16TH & EXCHANGE STREET, ASTORIA, OREGON 97103
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STR. CHESTER AT TOLEDO, WASHINGTON To most of us, the image of steamboating on the Columbia River system is one of an oppulent Bailey Gatzert or a swift Harvest Queen. For every one of the "showboats," however, there were ten or a dozen hardworking, lesser known steamers which formed the backbone of transportation on the Columbia and its tributaries. Such a boat was the sternwheeler Chester, built at Portland in 1897 by Joseph Supple. Her owner, Captain Joseph Kellogg, wanted a small, shallow draft vessel to carry passengers and freight on the Cowlitz River between Kelso and Toledo, about thirty miles upstream. The Chester incorporated all the design features Kellogg had gleaned from twenty years on the upper
Cowlitz. She became a prototype for most of the shallow draft boats that followed. Her 101-foot hull was extremely light and flexible; fully loaded, she drew barely a foot. She didn't need a landing to load or discharge cargo. If someol'le flagged her from the shore, her pilot simply nudged her bow into the riverbank. Often she would just come to a stop in the shallow stream while a wagon, its hubs well out of water, came alongside. Groundings were a common occurrence, but hardly ever a cause for concern. The Chester became an institution on the Cowlitz. She carried on in her casual yet indispensable service until 1918, when construction of a new highway cut deeply into her trade. No longer fit for service, she was stripped and abandoned in 1919.
QUARTERDECK REVIEW The cold rains of winter have given way to the fretful, intermittent sunshine of early spring. On the construction site for our new building, the ground has already begun to firm. It will soon be dry enough for the heavy equipment which will drive support piling for the structure. In the interim, final engineering, utilities plans, etc. are being completed. The building which will shortly be under way will be measureably different from the one planned four years ago. Forced to re-evaluate by spiralling construction costs, our architect has come up with a structure requiring far less expensive building techniques, without sacrificing any of the space or attractiveness of the original. Plan and elevation will be included in the next issue of Quarterdeck Review. Even with concerted efforts to cut costs, the price tag for the building is substantially higher than originally projected. Much hard work lies ahead in order to achieve the goal. Important commitments to the building fund were made at year's end and in the past few months by several foundations, a large timber company, and a number of individual - including two Life Members who gave $25,000 each. We anticipate that the start of construction will stimulate further giving, and that some potential contributors will come forward with major donations when they see the walls begin to rise. Rolf Klep, Director
At its February meeting, the American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Oregon approved a grant of $5,600 for the Museum. These funds, given on a matching basis, will be used for construction of a top quality model of John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company ship Tonquin, which brought the first permanent settlers to the Columbia River in 1811. At least one additional replica might also be commissioned. Along with other artifacts relating to the discovery, exploration, and early fur trade on the Northwest Coast, the models will form the basis of the Museum's Bicentennial exhibit. While not a factor in the Revolution, the Northwest was extremely important to the United States in the new nation's first decades of independence. The lucrative triangle trade which developed in the late 18th century between New England, the Northwest Coast and the Orient brought a tremendous influx of wealth to American merchants at a time when commerce was desperately needed. More important, the foundations for later territorial claims were established by the American presence in the northwest during that period. As noted, the grant is awarded on a matching basis. It must be matched by $5,600 in non-government funds. The Director would like to hear from anyone interested in contributing all or part of the amount, thereby making possible a permanent exhibit of lasting significance.
• On Saturday, May 24th, the nationally famous Roten Galleries will hold a one-day exhibition and sale of fine original prints (not necessarily nautical) at the Museum. This is a rare opportunity to view and purchase original graphics by Old Masters and contemporary artists. Part of the proceeds of the sale will go to the Museum.
UNUSUAL WOODEN ANCHOR GIVEN TO MUSEUM
Nick Marincovich has been a gillnet fisherman on the Columbia River for half a century. Over the years, he says, he has caught "just about everything you can imagine" in his nets - including a cow which had been swept into the current during the flood of 1948. Even Nick was surprised, however, at the crude wooden anchor he snagged while fishing off Tongue Point early in March, and later gave to the Museum. Unlike the familiar New England killick, made from a forked tree branch and a stone, this anchor resembles a common grapnel. It is hewn from the trunk of a small tree, utilizing four radiating branches as arms. One side of the shank is cut flat for securing a weight, and the head end is notched to accept a rode. Its age is undetermined, but a local historian points out that the anchor fits descriptions of one made by a mid 19th century boatman known as "Black Saul" for the scow Ca/,apooi,a. Unable to obtain iron for the purpose, Saul fashioned his anchor from materials readily available. The result was sufficiently unusual to warrant mention in several contemporary accounts.
MUSEUM PRESIDENT DAN WEBSTER AND DIRECTOR ROLF KLEP EXAMINE WOODEN ANCHOR.
As the Museum grows, so does its reputation as a source and repository of information on maritime history. Each year hundreds of requests for information are received from students, researchers, newspapers, authors, genealogists, etc. These range from brief queries about a particular vessel or person, to detailed requests for background material on broad subject areas. All requests are answered by the Museum staff. If the desired information is readily obtained and is not too lengthy, it is provided by return mail. In other cases, sources where the answer might be found are cited. When detailed research is required to provide the information, special arrangements are suggested whereby the person requesting information pays for the services of a researcher. The quality and completeness of information provided inresponse to requests relates directly to the quality and extent of the Museum library. We earnestly solicit contributions of books on any maritime subject. Particularly desired are published ship registers (Lloyds, American Bureau, Merchant Vessels of the U.S.); old nautical periodicals and works on Northwest maritime history.
IN ASTORIA, 1912
PORTLAND BOAT SHOW
Until a devastating fire swept through Astoria in 1922, much of the city was built over the river on piling. This had some distinct advantages. For a lad with a few minutes to kill and a hook and line in his pocket, most any plank sidewalk was a good spot to see if the fish were biting. In the photograph above, taken at 11th & Commercial in 1912, Elihu Vasbinder proudly displays the fruit of such a venture. Admiring the catch are Ragnor Johnson, Fritz Peterson, Basil Locke, Mayor Herman Wise, and Marge Ross.
Our exhibit at the Portland Boat Show in January was an unqualified success. Boating enthusiasts were surprised and delighted to discover the Museum's superb plank on frame model of the 18th century ship Columbia Rediviva among the myriad chrome and fiberglass and plywood boats on display in the Coliseum. During the ten-day event, hundreds of interested people stopped by the booth to examine the ship model and other artifacts, and to talk about the Museum with curator Michael Naab. A number of new members were signed up at the show, and some fine additions to the collections have already resulted from contacts made there.
JOSEPH MELVILLE DYER
It is with deep sadness that we note the death last December of Joseph M. Dyer, a founding member, past president and enthusiastic supporter of the Museum. As a naval architect and as founder and owner of Astoria Marine Construction Company, Joe brought to his work a perfectionist's attention to detail. The vessels turned out by his yard during four decades, the designs from his board, and his considerable efforts on behalf of the Museum justly won for him a reputation for excellence. He was a rare man. We are proud to have known and worked with him.
BOAT SHOW VISITORS ADMIRE THE MUSEUM'S MODEL OF THE COLUMBIA REDIVIVA.
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AMATEUR SHIP MODELER'S COMPETITION The Second Annual Columbia River Maritime Museum Amateur Ship Modeler's Competition will take place at the Museum on Saturday, May 17th. Any model of any type of vessel may be entered, provided it is entered by the builder. Categories in which awards will be offered are: Plastic Kit Models; Wood Kit Models; Plan-built Models; Ships in Bottles; Miniature Models (scale 1:200 or smaller) and decorative or Fanciful Models. Two sets of awards will be given in each category; one to adult entrants, and one to builders under 15 years of age. A Grand Prize will be awarded for the best model in the show. Entries will be judged by a panel of experts in the ship model field. An entry fee of one dollar will be charged for each adult entry. There is no fee for modelers under 15. Museum admission is included with registration. Last year nearly fifty models were entered. Builders of all ages from throughout the Northwest enjoyed meeting other modelers, comparing techniques, and trading information on sources, etc. Entry forms may be obtained from the Museum. For further information, call (503) 325-2323 or 325-2266.
QUARTERDECK REVIEW OF THE
COLUMBIA RIVER MARITIME MUSEUM ASTORIA, OREGON 97103 ~~R MAJ?i,✓,
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Members of the Columbia River Maritime Museum have something going for them. Not only are they participants in an on-going program to preserve our nautical heritage; they also are entitled to a number of special benefits, such as: free admission for an entire family to the Museum and Lightship; membership card and decals; voting privileges at the annual meeting; participation in Museum-sponsored activities and a free subscription to Quarterdeck Review. Do yourself a favor. Join.
ROTARY CLUB GRANT Purchase of some much-needed audio visual equipment has been made possible by the recent announcement of a cash grant from the Rotary Club of Astoria. The automatic slide projector and synchronized recorder will be used to present specialized orientation programs to school classes and other groups visiting the Museum.
Non-Profit Organization U.S. POSTAGE
PA ID Astoria, Oregon Permit No. 209