V1 N4 Winter 1973 Lighthouse Tender 'Manzanita'

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VOL. 1




Navigation on the Lower Columbia has its peculiar hazards, but ice is not generally among them. That was not the case in January, 1930, when the river became completely blocked by ice during a severe cold wave which continued for seventeen days. On January 17, after a week of sub-freezing temperatures, Portland harbor was choked with ice. The Coast Guard Cutter Redwing, joined by numerous tugs, worked overtime to clear paths for commercial vessels. Downriver, the Lighthouse tenders Manzanita and Rose, stationed at Tongue Point, did their best to keep jams of ice from closing the main ship channel. Meanwhile, the landings of many small river communities below Longview had become entirely blocked by ice. In Cathlamet, Puget Island, Skamokawa, Brookfield and Altoona, residents were unable to ship their products to upriver markets, or to receive supplies and mail. Most rivercraft were frozen in at their moorings. Those

vessels that were able to venture out did so at the risk of damaging their hulls on the drifting floes, or of being trapped in an ice jam. On January 20 temperatures dropped several degrees below zero, freezing the Columbia all the way across at Wauna. Commerce on the Lower River was at a standstill. In the north bank communities the situation was growing critical. Thousands of dairy cattle were in danger of starving, and several Pillar Rock families were reported to be nearly out of food. Relief came on the 24th, when the Coast Guard icebreaker Northland arrived at the Columbia River. Aided by the Manzanita and the Rose, she got through to the isolated towns with food and supplies, then went to work opening up the main channel. The cold wave finally broke on January 27. With warmer temperatures the ice dissipated rapidly, though it was a week into February before some river landings were clear. The "Great Freeze" of 1930 had come to an end.


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As 1973 draws to a close we can look back on a year of diversified activity and important successes for the Museum. 1973 has marked the beginning of our long-planned publications program, with four issues of Quarterdeck Review having been produc;ed on schedule. We hope Museum members will continue to enjoy the newsletter in months and years to come. In terms of artifact acquistion, 1973 has been a banner year. The quality of additions to the collection-particularly in the areas of navigation instruments, marine paintings, scrimshaw, and books-has been exceedingly high. Major strides were made in the capital fund drive, bringing plum fur uur ut-w faLilily wud1 du~ur tu fruit11tiun. The Museum's reputation for quality continued to widen in 1973, if notices in the press and letters received are any indication. It is also gratifying to note that memberships from beyond the immediate vicinity continue to mount. In addition, more and more first-time Museum visitors are becoming members, reflecting a growing concern for the legacy of the past and an appreciation of the Museum's efforts to preserve that legacy. The future is bright as we look toward 1974. A successful completion of the capital fund drive is anticipated during the year, and the beginning of construction at the new building site can be expected as well. Concerted efforts will be made to further accelerate Museum membership growth. At the same time, membership participation opportunities will be expanded, providing greater benefits for members. The importance of a successful membership as a broad-based source of support cannot be overemphasized. In short, the coming year holds great promise and great challenge. We are confident that the continuous improvement and growth by which the Museum has been characterized for the past eleven years will continue unabated in 1974. Rolf Klep, Director


New Museum officers were elected to one year terms by the Board of Trustees at their november meeting, held on board the Lightship. J. Dan Webster, an official of Pacific Power & Light Company, takes over as president from R. T. Carruthers. Named to succeed Deskin Bergey as vice president was Roy R. Seeborg, Superintendent of Astoria schools. Larry V. Snyder and Clayton C. Morse were re-elected as secretary and treasurer, respectively. Mr. Webster assumes his new duties at an exciting time in the Museum's history. 'His term will see continuation of membership growth, further expansion of Museum programs, and the beginning of construction of the new building. The entire staff looks forward to working closely with our new president during the coming year.

Not long ago a Museum visitor asked staff member Frank Seely if he could tell her anything about the six-masted barkentine E. R. Sterling, a painting of which she had noticed during her tour. Much to the young lady's surprise, he answered, "I ought to be able to; I made a trip from San Francisco to Sydney in her in 1922 !" For the next twenty minutes, Frank answered the fascinated visitor's questions about his experiences at sea and the ships he had served in, unfolding a story of seven eventful years spent as a young man in steam and sail. Frank first went to sea in 1917, signing on as ordinary seaman on the old steamer North Bend for a round trip to Hawaii from San Francisco. Immediately upon his return to San Francisco, he was called to active duty in the Naval Reserves. He volunteered for submarine duty, but the war ended before his training could begin. After his discharge from the Navy, Frank secured an able sraman•~ hrrth on thr ,trnmrr S,111 fu,111 , having giv<'n thr Mat<' a somewhat embellished account of his skills and experience in the North Bend.

The San f uan was engaged in the trade between West Coast U.S. ports and Central and South America. She was one of four ancient Pacific Mail Line steamers Frank served on between 1918 and 1922. The others were the City of Para, the Newport and the George W. Elder. All were on the South American run. In February 1922, Frank signed on for a voyage to Sydney in the six-masted iron barkentine E. R. Sterling. This was to be his only venture in sail. Back on the beach in San Francisco in September, he secured a berth as quartermaster in the Pacific Mail Line passenger steamer Colombia, assigned to the Far East run. In 1923 Frank left the S. S. Colombia and the sea to complete his education and pursue a career ashore. He enjoys recalling those seven ships and seven hard years of his youth, but he does not regret leaving them behind. Now a retired Government finance officer, Frank has been on the Museum staff for four years. Weekday visitors will recognize him as the man who takes admissions.


Some 25,000 pounds of artifacts, the makings of what promises to be an exciting Corps of Engineers exhibit, were off-loaded from a barge for storage at Tongue Point last month. All of the items had recently been removed from the veteran dredge Multnomah, currently awaiting scrapping at the Corps moorings in Linnton. The most dramatic artifact in the lot is the top half of the dredge's stack; 23 feet high and 6 feet in diameter, the black steel cylinder includes the Corps insignia on both sides.


Other Multnomah items donated by the Corps include the dredge's whistle, her signal mast, two steam engines, a number of control bridge and engine room fittings, and several of the original wood patterns used for casting her huge pump parts. Barging of the artifacts from Linnton to Tongue Point was donated by Western Transportation Company. U.S. Coast Guard personnel and equipment from Base Astoria did the unloading. For the time being, the artifacts will be stored in space provided by the Tongue Point Job Corps Center.

The pipeline dredge Multnomah, a veteran of sixty years of service on the Columbia River and San Francisco Bay, is nearing the end of her days. Built at St. Helens in 1913, she now awaits final disposition at the Corps of Engineers moorings in Linnton. Typical of the large non-propelled dredges which have maintained channel depths in rivers and bays since the turn of the century, the Multnomah has a steel hull and wood superstructure. Her overall length is 265 feet; her beam is 38 feet. Her pump is powered by a 1,000 HP steam engine, giving her dredging capacity of 800 to 1,500 cubic yards per hour at depths of up to 62 feet. Maximum width of cut was 375 feet. The artifacts removed from the Multnomah for display at the Museum will be a fitting reminder of her faithful service long after she has come under the scrapper's torch.


On a ship at sea, it is customary for a quartermaster to make the rounds of the vessel every morning, winding all clocks and setting them to the correct time. A similar routine is maintained in the Museum, where nine key-wound clocks are on display, most of them running. Several more keep time in the work area of the . building, while still others are in storage. No two of the Museum's clocks are alike. They range from a Seth Thomas separate bell striking clock recovered from wreckage of the rum runner Red Rover to a modern Negus 56-hour chronometer donated by the Coast Guard. In between are such varied timepieces as the pilothouse clocks from the towboats Ocklahama and Shaver, and the brass cabin clock from the British ship Glenesslin, which sailed smack into Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain in the fine weather in October, 1913. The clock shown at right is probably the handsomest in the Museum's collection. Made for the Lighthouse Service before 1900, it used to hang in the lightkeeper' s quarters at North Head, Washington.




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To maintain a vessel like the Columbia as a "live" exhibit requires far more than simply keeping her afloat. Ideally, it means maintaining her in as near to a "Ready for Sea" condition as is practicable. In part to provide an immediate goal toward that end, the Board of Trustees has adopted a plan to send the Columbia to Portland in June as a unit of the 1974 Rose Festival Fleet. The trip will mark the first time in over ten years that the lightship has been underway. In charge of preparations in the engine room are volunteers Albin Anderson and Capt. Ted Bohlman. Al, a retired marine engineer, is familiar with all the quirks and idiosyncrasies of the lightship's engineering plant, most of which is nearly forty years old. He "signed on" as Chief Engineer when a volunteer crew of businessmen brought No. 88 to Astoria from Seattle in 1963, and he has kept a watchful eye on things ever since. Ted Bohlman, though new to the Lightship, is no stranger to diesel engines or to the sea. A retired towboatman, he now operates a summer charter service in Astoria. Al and Ted are two of a growing number of volunteers who enjoy active participation in the preservation of historic Lightship No. 88. More are needed. Anyone with skills and time to contribute may contact Michael Naab at the Museum.




The holiday season is upon us, and with it the need to match up names on gift lists with gifts which will be appropriate and well received. This sometimes formidable task can be made considerably less difficult by taking advantage of the Museum's gift membership program. A gift membership performs triple duty : first, it provides the recipient with an opportunity to participate in an on-going program to preserve and relate our great maritime heritage; second, it provides the Museum with a vital source of operating revenue; and third, it is tax-deductible for the giver. Membership in every category except Student entitles an entire family to unlimited free admission to the Museum and Lightship. Members receive a Museum decal, membership card, and a year's subscription to Quarterback Review. Members may vote in the Museum's annual elections and participate in Museum-sponsored activities and events. In the past, gift memberships have resulted in a considerable number of active and interested Museum supporters. We hope this year will be no exception. Surprise a relative or friend with a gift that gives satisfaction all year long. Write or call the Museum today (503/ 325-2323). Your gift memberships will be mailed without delay, accompanied by a card giving your name and an appropriate message.

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