V5 N2 Summer 1977 Steamer 'City of Salem' taking on Freight at a River Landing

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VOL. 5


NO. 2

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One of the most successful steamers ever to operate on the upper Willamette River was the sternwheeler City of Salem, built at Portland by U.B. Scott in 1875. There long had been regular steamboat service between Salem and Portland, and irregular service to Corvallis. But a large boat could reach Eugene only when the water stage permitted, and never in the late summer and early fall, when transportation was most needed for the valley's wheat crop. Scott changed all that in 1874, when he

launched the Ohio, first large shallow-draft sternwheeler on the Willamette. A year later he followed with the City of Salem. Over 150 feet in length, she drew barely more than 18 inches with 100 tons of passengers and freight on board. Her design was soon copied by other steamboatmen, but not before she had made a fortune for Scott and his partners by seeking freight where deeper boats could not go. Finally, after thirty years on the Willamette, the venerable City of Salem was laid up and dismantled.





QUARTERDECK REVIEW Funds for continued construction of the Museum's new building have been augmented in recent months by a number of substantial gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations. Among them are: The Adams Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. Eben Carruthers; The Clark Foundation; Cox Cablevision Corporation; The Floyd Dement Charitable Fund; The Jacobs Foundation; Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone Co.; Portland Gas and Electric Co.; Mrs. Catharine B. Piper; Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Prael; Mr. and Mrs. John A. Warren; The Westland Foundation; and The Wheeler Foundation. These and other donors have helped to swell the amount received so far for the Capital Fund to $875,000, most of which has already been committed to construction. Almost as much money is needed in order for us to complete the remaining interior work- lighting, heating, plumbing, finishing, exhibit construction, etc. Trustees, staff, and many others are devoting a great deal of energy to finding ways to secure the necessary funding. The nee<l for grealer exhibil area, for improved storage and curatorial spaces and educational facilities, increases daily. Meanwhile, inflation continues to have a frightful effect on construction costs. For these reasons, it is imperative that the required funds be secured soon, permitting completion of the new building at the earliest possible time. We ask the help of every friend of the Museum in achieving that end. Rolf Klep, Director


In an age that is increasingly concerned with automation, rapid production, and headlong speed, it is satisfying to note the current interest in traditional boat types and - on a smaller, less visible scale- in traditional boatbuilding methods. Across the country, wood boatbuilders, many of them young people who have served apprenticeships under master builders in commercial boatshops, schools, or maritime museums, are turning out beautifully crafted traditional boats of every description, from Whitehalls to canoes to whaleboats. What is more, some of them are making a living at it (barely). It would be foolish to suggest that modern boat types or modern materials could (or should) be supplanted by traditional wooden boats. Nevertheless, the resurgence in traditional types and construction is welcome, not only because it will provide more opportunities to appreciate the graceful lines, the meticulously finished cedar and applewood and steam-bent oak of traditional boats, but also because it signals the continuation, if not the perpetuation, of those ancient and honored skills that have produced fine wooden boats for centuries-skills that are now all but lost.

Edward K. Neubauer of Milwaukie, Oregon, took the Grand Prize in the Museum's 4th Annual Ship Model Competition, held on May 21. Neubauer's winning entry, a superb replica of the old sternwheel towboat Portl,and, was among dozens of models submitted by amateur builders from across the Northwest. Vessels entered in the competition ranged from a Chinese junk to modern Coast Guard cutters. Of particular interest, both to contestants and to Museum visitors on hand to view the show, were a model of a Japanese log ship built by Astoria longshoreman Ray Hakala, and a radio-controlled, working steam tug built by Ernest Blanchard of Portland. Both won awards in their categories. First prize winners, in addition to Neubauer and Blanchard, were Scott Johnson, Warrenton; Larry Ritthaler, Portland; and Greg Schaefer, Doug Lindstrom and Peter Gates, all of Astoria. Other prizes went to Mary Martin and Terry Durkin of Astoria; Robert C. Lacalli of Seattle; Jame Herr of Marysville, Washington; and Richard E. Clark of Portland.


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Neubauer's plank-on-frame model, built to 1/8 inch scale, depicts the predecessor to the sternwheeler operated today by the Port of Portland. The first steamer Portl,and, a 185-foot, wooden vessel, was built in 1919 for the Portland Public Docks Commission. She was retired in 1947, when the contemporary, steel-hulled Portl,and was commissioned. The Portl,and ·model will remain on display for an indefinite time. Model builders, meanwhile, are reminded that the Competition will be held again next May. Contact the Museum to be sure of early notification.


With deep sadness and a sense of great loss, we note the death of John Youell, Vice President of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Youell was a valued friend and advisor, a generous benefactor, and a tireless advocate of the principles that guide the Museum. We mourn his passing.


SUSTAINING Dr. & Mrs. Charles W. Browning* The Daily Astorian* Mr. Donald W. Hirschberger, Beaverton* Capt. Donald E. Hughes, Beaverton* Mrs. May S. Miller* Capt. Homer T. Shaver, Portland* SUPPORTING Black Ball Transport, Inc., Bellevue, WA* Mrs. Jean B. Coughlin, Portland Mr. & Mrs. Robert P. Jenkins, Palo Alto, CA Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Morrow* Mr. & Mrs. Orvo A. Nikula Capt. Stanley J. Sayer, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. John P. Syvanen* Mr. & Mrs. Wendell Wyatt, Lake Oswego CONTRIBUTING Ackroyd Photography, Portland*

Beighley-Krause, Portland* Dr. & Mrs. D.E. Clark, Longview, WA Mr. & Mrs. A.J. L'Amie* Dr. Darrell W. Landrey, Portland Capt. & Mrs. Warren G. Leback, Houston, TX Mr. & Mrs. Fred A. Lindstrom* Capt. Howard A. Linse, Corvallis* Miss Karen Ann Moore* Mr. & Mrs. J.E. Niemi, Seaside* Mr. & Mrs. H.A. O'Bryant* Mr. & Mrs. Floyd L. Pittard, Green Valley, AZ Mrs. Mildred Ragan, Oakland, CA Sons of Norway, Lodge No. 16* Mr. & Mrs. Charles L. Wood, Sr.*

Mr. & Mrs. Lauren H. Conley, Long Beach, CA Mr. Bill Everson Mr. & Mrs. K.R. Fellman, Sun City, CA Mrs. Jeanne M. Finke, Seattle Mr. & Mrs. Jack Henningsen, Bingen, WA Mr. Donald M. Kerr, Portland Mr. John H. Lefors, Portland Mr. James L. Overholser, Corvallis Mr. Larry Rockhill, Salem Capt. & Mrs. B.R. Shannon Mr. & Mrs. Donn M. Sullivan, Portland Mr. & Mrs. Claxton A.M. Taylor Mr. Allan R. Thompson, Rainier Mr. & Mrs. Ray E. Utter Mr. Joe Willard, Portland Mr. & Mrs. William I. Wilson



Mr. & Mrs. Oscar F. Brandt, Portland Mr. & Mrs. Howard J. Budlong, Portland Mrs. Hazel M. Clark, Portland

Toby Dyal





LLOYD ADAMS Mr. & Mrs. Ruben A. Mund CHARLES BERRY Mr. & Mrs. E.A. Hauke Mr. & Mrs. Frank E. Ross ROY JULIUS DAHL Mr. & Mrs. Richard L. Beach Mrs. Frank 0. Berg Mr. & Mrs. Ernest E. Brown Mr. Ragna M. Brown Mr. & Mrs. Arnold B. Curtis Messrs. Ottar, Robert & Gary Dahl Mr. & Mrs. H.M. Donaldson Mr. & Mrs. Clarence Dreyer Mrs. Marna Forseth Mr. & Mrs. Fukuda Mr. & Mrs. George Fulton Mr. & Mrs. Lowell H. Ginn Mr. & Mrs. D.C. Gutleben Mr. & Mrs. Wilbur F. Hissner Mrs. Hannah Isaacson Mr. & Mrs. Harold L. Johnson Mr. & Mrs. J aimer P. Johnson Mr. & Mrs. Ragnor 0. Johnson Mr. & Mrs. Howard A. Kartozian Mr. & Mrs. Rolf Klep Lee, Stuart & Hilda Lahti Mr. & Mrs. A.J. L'Amie Taimi M. Lampa Mr. & Mrs. Sigurd Lebeck

Mr. & Mrs. Martin J. Lyons Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Morrow Mr. & Mrs. Ruben A. Mund Mr. & Mrs. J.E. Niemi Mr. & Mrs. William Raihala Mr. & Mrs. Arni Rautio Mr. & Mrs. Ernest F. Seale Mrs. J ordis Tetli Mrs. Hans Wend el Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Young PAUL HARBAUGH Mr. & Mrs. Rolf Klep ERICK B. HAUKE Mr. Ole Berge Mr. & Mrs. Trygve Duoos Mr. & Mrs. Eric A. Hauke Mr. Paul Hauke Miss Eleanor Rasmussen Mr. & Mrs. Frank E. Ross LOTTIE HOKE Mr. & Mrs. Michael Naab ROY NESS Mr. & Mrs. Rolf Klep FIELDING R. RUSS Mrs. Ragna M. Brown Mr. & Mrs. Alf E. Dahl Mr. Ottar M. Dahl

ALFREED JOHN TAIVALL Mr. & Mrs. A.E. !hander Mr. & Mrs. M. Riva RALPH THOM Capt. & Mrs. H.T. Bohlman RUSSELL J. TINKHAM Mr. & Mrs. Rolf Klep WERNHER VON BRAUN Mr. & Mrs. Rolf Klep STEPHEN S. WILCOX Mr. & Mrs. Rolf Klep Mr. & Mrs. Michael Naab Helen H. Peterson Miss Dorothy E. Wooton NETTIE WILKINSON Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Morrow Mr. & Mrs. Ruben Mund JOHN YOUELL The Adams Foundation Mr. & Mrs. Rolf Klep Mr. Donovan F. Mitchell Mr. & Mrs. Michael Naab


Worth of Prope,rty f,o be ~iven away !reat _l~d-~C~IT.l!~ts.

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STR. ll. S. GRANT. tot"' ,li,icl,•d into 4 shnn•s: ONE BLOCK OF LOT'-. in Eust Portland. di,i<l,·d into 8 shnn•s. m· one lot to tlw shnrl'. Yiz: Lots I, 2. 3. 4, S. 6, 7 and S, Block 17. opposih• tlH' '-New Col11mbin11"' Ilot<"I. and at tliP tc-rminus of th.? proposl•d Suspension Bridge; ONE GOLD WATCH. worth SIOO: laO COHOS DUY Fill WOOD, in 3 ""6.res, to he plare<l 011 the BrooklJn \\·harf.

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For those who might believe that public relations schemes and advertising gimmicks are a product of the twentieth century, the broadside reproduced above will come as something of a surprise. A recent gift to the Museum from Lowell E . Kern of Portland, it was published in 1867 by Kern's grandfather, Capt. J. W. Kern, a pioneer riverman and an entrepreneur who obviously knew a thing or two about catching the travelling public's eye. The reference to "Russian America" was a calculated lure to those for whom Oregon had become too "tame."










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Here was an opportunity to acquire enough money to finance a new life in Alaska, which had recently been purchased by the United States. All one had to do was buy a winning ticket to Astoria on the U.S. Grant! That "fast sailing steamer" was, in fact, a rather modest 47-foot propeller that had been built in 1865 by Clinton Kelly, Capt. Kern's father-in-law. In terms of tonnage. the Grant was probably one tenth the size of the elegant Hudson River sidewheeler pictured in the printer's cut. We don't know how many tickets were sold, but it was apparently not enough to warrant giving away the steamer. Capt. Kern sold her the following year to J .H.D. Gray, who operated her between Astoria and Ilwaco until she was lost in a gale in 1871. TRUSTEES

Two long-time supporters of the Museum were elected to the Board of Trustees at a meeting of the Board held in May. Dr. Charles W. Browning, Astoria, was elected to fill the vacancy created by the death of John Youell. Ronald J. Honeyman, Seaside, replaces former Congresswoman Edith Green, who resigned due to other commitments. Trustee Fred L. Barnum was elected Vice President of the Board, and Fred A. Lindstrom was elected Secretary.

Non-Profit Organization U.S. POSTAGE

PAID Astoria, Oregon Permit No. 209

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