, there is a dangerous set towards Clatsop Spit Heavy breakers have been reported as far inside the entrance as about 3 miles E of the outer end of the S jetty ... 11

"14.11 Landmarks. The entrance of Columbia River is difficult to make in bad weather, as there are few welldefined landmarks.

Mr. & Mrs. Michael Josephson Mr. & Mrs. Gilbert V. Kamara

Barbara R. Ray

Mr. & Mrs. Harold Jacob Anita Kankkonen

Peter Lindsey

Mr. & Mrs. F.D. Finch, Jr.

Stan Allyn

Mr. & Mrs. Ronald L. Campbell

Sylvia M. Davis

Mr. & Mrs. Carl H. Paronen Mr. & Mrs. John Pincetich Mr. & Mrs. Phil L. Pitts

SUSTAINING Kim's Kitchen

Mr. & Mrs. David J. Fastabend Mr. & Mrs. Heinz J. Fick Mr. & Mrs. Robert C. Forness Mr. & Mrs. Elmer Forseth Mr. & Mrs. Sidney 0. Gaustad Trudy M. Glein Lenard J. Hansen

Gary A. Nelson

Mr. & Mrs. David W. Browning Mr. & Mrs. Theodore T. Bugas Dr. & Mrs. Leonard Christensen Mr. & Mrs. Robert Cordiner Irene Deloff Mr. & Mrs. William C. Elder William J. Fornas

Mr. & Mrs. Reuben F. Johnson

Glenna L. Leino



Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Leijon


Jeanie Mogenson

Dr. Harvey C. Rones

Mr. & Mrs. Don M. Haskell

Mr. & Mrs. Carl E. 'Kelly' Larson Kim Lund

Paul Brown

Mr. & Mrs. William Cunningham Mr. & Mrs. Jack Davies Mr. & Mrs. Norman Davis Mr. & Mrs. Larry Determan James M. Donovan Mr. & Mrs. Curtis Dunn

Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Eberly Thompson

H.A. Glenz Rae Goforth

Dr. & Mrs. David I. Williams

McCall's Tire Center, Inc. Myron Molnau

Mr. & Mrs. C. Gordon Childs Mr. & Mrs. Russell Fluhrer Mr. & Mrs. Stephen A. Forrester Mr. & Mrs. Thomas T. Georges, Jr.

Joe M. Plaskett

Mr. & Mrs. Robert Saarheim


Jerome D. Davis

Mr. & Mrs. Larry Perkins

Harriet L. Tremaine

Lloyd, Janet and Margit Bowler Helen E. Copeland

Memorial Donations October 1 December 31, 1990

Mr. & Mrs. Norman A. Purvis Elmer Raitanen

Mr. & Mrs. Leonard E. Lockert

Hazel R. Kech

Pamela K. Munson

Mr. & Mrs. Edward G. White Mr. & Mrs. Tim C. Winn Andrew E. Young William Young


Mr. & Mrs. Ronald C. Honeyman

Mr. & Mrs. Richard J. Olsen

Lt. Cmdr. Eltinge Grinnell, USN, Ret. Katherine Hellberg

Mr. & Mrs. Carl J. Tolonen

Mr. & Mrs. Sam Fort

Mr. & Mrs. Richard Baty

Mr. & Mrs. James S. Stacy

Mr. & Mrs. John T. Cheuvront Mr. & Mrs. Jim H. Chrest Mr. & Mrs. Samuel E. Cochran Mr. & Mrs. Frank J. Coumont Mr. & Mrs. David Crawford

Mr. & Mrs. John L. Westling Ann K. White

Sean Howard, BMI 1st Div.

Mr. & Mrs. James Henderson Edith Henningsgaard Buddy Hoell

Harry Claterbos, Jr. Dr. & Mrs. Thomas R. Montgomery

Michael J. Soderberg

Mr. & Mrs. Polk Riley, III

Angela Dreher Kent Easom

Gary L. Ordway


Mr. & Mrs. Frank H. Satterwhite Pat Simonsen

Mr & Mrs. Larry Teien

Mr & Mrs Edwin Backanen


Dr. Del F. Corbett

Robert M. Ryding Inez R. Sanford Rev. Sallie E. Shippen Barbara Taylor Dorothy A. Tienson Elaine C. Weinberg

Patricia North Arnold C. Petersen

J. William Bader, Jr.

Wendy Gartrell

Mr. & Mrs. Michael Zametkin

Mr. & Mrs. Sam Churchill Scott Collins

Mr. & Mrs. R.C. Kreyer Leland H. Lowenson

Mrs Lyle B Kingery

Mr. & Mrs. Ward V. Cook

Mr. & Mrs. Paul Reimers Mr. & Mrs. Bob Reiter

Dr. & Mrs. Robert D. Neikes

John C. Braestrup Hees Enterprises, Inc.

Mr. & Mrs. Walter H. Palmberg


J.C. Benson II, Inc.

STEWARD Daughters of Norway

Roberta Palo Skipanon Marina Mrs. W.W. Thompson

Dr. & Mrs. Richard Kettelkamp Dorothy V. Kuratli & Family

Don Helligso


Dotti Smith

New Members October 1 - December 31, 1990

Hazel Riswick

Mr. & Mrs. Gary Jacobsen

Justin B. Esperance

Joyce E. Justice

Mr. & Mrs. Gene Robertson Col. & Mrs. Tony Robnett

Alexandra B. Evans

Mr. & Mrs. Richard C. Paulsen

Mr. & Mrs. Donald R. Tucker Mr. & Mrs. Ray Tynkila Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Vaughan RAdm. Joseph E. Vorbach Mr. & Mrs. Michael Wagner

Mr. & Mrs. Larry S. Beller

Mary S. Montgomery

Margaret Paulbach

Mr. & Mrs. Jon A. Englund

Fred R. Baisden, Jr.


Jessica E. Bull


Mr. & Mrs. C.H. Skinner, Jr.

Mr. & Mrs. Patrick T. Ryan

Theresa Wilson Agnes Wolleson

Mr. & Mrs. Harry L. Larson Richard Laughlin

Mr. & Mrs. Charles E. Hansen

Mr. & Mrs. William H. Holm

Duane Jeremiah Ethel E. Johnson

Mr. & Mrs. Harold Lampi Mr. & Mrs. R.M. Landwehr Mr. & Mrs. Carl E. 'Kelly' Larson Ernie Larson

Hjalmer Leino

Mr. & Mrs. Charles Baldwin Mr. R.L. Borland Mr. & Mrs. Paul Branham

Mr. & Mrs. David R. Evans

Mr. & Mrs. Richard H. Lee Mr. & Mrs. Jon Levy Mr. & Mrs. R.J. Little Mr. & Mrs. Vern E. Logsdon, Jr. Mark M. Mead


Marjorie Huddleston

Christina Bridgens Mr. & Mrs. Walter T. Bigley Mr. & Mrs. David R. Brooks

Vivian F. Jackson

Mr. & Mrs. Roy D. Niemi

Jennie Lerback

Robert Dawson


Mr. & Mrs. Don Mespelt Rhoberta E. Michaels & Family Mr. & Mrs. Fred Miles

Dr. Orville N. Jones

Mr. & Mrs. Robert A. Hovden Dr. & Mrs. Richard G. Kettelkamp

Mr. & Mrs. Robert R. Murfin

Mr. & Mrs. John S. McGowan Barbara Parpala

Barbara J. Knotts

John & Deb Mersereau

Andrea Kennet & Hugh McKenna, III

Increased Memberships - October 1- December 31, 1990

Mr. &. Mrs. Einor Lovvold Oregon Glass Service Donald V. Riswick


ORVIE A. 'TIBBY 1 KIMINKI A J. L'Amie Mr. &. Mrs. Harry L. Larson Lila Olsen &. Family


Mr. &. Mrs. Richard C. Paulsen

Mr &. Mrs. Peter R. Kelleher Mr. &. Mrs. Vincent Tadei

Cathy Behm

Mr. &. Mrs. Larry R. Petersen

Mr. &. Mrs. L.F. Van Dusen

Mr. &. Mrs. Ruben A. Mund Oregon Glass Service Leona Perkins

Mr. &. Mrs. Eldon Korpela


Mr. &. Mrs. Robert J. Phillips

Mr. &. Mrs. Richard Jackson Sharon L. Kahumerter

Helen Ryan

Mr. &. Mrs Kenneth V. Carlson

RAdm. &. Mrs. David L. Roscoe, Jr.

Mr. &. Mrs. Craig S Honeyman, Andrew and Kevin


Mr. &. Mrs. Owen Oja

Barbara J. Knotts


Judy Vineyard

Mr. &. Mrs. Eugene Knutsen

Mr. &. Mrs. George C. Fulton Stephen Fulton

Arthur Speke

Mr. &. Mrs. Kenneth E. Moore

Mr. &. Mrs Roy Kinnunen

Mr. &. Mrs. Jay Ystad Melinda Zschoche


Kevin Larson

Mr. &. Mrs. George Abrahamsen Astoria Marine Construction Co. Capt . &. Mrs . James T. Clune

Mr. &. Mrs Jon Westerholm &. Family

WALTER T. McALLISTER Phyllis M. Anderson Guy Tucker

Mr. &. Mrs. Ronald E. Trout

Ross Petersen

Mr. &. Mrs Charles E. Hansen Mr. &. Mrs Eugene Knutsen Dr. &. Mrs Robert D. Neikes

Mr. &. Mrs. Frank M Thorsness

Mr. &. Mrs. Gerald Westerholm &. Family


WALT 'lRv' JOSEPHSON Mr. &. Mrs. Vincent Tadei

Mr. &. Mrs. Heinz J. Fick Mr. &. Mrs. Truman Slotte

Mr. &. Mrs. William I. Loomis, Sr.



ARTHUR HONEYMAN FAMILY MEMORIAL Margaret Wagner Honeyman Mr &. Mrs. Stuart Honeyman

ARTHUR 'ART' STUART Eleanor Ewenson


Mr. &. Mrs Cesar T. Amador


Mr. &. Mrs Allen V. Cellars

GEORGE M PAVLAT Rae Goforth Buddy Hoell

Quarterdeck, Vol. 17 No 2

RuBEN 'RUBE' KuRATLI Mr. &. Mrs. Robert T. Catlin Suzanne Honeyman Leighton W. Isom Mr. &. Mrs. Eugene Knutsen Evelyn Lazarus Mr. &. Mrs. John S. McGowan

Mr. &. Mrs. George Abrahamsen Mr. &. Mrs. Robert A. Morris Oregon Glass Service

Mr. &. Mrs. R.M. Landwehr


Mr. &. Mrs. Arnold C. Mart

Julie M. Weber


Mr. &. Mrs Louis J. Kennedy, Jr.


Margaret Foster

Mr. &. Mrs. Paul Reimers Donald V. Riswick

Alice Nielsen

EVERETTE. HARRIS Jeanne Clifford

RUTH A. JOHNSON Mr. &. Mrs. Alf E. Dahl

Mr. &. Mrs. Charles Wilson

JOSEPH C. SNYDER Yergen and Meyer

Mr. &. Mrs. James Henderson

Mr. &. Mrs. James S. Stacy


Mr. &. Mrs. Richard C Paulsen


Roy ALBERT Duoos

Mr. &. Mrs. John D Karamanos



EL VI KEMMERER Donald V. Riswick

Cindy Rudolfi


Mr. &. Mrs. Royce Larson, Peter &. Sarah

Mr. &. Mrs Ed G. Fearey, Jr. Elsie Jarvinen

WILBUR F. HISSNER Mr. &. Mrs. Alf E. Dahl Mr. &. Mrs. Trygve Duoos Mr. &. Mrs. George C. Fulton Leonard Haga Mr. &. Mrs. Roland E. Larson Georgia Maki Mr. &. Mrs. Cecil Moberg Mr. &. Mrs. Armas E. Niskanen Donald V. Riswick Helen Wilson

Col. &. Mrs. Tony Robnett

Mr. &. Mrs James Henderson

William N. West

Mr. &. Mrs. Alf E. Dahl

HELEN D. JOHNSON Mr. &. Mrs. Arnold B. Curtis, Sr. Mr. &. Mrs Alf E. Dahl Mr. &. Mrs. George C Fulton Stephen Fulton Paula Morrow Mr. &. Mrs. William R. Orr Mr. &. Mrs. Michael Riva Mr. &. Mrs. George E. Siverson

Mr. &. Mrs. Donald W. Landwehr, Sr.

A.J. L'Amie Mr. &. Mrs. Arvi W Ostrom Dorothy 0. Soderberg Mr. &. Mrs. Chris Thompson

Mr &. Mrs. Sidney Larson, Neal, Jim &. Jill Keith Saari


DAVID LEE PRESTON The Boat People , Inc.

OLAVI SAVEL June L. Tassie

Mr. &. Mrs. Charles E. Haddix

Dr. &. Mrs. David I. Williams

Mr &. Mrs. Harvey M. Johnson, Jr., Lindsay &. Luke Harvey Larson

Mr. &. Mrs. Harry Steinbock





Mr. &. Mrs. Edwin Backanen Paul Stangeland

Nancy Larson

Mr. &. Mrs. Richard Cameron

Mr. &. Mrs. Jack Burkhart



Mr. &. Mrs. Donald F. Fastabend Florence A Hansen

Shirley Brooks Cole &. Family

BMC 'MoE' MASON, USCG (RET ) Rae Goforth Buddy Hoell



EARL J. JERNIGAN Edith Randall

Mr. &. Mrs. William L. Vernon

Mr. &. Mrs William R. Orr Jordis Tetli

Mr. &. Mrs. Bill Everson

Evelyn Lazarus


Curtis Olson

Mr. &. Mrs. Alan Takalo

Astoria Marine Construction Co

Peggy Paulbach

Mr. &. Mrs. Daniel Stephan Adaline Svenson Leila Svenson

Mr. &. Mrs. Jay Westerholm &. Family

Mr. &. Mrs Donald von Borstel


she took part in the last steamboat race on the Columbia River. The sentimental favorite to beat the Port of Portland's new steel sternwheeler Portland, the Henderson fell behind early when she lost her steam. Quickly rigging a bypass, the engine crew shunted live steam into her low pressure cylinders until her paddlewheel was pushing close to 30 turns a minute. Jimmy Stewart and other members of the cast of Bend of the River were on board to cheer her on as she passed and beat the Portland on the 3.6

In December 1956, with a grain ship alongside, the Henderson encountered heavy swells near Astoria. Her wooden hull and superstructure pounded so hard against her unyielding tow that she was declared a "constructive total loss." Efforts to turn her into a marine museum were unsuccessful. Beached at Columbia City, she eventually was burned for her metal in 1964.

mile run. Her engineer at the time of the race was veteran steamboatman Charles Kern.

Shaver Collection 74 85

In 1911, the M.F. Henderson capsized and settled on her side in shallow water after being rammed by the steam tug Daniel Kern. Righted by the combined efforts of five other sternwheelers, she was taken to the Portland Shipbuiding Co. and dismantled . The following year her engines and other equipment were installed in the new steamer Henderson.

Astoria, Oregon Permit No. 209

As the Henderson, this twice-lived workhorse of the Shaver fleet had a long and distinguished career on the Columbia River. By 1950, she was one of only two wooden-hulled sternwheelers left on the river. In December of that year, while assisting with the tow of the decommissioned freighter Pierre Victory, she struck the submerged pilings of a pile-dike off Cottonwood Island. Dragged by her tow, she opened up a 20-foot hole below the waterline. The crew worked furiously to keep her afloat until they could beach her on the island. Patched and pumped out, the Henderson later returned to Portland for repairs.

But the Story Did Not End There


ISSN 0891-2661

Non-Profit Organization U.S. POSTAGE PAID

The sternwheel steamer M.F. Henderson was built by Shaver Transportation Co in 1901 as a combination freight and towboat. Several photos in the CRMM archives show her with the famous Benson cigar rafts-seagoing log rafts built to supply Simon Benson's San Diego mill and the largest things afloat in their day.

The highlight of the Henderson's career may have been her starring role as the "River Queen" for the filming of Bend of the River in 1952. Soon after,

The steam sternwheeler M.F. Henderson on the ways of the Portland Shipbuilding Co. South Portland yards, 1912. Her engines and other equipment were installed in the new Shaver Transportation steamer Henderson, combined with a new James Monk locomotive boiler having twice the capacity of the boiler from the old stern-wheeler. (Note gentleman in foreground for scale.)



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