V2 N3 Fall 1974 'Glenmorag'

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GLENMORAG On March 19, 1896, the full-rigged ship Glenmorag of Glasgow, bound for Portland from Melbourne in ballast, was suddenly becalmed in a dense fog off the mouth of the Columbia River. Unable to make sea room, she was at the mercy of the prevailing northerly current and the dreaded pull of the breakers. Late in the afternoon, the big square-rigger went ashore broadside -to on the Long Beach peninsula just north of Ocean Park. Fearing that the ship might capsize in the monstrous surf, Captain Archibald Currie ordered the boats lowered in an attempt to get his twenty -six men to safety. His intent was to reach the relative calm of the open sea, but the breakers relentlessly drove them toward shore. Two boats made it safely to the beach. The third, rounding the stern of the ship, was hurled against the counter by a huge wave, killing two seamen and injuring several others. Clinging to the wreckage, the survivors were cast ashore by the breakers. Nearby residents provided food, shelter, dry clothing, and medical assistance for the Glenmorag's crew. When dawn broke the following day, the Glenmorag rested high and dry, above the low tide line. She was on an even keel, and seemed almost to be afloat on a sea of sand. Her anchor cable stretched far out to seaward, where her dragged anchor remained. Surprisingly, damage to the ship was minor. Agents for the shipowners beg.an making arrangements at once for refloating the vessel. Several attempts were made during the following months. In December, the ship was actually floated for a few moments, but the waves drove her ashore for good this time. Soon after, Kern Brothers of Portland, a salvage firm, was hired to dismantle the ship where she lay. A few months later, all that remained of the Glenmorag were some rusty floor frames, and they were soon swallowed up by the sand.




QUARTERDECK REVIEW The Seth Thomas softly chimed four bells. For a change it would be to get away for a day in Southwestern Washington. I was in Ilwaco at 0930, talking with a master boat builder, a friend of many years. He was reminded of a boxful of ship plans, awaiting a time when he could segregate. Carefully avoiding the shipyard cat who was busy feeding two litters of kittens in a cardboard box placed in the traffic pattern, we found them. Next came a very handsome capstan from an American ship wrecked on the coast. Brass cap was missing but he would cast a replacement, and other missing parts would be made . There was enough time for a quick visit to Cape Disappointment Light before luncheon with a member of the Advisory Board, where we would discuss the Museum's plans for the future. After lunch it was on to Seaview for a visit with old friends, resulting in more photographs and artifacts for the Museum collections. Next came a longer run to Aberdeen and, in fog, to Ocean Shores. Here my visit was with a missionary couple who are great collectors of Northwest Indian artifacts, are tribal members, and donors to the Museum. Reviewing their fine collection resulted in the acquisition of a number of rare volumes on Northwest history for the Museum. Night fell on a rewarding day, in country of fascinating history and great natural beauty. It was a day with some of the many friends of the Museum- away from the crowded desk and the many problems confronting a growing museum. Rolf Klep, Director


This Fall the Museum will re-issue the famous McBean "shipwreck chart", out of print for many years and sought after by collectors. Compiled in 1936, it is officially titled "The Columbia River Entrance - The Wrecks and Marine History of its Development." The new edition will be an exact reproduction of the original, printed on heavy paper in full color, with wide margins. Suitable for framing, its overall size is approximately 22 x 24 in . The chart will be available in mid October. The price at the Museum will be $4.50; mailed postpaid in a sturdy tube anywhere in the U.S., $5.25.


Thanks to a Matson Navigation Company executive, one of the Museum's ship models has been completely rebuilt-and returned to its original identity in the process. John V. Smoot discovered the model at the Museum last year. Though her name and stack markings had been painted over by a previous owner, Smoot immediately recognized the S.S. President Hoover, a replica he built in the 1930's and sold to the Dollar Steamship Company, owners of the ship. He had not seen the model in forty years. Now, after several months of work by Mr. Smoot in his spare time, the model has been throughly restored, and is again on exhibit at the Museum. The original President Hoover was built in 1931 for passenger service between West Coast ports and the Orient. She was the pride of the legendary Dollar Line. Her brief career ended when she was lost by grounding off Taiwan in 1937.


As this issue of Quarterdeck Review is being prepared, we are just a few days into the Fall gillnet fishing season on the Columbia River. From the Astoria hills in the early evening sunlight, hundreds of fishboats can been seen en route to their drifts. By darkness their lights are strung out from Ilwaco to Altoona and beyond like a far off, floating city. The sound of their engines reaches Astoria as a low, somehow reassuring murmur. Looking out at those lights, it occurs to us that Astorians have enjoyed much the same nocturnal spectacle every Fall for well over a hundred years-for that is how long the gillnetters have fished for salmon in the river. To be sure, there have been changes. There was a time when the fleet was much larger, numbering well over a thousand boats; and today's high-powered, square-nosed, fiberglas bow picker bears little resemblance to the broad, spiritsail-rigged double enders which brought in the record pack of 1882. The great 70-pound Chinook salmon is gone forever, as are the days of unregulated fishing. But in spite of the difference in boats, fish and men, the gillnet salmon fishery retains a continuity symbolized by those lights on the river year after year. More than an ancient profession, more than an important industry, it is a way of life, a living part of our cultural heritage.






Early in the century, the most common lighted navigational aid outside of a main channel was the standard brass post light, so called because it was hung from a bracket on a post or piling. It held enough fuel to burn for two days. For remote locations, it could be equipped with a reservoir which held an eight day supply of fuel. Generally, the Coast Guard contracted with local residents to maintain the lights. The last post light in use on the lower Columbia was maintained by the gillnetters' union on Beacon Sands, upstream from Point Ellice, until just before World War II. At that time it was given to the fisherman who had kept it fueled and trimmed during the fishing seasons, Art Gunderson of Knappton, Washington. Last month Mrs. Gunderson presented the weathered beacon to the Museum in memory of her husband and all the fishermen who once relied on its light.




All of us were deeply saddened in July by the death of Alice Klep, wife of the Director. Since the founding of the Museum in 1962, Mrs. Klep acted as "First Lady", hostess, goodwill ambassador, and advisor. Her graciousness and special charm left their mark indelibly on the Museum and on all who knew her.



Contributions to the Museum honoring the memory of Mrs. Klep have been so numerous that the Board of Trustees has established a special Alice Klep Memorial Fund, to be a part of the Museum's endowment. Income will be used exclusively for purchase of fine artifacts.





□ □ □ □


$10,000 or more

Patron Life Sustaining

My Check

$2,000 or more $1,000 or more S 500 per year

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Supporting $ 100 per year Contributing $50 per year Annual $10 per year Student .$2.50 per year

for $ ____ ____ is enclosed Money Order □ Memberships Start from Month of Receipt □

NAME ADDRESS _----------------------CITY ___ _____ --------------- -- --- ---





Lower river residents enjoyed a rare sight on a Sunday morning last June when the four-masted barkentine Esmeralda sailed upstream as far as Tongue Point under a full spread of canvas. The 3,040-ton Chilean naval training vessel was enroute to Portland as part of her annual training cruise. Built for Spain in 1952 as the Don Juan de Austria, she was acquired by Chile in 1953.

People become members of the Museum for any number of reasons. S.V. Hatchitt of Coos Bay, who made a trip around the Horn as cabin boy in the schooner Undaunted in 1922, joined to keep up his life-long association with ships and the sea. Paul Ogden of Lafayette, California, signed on when he became interested in the Museum library. There must be thousands of reasons. We'd like to have a member for every one.


Since the last of the great cargo-carrying windjammers succumbed to the steamship and motor vessel, numerous proposals have come from diverse quarters for a re-introduction of the merchant sailing ship. Few of these schemes have actually been tried, and none has succeeded. Today, however, with the soaring cost of marine fuels, the likelihood of a resurgence of merchant sail is greater than ever before. In the July-August issue of Oceans magazine, Hugh G. Lawrence writes of his plan to re-rig the steel hulk Fennia (ex 4-masted bark ChamrJigny), using modern materials and techniques, for cargo service in the Caribbean. The plan


fell through when surveys revealed structural deficiencies in the 72-year old hull, but Lawrence remains convinced that, over certain routes, a large cargo carrier under sail could be a commercial success. Australian naval architect Warwick Hood has gone a step further. Backed by a consortium of businessmen, he is currently drafting plans for a 2,000-ton welded steel sailing vessel for Pacific cargo service. The 275-foot four master will carry 33,000 square feet of sail in a stay-sail rig. She will have a small diesel auxiliary for maneuvering, bulbous bow and bow thruster, and modern sail hand ling equipment. The sponsors hope to ready her by 1975.

Non-Profit Organization U.S. POSTAGE




Astoria, Oregon Permit No. 209

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