16TH & EXCHANGE STREET, ASTORIA, OREGON 97103
ACKROYD P HOTO
NEW MUSEUM BUILDING SHAPES UP
The Museum's new building is rapidly taking shape, its wave-like outline dominating the Astoria waterfront. As construction progresses, enthusiasm for the project continues to grow. Observers are most impressed by the sheer size of the building (312 x 120 feet), and by the dramatic design. Already it is one of the most photographed landmarks in the area. Work on the building's exterior is nearly complete. Since late March, when the above photograph was taken, the roofers have come and gone, completing their work. Windows and doors will soon be installed, and fireproofed hand-split cedar shakes applied to the outside walls. Inside, most of the framing work for permanent walls and partitions has been accomplished, and plumbing has
been roughed in . Soon to follow will be wiring, lighting, finish plumbing, heating and cooling system, interior finishing, landscaping, and finally, the lengthy process of exhibit construction. The weather of the past fall and winter has done its best to deter progress, but construction manager Al Mittet and his crew have managed to maintain headway. In spite of inflationary pressures, the cost of construction to date remains in line with original estimates, thanks largely to strong support in the form of donated materials and substantial discounts from suppliers and subcontractors. Approximately $350,000 is needed to complete the project. If those funds can be secured soon, the Museum may be occupying the new building by the summer of 1977.
WHAT, WHERE, WHEN?
QUARTERDECK REVIEW One of the most enjoyable aspects of the Director's job is the opportunity to occasionally stop and talk with visitors as they tour the Museum. Their backgrounds and their reasons for coming to a maritime museum are as interesting as they are varied. For example, during the past few weeks, in addition to retired couples from California, a Cub Scout pack from eastern Washington, and students from the local Community College, we chatted with a European gentleman whose hobby is singlehanded transoceanic sailing, a woman from New England whose seafaring great-grandfather helped establish the city of Portland, Oregon, and a businessman who made several voyages to Alaska as a youthful crew member in the old Downeaster Berlin. Conversations with visitors have a significance beyond being simply a welcome respite from a crowded desk; they are a vital source of feedback from the Museum's audience. The impressions gained by the public as they view the exhibits are our best indication of how well we do the job of displaying and interpreting the collections. Ideas for future programs and exhibits sometimes result from talking with visitors, and it is often that a chance conversation with an enthusiastic patron provides some valuable bit of information that our research has not uncovered. Providing the visiting public with a greater appreciation of our nautical heritage, in a way that is enjoyable as well as rewarding, is a primary goal of the Museum. The suggestions and criticisms of individual visitors are of great help in our effort to achieve that goal. Rolf Klep, Director
A few years ago the Museum purchased a small box of old photographic negatives that someone had rescued from a junk pile in Portland. It turned out to be the collection of Lester Thrush, who apparently worked as deckhand and mate on a number of Columbia River sternwheelers early in the century. Among the dozens of interesting photographs of boats and crews and river scenery was the picture above. It appears to be a one-man ferry, probably operating somewhere east of The Dalles between 1900 and 1920. We'd like to hear from any of our readers who can tell us more about this curious vessel.
MUSEUM HOUSE FLAG FOR NEW FLAG POLE
DIRECTOR KLEP EXAMINES NEW HOUSE FLAG.
Fifty years ago a vessel of any consequence was regarded by many to be incomplete if she did not include in her outfit a name pennant, owner's house flag, and union jack, along with the requisite national ensign and International Code flags. On holidays and special occasions, it was a matter of pride among owners and masters to fly every piece of silk and bunting on board. That colorful tradition will be kept alive at the new building site, where a 75-foot ship's mast flagpole, donated by Northwest Marine Iron Works, is soon to be stepped on the forecourt. Among the flags that will be flown from the mast is the Museum's new house flag. Designed to be easily recognized, it is composed of a simplified version of the Museum logo (representing Captain Robert Gray's ship, Columbi,a Rediviva) in white on a field of blue. Surrounding the ship are three white stars. Purchase of house flags, a U.S. broad pennant, and several U.S. ensigns (including a huge holiday flag) has been made possible by a grant from the Astoria Rotary Club.
ACQUISITIONS REFLECT SEAFARING CAREERS
Among the most significant acquisitions of the past few months are the collections of papers, photographs, and mementos of Ernest Bent and William H. Melsome, British-born Master Mariners whose early careers were remarkably parallel, though they did not meet until after both had retired in California. Mrs. Ruth Taylor of Carmel, daughter of Captain Melsome, and Miss Barbara Bent of Palo Alto, Captain Bent's daughter , donated the collections. Both men began their sea training in schoolships, Melsome in the Conway from 1887 to 1889, and Bent in the Worcester from 1877 to 1880. Both first went to sea at age 15, Melsome in the four-mast barque Stanley and Bent in the ship John Rennie. Young Melsome was not sure he cared for the seafaring life. In 1891, on his second voyage, he jumped ship in San Francisco, and for three years had jobs ashore, including one at Union Iron Works, where he worked on the battleship Oregon and the cruiser Olympi,a. In 1894 he took a quartermaster's berth in the Pacific Mail steamship China, running between San Francisco and Hong Kong. After 19 months he went as Mate in Alfred Holt "Blue Funnel" steamers on various oriental routes. Later he shipped in coastal steamers of the China Navigation Company. In 1903, Melsome returned to San Francisco and secured a job as Mate in the Key System ferries on the Bay. He was soon promoted to Master, and spent 35 years with the line before retiring in 1938. Ernest Bent had no early doubts about his calling. He spent seven years in sail, ending up as Second Mate in the composite barque City of Adelame. In 1887 he went over to steam, taking a Fourth Mate's berth in the British India steamship Chyebassa. During the next four years he served as Mate in eight different British India steamers. Then, in poor health, he settled in California and bought a farm, working it until the depression of 1895 forced him to go back to sea. His first berth was as Mate in the same S.S. China that Melsome had boarded two years before. After four years in the China, Bent joined the Japanese-owned Oriental Steamship Company (Toyo Kisen Kaisha). By 1908, having become the senior master in the line, he was given command of the new, 21-knot steamer Tenyo Maru. Eventually he was transferred to the Tenyo's sistership, Chiyo Maru. In March, 1916, the Chiyo Maru went ashore near Hong Kong in heavy fog, becoming a total loss. Captain Bent was not held at fault by the owners, but a Court of Inquiry suspended his license for three months. Though his license was reinstated later that year, he never went to sea again .
S.S. TENYO MARV, SISTERSHIP TO THE CHIYO IN 1916 ENDED CAPT. BENT'S CAREER AT SEA.
MARV, WHOSE LOSS
CAPT. WILLIAM H. MELSOME AT THE WHEEL OF THE KEY SYSTEM FERRY SAN LEANDRO, 1938 .
CAPT. ERNEST BENT ON THE TENYO MARV, 1912.
BOAT DECK OF THE
Sincere thanks and a hearty "Welcome Aboard" to the members listed below, who have signed on with the Museum since publication of the last issue of Quarterdeck Review. Those whose names are followed by an asterisk (*) have increased their membership category from an earlier membership. LIFE MEMBERSHIP
COME ABOARD 1
COLUMBIA RIVER MARITIME MUSEUM ENCOURAGE YOUR FRIENDS TO BECOME MEMBERS
D Benefactor $10,000 or more $2,000 or more D Patron
D Supporting $50 per year D Contributing $25 per year
□ Life D Sustaining
□ Annual □ Student
$10 per year $2.50 per year
for $ ....
....... is enclosed
$1,000 or more $100 per year Money Order □
Memberships Start from Month of Receipt
Mr. & Mrs. H. A. Kuckenberg, Portland NAME
ADDRESS ......... .................. ............. ... .
Mr. Mario M. Castagnola, Santa Barbara .. ...... STATE ............ ... . CITY .................................... .... ZIP . Mr. & Mrs. J.W. Forrester* Mrs. Richard Martin, Portland* Dr. & Mrs. R.P. Moore* Hallaux Paint Store Mrs. Alan A. Honeyman, Gearhart Yergen & Meyer* Herbert D. Lewis, M.D., Manzanita* Mrs. Hollis Johnston, Portland Mr. J.M. McClelland, Jr., Longview* Miss Christine Kammer, Portland Miss Ruth MacGregor, Portland* Mr. & Mrs. George Kesti SUPPORTING Mrs. Henry Mason, Cannon Beach* Mr. Lewis Lund Mr. & Mrs. J.L. Albertson, NY* Mr. Neil L. Morfitt* Mr. & Mrs. Milton D. Lundahl, Portland Mr. & Mrs. H. Gerttula, Ilwaco, WA* Mr. Phil L. Nock, Portland McGregor's Supply Company Mr. & Mrs. Melvin Hjorten* Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Nygaard* Duncan A. McLauchlan, M.D., Portland Captain Donald Hughes, Beaverton* Mrs. John B. Ogilvie, Darien, CT* Mr. David C. Meyer, Sherwood RADM & Mrs. D.L. Roscoe* Photo Art Studios, Portland* Mrs. Myrnella Meyer, Sherwood Mr. & Mrs. Edward W. Thompson* E. Dow Stewart, Portland* Mr. Richard Philbrook, Kelso, WA Mr. & Mrs. Andy Wetherill Warrenton Lumber Co., Warrenton Roger's T.V. & Appliance, Inc. Miss Ethel Wicks* Mr. John H. Sargeant, Portland CONTRIBUTING Mr. & Mrs. Stephen S. Wilcox, Seaside* Mr. & Mrs. Donald Schultz Mrs. Ruth M. Taylor, Carmel, CA Miss Marjorie Chester, Salem ANNUAL Mr. Travis M. Tyrrell, Arch Cape Mr. Harry Czyzewski, Portland* Mr. Leonard G. Vernon Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Dyer, Seattle, WA* Mr. & Mrs. H. Arnstein, Milwaukie Mr. & Mrs. Maurice W. Wilson Miss Barbara E. Bent, Palo Alto, CA Mr. Gerald Frank, Salem Mr. & Mrs. C.L. Wood, Sr., Warrenton Mr. Robert Butler, Gresham Mr. & Mrs. George Fulton* Miss Dorothy M. Claxton, Statelil}e, NV Mr. & Mrs. Merle Goe, Hood River* STUDENT Mr. & Mrs. Jack Cline, Warrenton Mr. & Mrs. Eric Hauke, Jr.* Mr. & Mrs. Arnold Curtis, Sr. Mr. John Zimmerman, Portland Mr. Edgar P. Hoener, Portland*
QUARTERDECK REVIEW OF THE
COLUMBIA RIVER MARITIME MUSEUM ASTORIA, OREGON 97103
Non-Profit Organization U.S. POSTAGE
PA ID Astoria, Oregon Permit No. 209