V4 N4 Winter 1976 M.V. 'Tom & Al' Brings in a Humpback Whale

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REVIEW WINTER 1976

VOL. 4

16TH & EXCHANGE STREET, ASTORIA, OREGON 97103

NO. 4

M.V. TOM & AL BRINGS IN A HUMPBACK WHALE

Few people realize that one of the last commercial whaling stations in the United States was located in Warrenton, Oregon at the mouth of the Columbia River. It was operated by Hvalfangst Oregon from 1961 to 1965. Hvalfangst (the name means "whaling" in Norwegian) was established by Bioproducts, Inc., a processor of fish by-products, in response to a need for a ready source of fresh, high protein meat for use as mink feed by local breeders. To serve as a "catcher boat," the Tom & Al, an 84-ft. wooden dragger owned by the Parker brothers of Astoria, was outfitted with a 90-mm. whaling cannon designed to fire a 200 lb. harpoon. The first whale, a 38-ton, 40-ft. sperm, was taken in the summer of 1961. It yielded 13,000 pounds of high

grade mink food . The blubber, bone, and all other parts of the whale were processed by the Bioproducts plant. In all, about 12 whales of various species were processed with equal success by 1965, when operations were discontinued. In response to a growing realization that extinction of the great whales would be inevitable if whaling with modern techniques continued unrestrained, the United States banned all commercial whaling in 1971. The same concern is shared by the governments of many other former whaling nations, and by much of the general public. This does not by any means repudiate, however, the varied and exciting history of man's pursuit of the whale down through the centuries, a history in which Hvalfangst Oregon played a colorful, if small, part.


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QUARTERDECK REVIEW 1976 has been a significant year for the Columbia River Maritime Museum on every front. A good deal of activity centered around construchon of the Museum's new building, whose dramatic shap~ now stands out boldly on the Astoria riverfront. Approximately 60 percent complete at year-end, it represents a major accomplishment. But it also represents a great challenge. Still ahead is most of the interior work, including installation of the heating and ventilating systems, wmng, lighting, finish carpentry, plumbing, and manufacture of exhibit cases. All of this will be expensive; several hundred thousand dollars in additional funds must be secured in order to finish the job. It is an ambitious goal, but one that must be achieved. The need for increased exhibit area, for improved storage and curatorial spaces and educational facilities becomes more pressing with every passing day. 1976 attendance, spurred in large part by the wave of interest in our nation's heritage that the Bicentennial celebrations inspired, increased by more than 25 percent over previous years. It is interesting that the greatest gains took place in the "off' seasons. I am also pleased to note an important increase in revenue from memberships during the year. Many new members signed on, and a substantial number of standing member s, recognizing the ever-growing fiscal demands on the Museum, renewed their memberships in a higher category. While these gains are gratifying, however, it should be pointed out that continued expansion of the membership is vital to future stability and success. We urge all our members and friends to encourage others to become interested in and support the Museum and its goals through membership. Refinement and growth of the Museum's collections continued in 1976, with the addition of artifacts and other materials far too numerous to list here . One event of outstanding significance in this area was the commissioning by the Museum of scale models of two historically important vessels: John Jacob Astor's ship Tonquin, which was sent out from New York in 1810 to establish the settlement that became Astoria; and the little brig Chatham, in which Lt. William Broughton made the first survey of the Columbia River in 1792. These replicas, among the Museum's finest, were made possible by generous grants from the Astor family in England and the Oregon Bicentennial Commission, respectively. 1976 has been a busy, sometimes hectic year-but for the Director, a very satisfying one. It could not have been so without the hard work and cooperation of Trustees and staff, and the strong commitment of members and contributors. · I thank them all . Rolf Klep, Director

THE DIRECTOR DISCUSSES FUTURE PLANS WITH MUSEUM PRESIDENT TED THOMPSON.

NEW TRUSTEES, OFFICERS ELECTED

Six Trustees of the Museum retired from service, and eight new Trustees were elected to the Board at the Membership Meeting which preceeded the Annual Dinner, held on November 5th. Stepping down after fourteen years on the Board were Deskin Bergey, Eben Carruthers, and Richard Carruthers, all founding members and past officers of the Museum. Also stepping down were Jon Englund, John Rickman, and the perenially hard-working secretary of recent years, Larry Snyder. They have all earned a watch below. Newly elected to four-year terms on the Board are Thomas E . Aut zen, Portland; George H. Jackson, Portland; J ohn M. McClelland, Longview; George Stadelman, The Dalles ; J ohn A. Warren, Eugene; and J ohn Youell , Portland. Elected t o three-year and one-year terms, respectively, to fill vacancies caused by resignations, are Mrs. Edith Green and John Sprouse, both of Portland. The Board has elected Theodore H. Thompson President of the Museum. He takes over from Philip L. Bainer. John Youell was elected Vice President, while Roy R. Seeborg was elected Secretary. Clayton Morse will continue as Treasurer. All hands look forward to working with Ted Thompson and the rest of the Board in the challenging months ahead. MUSEUM RECEIVES GIFT OF LAND

A very significant parcel of real property has recently been deeded to the Museum as the generous gift of Dr. John M. Foster, an Astoria physician. Located directly to the west of the 17th Street approach to the Lightship dock, the submerged land extends from the Lightship parking lot out to the pierhead line of the Columbia River. The importance of this acquisition cannot be overemphasized. Not only will the Museum's control of the property guarantee open space around the approach to the new building; in the long term it could also provide vital space for expansion.


SHIP CHILLICOTHE

At the beginning of World War One, the German fleet of sea-going steel sailing vessels was among the finest in the world. Many of these ships were in U.S. ports at the outbreak of hostilities, and others soon sought the refuge of American neutrality. One such vessel was the ship Arnol,dus Vinnen of Hamburg, built at Glasgow in 1892 as the Flotow, and renamed Alsterkamp for a time before joining the Vinnen fleet. She entered the Columbia River late in 1914 and went into layup at Clifton, 20 miles upstream from Astoria. When the United States entered the war in 1917, the Arnol,dus Vinnen was seized by the government and turned over to the Shipping Board for wartime operation. She was given the name Gamecock, after the famous clipper ship; then, less than a year later, she was renamed Chillicothe, for the midwestern Indian tribe. Under the Shipping Board flag, she made several voyages to Australia and the Orient before being laid up in Seattle in 1921. The following year she was purchased for $25,000 by the Columbia River Packers Association of Astoria to replace the aging downeaster St. Nicholas, which, with the Reuce, had been hauling boats, gear, men and canned salmon between the Columbia River and C.R.P.A.'s Bristol Bay canneries for twenty years. By coincidence, the man who negotiated the deal was Emil Streichert, who had been second mate in the vessel when she was the Alsterkamp. He had left the ship in Tacoma in 1907, settled in Astoria, and had risen lo prominence with C.R.P.A. The Chillicothe made three voyages to Bristol Bay for her new owners, going north in the spring and returning with the season's salmon pack in the fall. In 1925 she was laid up once more. C.R.P.A. had purchased the steamer Memnon to take her place. Sold to California interests in 1927, the Chillicothe was sent with lumber to Aust ralia, where she was eventually hulked .

S.S. MEMNON, WHICH REPLACED CHILLICOTHE, 1930 PHOTO.

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CHILLICOTHE OFF SAN FRANCISCO LIGHTSHIP, APRIL, 1920

ST. NICHOLAS, PREDECESSOR AT C.R.P.A .


COME ABOARD 1

JOIN THE

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COLUMBIA RIVER MARITIME MUSEUM ENCOURAGE YOUR FRIENDS TO BECOME MEMBERS

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$10,000 or more

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Contributing

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for $ ................ is enclosed

Memberships Start from Month of Receipt NAME ADDRESS ........................................................................................... . DETAIL FROM THE SHIP'S ARTICLES OF THE BRIG AMERICA OF PHILIDELPHIA FOR A VOYAGE TO SAVANNAH, GEORGIA IN THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY.

CITY ............. ......... .................. ZIP ................ STATE .............. ..

NEW MEMBERS, INCREASED MEMBERSHIPS (*)

LIFE Mr. Alan C. Goudy, Portland

SUSTAINING Mr. & Mrs. Daniel R. Babbitt, Portland Prof. & Mrs. M. Sponnenburgh, Corvallis Mr. & Mrs. John A. Sprouse, Portland Mr. & Mrs. J. Dan Webster*

SUPPORTING Mr. Arthur S. Dempsie, Beaverton* Capt. & Mrs. James G. Purcell* Mr. & Mrs. Harry Swanson*

CONTRIBUTING Astoria Florist* Capt. & Mrs. John Beale, Longview Mr. Gerald Capps, Tigard Mr. & Mrs. George J. Corrigan, Bend Mr. & Mrs. Gerald N. Corrigan, Portland Mr. & Mrs. Donald Endres, Phoenix The Guild Mens Shop* Mr. & Mrs. Richard Pearson, Salem Mr. & Mrs. Henry E. Ramvick* Mr. & Mrs. Benj. M. Reed, Manzanita* Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Vanek, Milwaukie Mr. H. N. Williams, Dana Point, CA ANNUAL Mr. Bruce B. Cheever, Tucson

QUARTERDECK REVIEW OF THE

COLUMBIA RIVER MARITIME MUSEUM ASTOitlA, OREGON 97103

; 3 S}'.ORJA-0~

Sr. Constantino Gropallo, Genoa, Italy Mr. Edwin Haglund, Coeur d'Alene, ID Mr. Oscar Haglund, San Pedro, CA Dr. Robert W. Haglund, Tacoma Mr. & Mrs. Walter Hoffman, Hood River Mr. & Mrs. Richard F. Olson, Longview Portway Machine Works Mr. & Mrs. George F. Roemer, Longview Mr. William H. Stiles, Jr., Longview Senator Don Talley, Kelso Mr. & Mrs. Amund Taylor, Longview Representative Alan Thompson, Kelso Capt. & Mrs. Gunther S. Tockus, Portland STUDENT Mark D. Forbes Blaine Vernon

Non-Profit Organization U.S. POSTAGE

PAID Astoria, Oregon Permit No . 209


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