Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Wreck of the Northerner -- The Treacherous Mendocino Coast


From what I was able to find, the first ship to run aground on the Mendocino Coast was the Fannie. She was a pilot boat that wrecked off the Mendocino Coast in 1852.

The Arispe was built in 1853. When she grounded off the Mendocino Coast in 1854, her captain was named Pierce. She was 131.5 feet long, had a beam of 30 feet and displaced 336 tons.

The Donna Maria, by some accounts The Donna May, was a brig. She grounded off the Mendocino Coast in 1854.

The Anor was a two-masted schooner that wrecked off the Mendocino Coast in 1855.

The European disappeared after she departed Noyo, California, on October 14th, 1857, with 20 cords of firewood.

The Charles and Edward. That ship was a 50 ton sailing schooner which was stranded off the Mendocino Coast in 1857. Her captain was named St.Claire.

The Wreck of the Northerner

The paddle-wheel steamer SS Northerner was the first paddle-wheel steamer lost in operations by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company.

The Northerner was built in 1847 by William H. Brown, of New York City, as a companion to the SS Southerner for the Spofford & Tileston Company's line of steamers serving Charleston, South Carolina and the East Coast of the United States. The Northerner was sold to a Mr. Howard and sent to the Pacific under Captain Waterman.

In 1850, the Northerner rounded Cape Horn. She was purchased by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company to make the run from San Francisco to Panama and back again. She was in active mail service for the next ten years.

To give one an idea of her cargo, in January of 1851, the Northerner is said to have arrived from San Francisco with $2,600,000 in gold and treasure while carrying 500 passengers on board. In August of 1851, the Northerner broke the shaft of her starboard wheel soon after leaving Panama. She completed the voyage to San Francisco in 22 days using only one paddle wheel.

On one run from Panama, she carried at least one man in irons. It's true, when she arrived in San Francisco on September 8, 1851, she had 20 tons of freight and 350 passengers. Yes, that's including at least one mutineer from the steamer Commodore Stockton. He was given passage, but was clapped in irons for disorderly conduct by the Captain.

The incident with that mutineer was recorded in the newspapers. On August 31st, 1851, the Daily Alta California of San Francisco reported the following:

Mutiny on board the Commodore Stockton

On the morning of Tuesday, the 8th inst., the steerage passengers on board the Commodore Stockton, which had put back to Panama for repairs, went aft in a body and demanded their passage money. 

This not being furnished, they proceeded forward, stopped the hands at work, took possession of the vessel, and commenced destroying the rigging. 

At the request of Capt. Ackley, solicited the aid of the government; a body of soldiers were dispatched to Taboga, to suppress the mutiny. On the appearance of troops, the ship was surrendered to the proper officers.

-- end of article.

On September 9th, 1851, a San Francisco report had a story on Daniel Whilden, Captain of the Northerner. It stated that "a mutineer on board the Steamer Commodore Stockton was brought into their Custody by the name of Daniel Whillden. After a full examination, we discharged the Prisoner from our custody on the ground that it was a case not properly before us."

Captain Daniel Whilden statement of what took place is as follows:

"I am Capt. of the Northerner, Daniel Whilden started from Panama in the Propeller Stockton, and he with others created a mutiny on board and drove the Capt. and crew off the ship. He [the mutineer] came on board my ship as passenger at Panama. The first I see of him, he was urging the steerage passengers to go and take the Cabin passengers fare and said follow me. As soon as I heard that for fear they would make a rush, I stepped up to him and put my hand on his shoulder requested him to be quiet. He said no and struck me. The steward, ship's Doctor, and 1st mate then took hold of him. I ordered him aft and put in irons. He has since threatened my life and the mates."

After 1853, the Northerner carried mail and passengers between San Francisco and Oregon as far as the Columbia River and the gold fields at Fraser River. She arrived for the first time there on September 3, 1858.

On October 10, 1858, southbound from Olympia to San Francisco, the Northerner was hit broadside by the Steam Tug Resolute in Dana's Straights. Since thousands of dollars of damage was done to both vessels, and it was a clear night in a mile-wide passage, the ship owners filed cross-suits in the Washington Territorial Courts. The owners of the Resolute were unsatisfied with the Washington's court decision, and filed their case in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Northerner sailed for the last time from San Francisco with 108 persons on board at the time of the wreck, 58 passengers and 53 crew on January 4, 1860. She left San Francisco on her regular route to Victoria and Olympia with the mails.

At 4 p.m. on January 5th, the ship was sailing in a smooth sea and south winds. Four miles from Cape Mendocino, the steamer passed between the cape and a group of offshore rocks known as Blunt's Reef when a slight bump was felt. On examination, it was found that several planks on the bottom of the ship were scraped off. The captain realized it was impossible to save the ship, and headed to land.

Passengers and crew bailed the filling ship while the winds increased to storm levels and a huge surf pounded the beach. In heavy seas, the ship beached 20 miles below the mouth of Humboldt Bay, near the small town of Centerville. Wrecked on Centerville Beach, the first boat over the side, piloted by first officer Mr. A. French was filled with four ladies and four children all of whom arrived safely on shore. The next boat capsized and two of her crew drowned, while another lady on this boat washed to shore and was rescued. The third boat also capsized between the wreck and the beach and four crew were lost.

The ship's chief engineer and two firemen, took the quarter boat, rowed to land and placed a line between land and the wrecked ship. Other boats were filled with passengers and crew, although many of the survivors used the line directly to get to shore. Mr. French took his boat back out to the wreck to save others, but it was stuck in an eddy under the wreck and Mr. French and three of his crew drowned.

The last boat off the Northerner was sent to shore with Mr. O'Neill, the chief engineer, bearing a line. When he reached shore, a larger rope was pulled ashore and passengers tried to follow the line to shore. The force of the surf resulted in many of them being washing away, even those who had tried to tie themselves to the line were lost. Others were killed when hit by wreckage being tossed in the heavy waves.

That night, local residents were alerted by distress signals coming from the Northerner. When they arrived, the residents of Centerville worked to get survivors ashore during the night. Residents of Centerville helped the injured, taking the ladies to the two buildings of town. Seventy survivors made their way through crashing surf to shore and were aided by local people. Of those, there were 38 passengers, including five of six women and all four children on board, and the remaining 32 crew members that were saved.

In the morning, fourteen dead were found lying on the sands, one female passenger was found still tied to the wheel, and the remaining bodies were lost to the ocean. In all, that shipwreck took the lives of 38 people. Of the 108 on board initially, 17 passengers and 21 crew members were lost. All the bodies were buried near the beach.

The survivors were cared for at Centerville until the next day when the steamer Columbia, also owned by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, took the survivors and the 45 recovered bags of mail northward. Property lost on the steamer Northerner included 13 bags of mail and $14,000 in U.S. Government funds.

The Centerville Beach Cross marks the resting place of some of the victims whose bodies were recovered. A bronze plaque was placed on the site as a monument to commemorate the 17 passengers and 21 crew members who died in the shipwreck of the SS Northerner on January 6, 1860. The vessel, owned by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, struck a rock near Cape Mendocino and wrecked on Centerville Beach, in Humboldt County, California. The monument is registered as California Historical Landmark # 173.

The first Centerville Beach Cross monument placed there was in 1921. The Ferndale Parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West placed a cross and marker on the hill overlooking Centerville Beach. The first marker was destroyed in the 1992 Cape Mendocino earthquakes. A new marker was placed and rededicated on February 11, 1995.

There Have Been Many More

While I haven't been there for years, I was told that the cliff which the Centerville Beach Cross sits on is eroding and it may have to be moved. I've don't know if that's still the case or if that has already been attended to. My concern for the cross is that as with many such monuments today, I can only hope that it will but left alone and allowed to stand. It should be left alone and not torn down for political reasons. Besides commemorating the loss of life with the wreck of the Northerner, I feel the Centerville Beach Cross also stands as a monument to all of those lost along the Mendocino Coast.

While the wreck of the Northerner was horrible, there have been many ships lost on Mendocino's treacherous coast. And no, frankly there is no knowing how many lives have been lost along those waters.

To give you an idea of how many ships that have been lost there, below you will find a list of ships that wrecked on the Mendocino Coast from 1863 to 1950. While the list is not complete, as I'm sure I couldn't find them all, you may be surprised how many ships have been lost there.

The Cuffeys Cove was a two masted sailing schooner owned by John S. Kimball. She was wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1861.

The Curacao was a sailing brig that was stranded off the Mendocino Coast in 1862.

The C.W. Gunnel was a sailing schooner stranded off of the Mendocino Coast in 1862.

The Constantine was was sailing schooner wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1862.

The Alcyona was a two masted schooner launched in 1861. She was swamped and capsized at her moorings in the Noyo basin on January 13, 1863.

The Elizabeth Buckley was a sailing ship that became stranded and lost off the Mendocino Coast in 1863.

The Francis Helen was a sailing schooner stranded off the Mendocino Coast in 1863.

The Caroline was a two masted schooner commanded by a man only known as Johnson. Displacing 80 tons, she was wrecked off the Mendocino Coast in 1863.

The Far West was a two masted sailing schooner stranded in a gale off the Mendocino Coast in 1863.

The Galveston was a sailing brig stranded off the Mendocino Coast in 1863.

The first ship to be named the Golden State was a two masted schooner and lost on May 18th 1865 at Point Arena in a storm. According to the Mendocino City newspaper, "November 27th, 1865 - Storm Cloud, a schooner, was discovered bottom up on the beach as the day dawned. She had been driven on shore by heavy seas. The ship was a total loss. Jerome B. Ford and others, including the Mendocino Lumber Company, were its owners."

The Flying Mist was a sailing schooner that was lost off the Mendocino Coast in 1867.

The Columbia was a two masted schooner. She displaced 59 tons, and was launched in 1865. She was owned by her captain who was only known as Barstow. She was wrecked off the Mendocino Coast in 1868.

The C. P. Huestes was a 57 ton sailing schooner captained by a man named Peltz. Launched in 1862, she capsized off the Mendocino Coast in 1868.

The A.F. Mouje was was a schooner that was stranded and lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1869.

The Ajax was a 74 ton two masted schooner owned by E.W. Burr. She was commanded by Captain Ahern. She parted her moorings and was lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1869.

The Ann Sophia was a schooner commanded by Captain Berry and was wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1870.

1870 to 1879

The Florence was a schooner which sailed under Captain Josslyn. She was stranded off the Mendocino Coast in 1870.

The Ballard was wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1872.

The Elsie Iverson displacing 62 tons was owned by Iverson’s Lumber Company. Her captain was named Jensen. A two masted schooner she was wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1872.

The C.A. Drew was a sailing schooner that stranded and wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1872.

The Elia Florence was owned by the Mendocino Lumber Company. She was a 67 ton two masted schooner. She parted her moorings and was lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1872.

The Fannie Jane was a sailing schooner and was stranded off the Mendocino Coast in 1872.

The Ella Florence was a two masted sailing schooner displacing 87 tons and owned by the Mendocino Lumber Company. The Ella Florence parted her moorings and was stranded in March 1872 in Mendocino Bay.

The Brilliant was owned by the Mendocino Lumber Company. She was a small two masted sailing schooner. She was a frequent visitor to the doghole ports of the Mendocino Coast before she was stranded and wrecked in Mendocino Bay in the winter of 1872.

The Annie Iverson was a two masted schooner displacing 42 tons. She was stranded and wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1873.

The Annie was a sailing schooner wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1874.

The Carrie Heywood was a two masted schooner that was lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1875.

The Glenarm was a sailing schooner launched in 1864 owned by Thomas Pollard. She parted her lines and was lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1875. Her captain was named P.B. Nelson.

The Curlew was a sailing brig that was stranded off of the Mendocino Coast in 1875.

The Ellen Florence was a two masted sailing schooner wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1876.

The Amazone was a two masted schooner. She was commanded by Captain Schmaling,  She parted her moorings and was lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1876.

The B.F. Lee was a two masted schooner that displaced 98 tons. She was wrecked in a collision off the Mendocno Coast in 1877.

The Albert and Edward was a 96 ton two masted schooner launched in 1875. She was stranded and lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1877.

The Artful Dodger was a 53 ton two masted schooner. She was commanded by Captain Colman when she was stranded and lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1877.

The Golden Rule, actually a second ship with the same name, was a two masted schooner launched in 1866 owned by Beck Iverson. She displaced 118 tons. She was grounded and lost in 1878 off of the Mendocino Coast.

The A.F. Jordan was a two masted schooner commanded by Captain Crack. She displaced 181 tons. She was wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1878.

The Emily Franssen was a 69 ton two masted schooner under the command of Captain Christiansen. She was stranded and lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1879.

The Annie Stoffer was a two masted schooner launched in 1870 displacing 119 tons. She was wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1879.

1880 to 1889

The California was 98.5 feet long with a 28 foot beam and displaced 119 tons. She was a two masted schooner launched in 1869. She was wrecked off the Mendocino Coast in 1880.

The Eliza Miller was a two masted schooner wrecked off the Mendocino Coast in 1880.

The Barbara Fritchie was a 55 ton two masted schooner. She was wrecked off the Mendocino Coast in 1880.

The David And Nettie was a 69 ton two masted schooner launched in 1875 she was wrecked off the Mendocino Coast in 1880.

The Free Trade was a two masted schooner launched in 1869. She was 86.5 feet long, 26.3 feet in the beam and displaced 87 tons. Commanded by Captain Jensen she became a total wreck at Noyo on February 2, 1881.

The Emily Stevens was a 98 ton two masted schooner owned by Beadle Steamship Co. launched in 1879. She capsized and was lost off the Mendocino Coast in 1881.

The first ship with the name Golden Rule was a 72 ton two masted schooner launched in 1860 owned by Captain Hendrix. She was commanded by Captain Kuhn. She parted her moorings and was lost of f of the Mendocino Coast in 1881.

The Elia Adelia was a two masted schooner launched in 1864 she was wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1883. The Elia Adelia displaced 54 tons, was 75.5 feet long and 24.5 feet across the beam.

The Alviso was a two masted schooner wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1883.

The Cora was a two masted schooner displacing 155 tons She wasbuilt in 1867 at Port Orchard, Washington. It is not known when she was acquired by J. G. Jackson of the Caspar Lumber Company. The Caspar Lumber Company lost the Cora in 1883. The "Cora", while loaded with 1,200 posts and 25,000feet of lumber, was wrecked at Caspar on April 13, 1883 when her hawsers and mooring lines parted while a heavy sea was rolling into the harbor. The vessel struck on the south rocks and quickly broke up.

The Charles G. White was a 169 ton steam schooner launched in 1884. She was lost in the same year when she was stranded off of the Mendocino Coast.

The Ellen Adelia was a two masted schooner launched in 1864 the Ellen Adelia was lost on August 6th, 1884, when she sailed from Bowen’s Landing and then was wrecked off Point Reyes. She was 75.5 feet long and 24.5 feet in the beam and she displaced 54 tons.

The Anna was a two masted schooner wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1885.
The Fairy Queen was a 99 ton two masted schooner launched in 1869 was stranded during a storm and lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1885.

The Golden Gate was a sailing schooner wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1885.

The Don Leandro was a 86 ton two masted schooner, “Don Leandro” was lost between November 17th and 23rd 1885 in a terrible storm at Little River.

The Alfred was a two masted schooner launched in 1870 displacing 88 tons. She was commanded by Captain Olsen and was owned by Captains Olsen, Blair and Hendriks and J.C. Ford. She parted her moorings and was lost off at Mendocino Bay on January 20, 1886. It is said that she was "slowly pounded to pieces and lumber in her hold was ground to sawdust."

The Elsie Iverson which was the second ship of this same name displaced 77 tons. She was owned by Iverson and Johnson. She was launched in 1884. Her captain was named Beck. A two masted schooner she was wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1886.

The Agnes Nicholson was a 68 ton two masted schooner launched in 1876 under the command of Captain Nicholson. She struck a rock, lost her rudder and was lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1886.

The Fannie A. Hyde was a 90 ton two masted schooner owned by Captains Jensen and Petersen was wrecked and lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1886.

The C. H. Merithew was a two masted schooner launched in 1875. Commanded by Captain C.H. Johnson she displaced 95 tons, was 84 feet long and 22.3 feet across the beam. She parted her lines and was lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1887.

The Caroline Medan was a 73 ton two masted schooner commanded by Captain Hansen. She was wrecked and lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1887.

The Georgia R. Meridith was commanded by Captain Samuelson. She was a 95 ton two masted schooner launched in 1875. She was stranded and lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1887.

The Aeriel was lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1888.

The Adelaide was a two masted schooner launched in 1880. She displaced 130 tons, was 96.5 feet long and 28.25 feet in the beam. She was commanded by Captain Mortenson. She parted her lines and was lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1889.

The Cochief was a sailing schooner wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1889.

The Albert Walter was abandoned and lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1889.

The Charlotte was a two masted schooner launched in 1861 owned by Iverson’ Lumber Company. Commanded by Captain Larson, she was wrecked off of the Mendcino Coast in 1889.

The General Ord was a two masted schooner launched in 1869 owned by Gus Scheultz. Commanded by Captain Knudson, she was 87.5 feet long, 25 feet across the beam and displaced 93 tons. She was stranded and lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1889.

The second ship to be named the Golden Gate was a two-masted schooner built in 1874 by Hans D. Bendixsen in Eureka, California. The Golden Gate was the first vessel to come into the new harbor at Fort Bragg with a cargo of 120,000 feet of lumber for use in the construction of the Fort Bragg mill. The Golden West was the first ship to tie up at the Union Lumber Company mill in Fort Bragg in 1885. The Golden West brought that material from Newport.

The Golden West was driven ashore at Whitesboro by a storm on November 23, 1885, pulled off and repaired. She went ashore on the beach at Point Arena in April 1889. Carpenters made some repairs after which she was towed to San Francisco by the steam schooner, Alcatraz. Two trips later, she became a total loss at Point Arena at the south end of Manchester Beach. Remains were salvaged and refined into building material for construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.

1890 to 1899

The Abbie was a two masted schooner, displaced 146 tons, 98.5' x 29.5' x 8.3', and was built in 1876 by H. D. Bendixsen, at Fairhaven, California, for J.G. Jackson the owner of the Caspar Lumber Company. She was stranded and lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1890.

The first merchant ship known as the Albion was a 202 ton collier, a coal hauler, launched in 1861. She was 120 feet long and 31 feet across the beam. The Albion was commanded by Captain Jacobs and owned by Richardson Co. She ran aground and was lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1893.

The Bill The Butcher was commanded by Captain Peterson. She was a two masted schooner, 84.5 feet long, 26.5 feet across the beam and displaced 85 tons. In 1893, she parted her lines and was lost off of the Mendocino Coast.

The Gussie Klose was a two masted schooner launched in 1876. She was wrecked in 1893 off of the Mendocino Coast.

The Bobolink was built in 1868 in Oakland, California by L. S. Allen. She was owned and operated by Asa H. Simpson, with her home port being San Francisco. She was a two masted schooner, measured 104 ft x 29 ft x 9 ft with a single deck and could carry 170 gross tons or approximately 200,000 board feet of lumber. In 1881 or 1884, the ship was sold to J.B. Ford of the Mendocino Lumber Company.

Whilst under the command of Captain Peterson, on March 24, 1896 in a calm sea she drifted onto the beach at Kent’s Point so close to shore that lines were put on board and the lumber taken off and hauled to Little River. Before the wind and sea came up to wreck her completely, a couple of pictures were taken. By the next day, the Bobolink was so battered by the sea that she was a total loss. One sailor, Pete Nelson, a native of Sweden, lost his life in the wreck.

The second California was a two masted schooner commanded by Captain Peterson. The California displaced 114 tons. She was launched in 1883 and lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1897.

The Caspar Lumber Company had three steam schooners named, “Caspar”. The first schooner was a wooden steam schooner. She displaced 300 tons and had a 150 hp engine. This Caspar was 132.5' x 33.0' x 11.0'. She was built in 1888 by Hanson & Frazer, San Francisco for Caspar Lumber Co.

The "Caspar" (first of that name) had its first trouble when it went ashore at Noyo in 1893. She was refloated in leaking condition and towed to San Francisco by the steamer, "Noyo" and repaired. It was only a few years later that she met her end. She left San Francisco on October 22, 1897 to go up the coast and after passing Point Reyes, she was into a southeast gale.

While watching for the whistling buoy off Point Arena at midnight, the fog closed in. The noise of the storm being so great, the crew did not hear the buoy and struck on Sanders Reef at Point Arena. The boats were swung out but the steamer careened and they were washed away and lost. A big wave washed the crew of the Caspar overboard. There were fifteen men in the crew but only two survivors, Captain Anfindsen and Chris Larson, a sailor, who managed to make a raft of some wreckage. The two men were seen at daybreak and about noon two men at Iverson's Landing managed to launch a boat and rescue the two survivors.

Beached hull of the 300 ton steam schooner Caspar, wrecked on Saunders Reef, four miles south of Point Arena on October 22, 1897. In pictures that were taken at the time, salvage workers could be seen standing by the bow.

The Caspar was a total wreck, the machinery having dropped through the deck. News of the wreck was telegraphed to W. H. White of the L. E. White Lumber Company, and he ordered the steamer, Alcazar, to travel to the wreck, fifteen miles to the south. The Alcazar recovered bodies, but no more survivors were found.

The second Charlotte was launched in 1880. She was a two masted schooner and displaced 48 tons, was 67 feet long and 21 feet in the beam. She was wrecked in 1899 off of the Mendocino Coast. 

The Chilcat was built at Astoria, Oregon. She displaced 215 tons. She was stranded off of Humboldt on April 2nd, 1899.

1900 to 1909

The Barbara was a two masted schooner built at Little River by Henry Coombs, and launched in 1877. She was commanded by Captain Beck and owned by L.G. Peterson and others. She displaced 113 tons, was 89 feet long and 29 feet in the beam. She was wrecked and lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1901.

The Bettie Danielson was an 85 ton two masted schooner commanded by Captain Anderson. She was blown on the rocks off of the Mendocino Coast in 1902.

The Crescent City was a 701 ton steam schooner that was launched in 1882. She was 147.3 feet long and 21 feet in the beam. Commanded by Captain Pain, she was stranded and lost off of Fish Rock on the Mendocino Coast on January 30th, 1903.

In the picture to the left, the Amethyst is second from left, and the scow, Sacramento is second from right. Lined up waiting to load lumber at Albion wharf on August 15, 1897.

The Amethyst was a sailing schooner known to have worked the doghole ports of the Mendocino Coast before she was lost.

The Andrew Peterson was a three masted schooner that wrecked off of the Mendocino Coast in 1905.

The Alice Blanchard was built by Blanchard and Wheeler in Tacoma, Washington, in 1890. She displaced 393 tons. She was stranded off of Shelter Cove on June 10th, 1907.
The Alcazar was a wooden steam schooner built in 1887 by Alex Hay of San Francisco, owned and operated by the Lorenzo E. White Lumber Company. She was 132 feet long, 32 feet across the beam and displaced 263 tons. The captain of the Alcazar was Captain Fagerlund.

Like most of the schooners we know of that plied there trade along California's Mendocino Coast, the Alcazar came to a watery grave. That happened when she grounded and wrecked June 10th, 1907, without the loss of life, on Needle Rock on the north coast of Mendocino. Yes, the same day when the Alice Blanchard was lost off of Shelter Cove.

The Berkeley was built by John Lindeman at Aberdeen, Washington, in 1906. She displaced 571 tons. She was lost by fire off Point Conception on November 14th, 1907.

1910 to 1919


The second ship with the name Albion was a wooden steam schooner built in 1893 by C.G. White in Alameda, California. She measured 120 x 31 x 9 feet with a single deck. 

She was powered by a 110 hp compound 2 cylinder engine and had a 250,000 board foot capacity. The Albion was originally owned by H.A. Richardson (1907 - 1908).

The Albion, commanded by Captain Jacobson, put into Stewart’s Point on March 21st, 1913 to complete its cargo of lumber, while on its southbound trip from Bowen’s Landing for San Francisco. 

While taking aboard ties from the end of a long wharf, a southwester swept down the coast, and began to roll the vessel against the bulkhead, parting several of the mooring lines. Capt. Jacobson ordered the vessel to clear away and stand off at sea, but the storm proved too powerful.

The ship was abandoned by the 15 man crew shortly after 3:00 am when the craft refused to hold by its anchor. The Albion broke up on the reef, at Stewart's Point and wreckage was scattered along the beach for several miles.

The Acme was built in Alameda, California, in 1901. She displaced 416 tons. She was stranded and lost a St Coquille, Oregon, on October 31st, 1914.

The Claremont was built in John Lindstrom in 1907 at Aberdeen, Washington. She displaced 747 tons. She was stranded off of Coos bay in 1915.

The Alliance was launched in 1899. She was commanded by Captain Louchy and owned by Jean Albia. She was a two masted schooner displacing 105 tons. She grounded and was lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1915.

The Aberdeen was built by Lind in 1899 at Aberdeen Washington displacing 499 tons. She was stranded on the San Francisco bar January 23rd, 1916.

The Excelsior was a wooden steam schooner displacing 526 tons with a 366 hp engine. She was built 1893 by P. Matthews at Eureka, California. Purchased either in 1915 or 1916 probably from Northwestern Steamship Co. The Excelsior was in a collision and sank at San Francisco on February 7th, 1916. The company owned the "Excelsior" the shortest period of time, as shortly after she was purchased she was rammed by the well-known passenger steamer "Harvard'' at San Francisco on February 1, 1916, and was so badly disabled that she sank soon after near the Mile Rock in the Golden Gate.

The Fifield was built by Kruse & Banks at North Bend, Oregon in 1908. She displaced 634 tons. She was stranded and lost off the Coquille River in 1916.

The Coronado was built by Pollard Lumber Co. at Aberdeen, Washington in 1900. She displaced 578 tons. She foundered off Point Arena on April 27, 1917.

The Del Norte displaced 301 tons, was 158 feet long and 32 feet in the beam. Launched in 1890 in Tiburon, California, she was owned by Hobbs, Wall & Co. and commanded by Captain Hoffman. She was stranded and lost off of Point Arena on July27th, 1917.

The Dunkerque was a five masted schooner with two auxiliary engines owned by the French Government. She was 260 feet long and displaced 3,000 tons. The Dunkerque was lost off of the Mendocino Coast the year she was launched, 1918.

The steamer Girlie Mahoney was wrecked in Albion harbor on the north side of the beach December 23rd, 1919. The Hamm brothers, Bill and Emil told us (the Mendocino Historical Review un-named author) of her tragic ending as it was told to them.

Ready to sail for San Francisco, the stern line of the vessel became entangled in the propeller and no-one on board could release it. A diver was called and he agreed to go into the sea to free the disabled propeller – for a fee of $500. The captain of the Girlie Mahoney considered the amount exorbitant as the water was calm and the situation seemed without danger. The diver left the scene.

The next day the sea became so rough the diver did not dare to carry out his mission even for $500. The steamer Sea Foam attempted to aid the helpless vessel but a line could not be transferred between the vessels because of the rough sea.

The Girlie Mahoney struck the wharf and finally broke through taking 150 feet of the wooden structure with her. She landed on the beach and there, pounded by the unceasing waves, became a total wreck. All hands were saved and unharmed.

The Girlie Mahoney was launched in 1904 and had a capacity of about 400,000 board feet of lumber. She was a vessel of 392 tons built in Aberdeen, Washington by Lind in 1904. She was 141 feet long and 34 feet in the beam. In 1915 Captain Eliason commanded her and at the time of her demise she was commanded by Captain Hansen. The Girlie Mahoney started out as the James S. Higgins, built by John Lindstrom in 1904. No date as to when she was renamed.

1920 to 1930

The Aurelia was built by G.Ross in Prosper, Oregon, in 1902. She displaced 424 tons. She sank in 1920.

The Daisy Putnam was built by Mathews Shipbuilding Co. in Hoquiam, Washington in 1913. She displaced 886 tons. She was stranded and lost off Punta Gorda on November 22, 1920.

The Arctic was a wooden steam schooner built in 1901 by H.R. Reed at Bay City, Oregon, for J.S. Kimball of San Francisco. She was was 392 tons, 145 x 32 x 11 feet with a single deck. 

Used for the coastal lumber trade, she had a 350 h.p. triple expansion engine and 325,000 board foot capacity. Among her owners was the Hammond Lumber Company. 

She was sold in 1908 to National Steamship Company and sold again in 1919 to Union Lumber Company. The Arctic wrecked at Point Arena on July 5th, 1922.

The C.A. Smith was built by Kruse and Banks at North Bend, Oregon in 1921. She displaced 1,878 tons. She was stranded off Coos Bay on December 16th, 1923.

The Cuatemoc was a gas screw schooner launched in 1916. Displacing 79 tons, she was stranded and lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1924.

The Avalon was built by Mathews Shipbuilding Company in 1912 at Hoquiam, Washington. She displaced 881 tons. She was stranded off Cape Shoalwater on April 29th, 1925.

The Escola was wrecked in a storm off of the Mendocino Coast in 1926.

1930 to 1939

The Brooklyn was built by John Lindemann at Aberdeen, Washington, in 1901. She displaced 333 tons. She foundered and was lost on the Humboldt Bar on November 8th, 1930.

The Gualala was a steam schooner that worked the doghole ports of the Mendocino Coast. She was built in 1901 by John W. Dickie at Alameda in California. She displaced 228 tons. She was stranded and sank on Blunts Reef in 1931.

The Fort Bragg was built in Fairhaven, California by J.H. Price and launched October 20, 1910. It was operated by Charles H. Higgins, a shipping firm in San Francisco. (The letter ”H” is prominent on the smokestack) At some time before 1930 she was lengthened and increased her masks from two to three. In 1930, after she was lengthened, she was 188 ft in length with a 40 ft. beam. 912 gross tonnage, 498 net tonnage. She operated with a 550 horsepower steam engine. On September 7, 1932, the Fort Bragg was stranded on the south jetty of Coos Bay, Oregon and was no longer used.

The Cornell was built by Hall Brothers at Winslow, Washington, in 1905. She was stranded and lost off of Cypress Point, California on September 2nd, 1934.

The Frank D. Stout was built by St. Helens Shipbuilding Co. at St. Helens, Oregon in 1917. She displaced 1,113 tons. She was stranded and lost at Port Oxford in 1937.

The Dorothy Wintermote was a steam powered ship displacing 2,010 tons she was commanded by Captain O. J. Olsen. She foundered and was lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1938.

The Daisy was built by J.H. Price at Bandon Oregon in 1908. She displaced 679 tons. She foundered in Humboldt Bay on September 18th, 1939.

The Ernest H. Meyer was built by St. Helens Shipbuilding Co. in St. Helens, Oregon in 1917. She displaced 1,057 tons. She was broken up in 1939.

1940 to 1950

The Daisy Mathews was built by Mathews Shipbuilding Co. in Hoquiam, Washington in 1916. She displaced 943 tons. She foundered off Trinidad Head in 1940.

Annette Ralph was built by Rolf Shipbuilding Company in 1918 at Rolph, California. She displaced 2,361 tons. She was broken up in 1944.

The Del Monte was a 50 ton schooner with an oil fired engine. Launched in 1939 she was stranded and lost off of the Mendocino Coast in 1950.

This list was compiled from a number of various sources. I hope you found it interesting.

As I said before, besides commemorating the loss of life with the wreck of the Northerner, I feel the Centerville Beach Cross also stands as a monument to all of those lost along the Mendocino Coast.

Tom Correa

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment.