In our website’s section on ships we have three pics of the S. S. Jeannie. What we knew before this blog was very little: “One of ships that plied her trade along the Mendocino Coast. She was wrecked at Point Arena in 1900.” One of the three photos we have turned up in Lynn Catlett’s amazing Facebook page, “You know you are from Mendocino if…….” Of itself that was not unusual. Many of the photos I have collected since I have been historian turn up all over the place.
One of the contributors to Lynn’s page is Chuck Ross. Chuck is incredibly knowledgeable about Elk/Greenwood which is where he grew up and where his family owned a lot of land. In addition he “works” with Lynn to add germane info to her posts. His initial comment on this pic:
S, S. Jeanie aground near Point Arena
“Always been intrigued by this photo. Just north of Point Arena wharf. This ship was probably launched as a sailing vessel, I suspect it was square-rigged. The conversion to steam probably came later. Who she is I just cannot find out. There were too many shipwrecks at Point Arena (fifty or more) to sort this one out.” Lynn then identifies the ship as the S.S. Jeanie.Chuck responds, “Well, that would make it 1900. I cannot seem to locate another picture of her in better times.” Chuck then posts this drawing:
Drawing of the S. S. Jeanie
He also posts this newspaper cutting (you’ll need to click on it to be able to read it):
Newspaper cutting about the S.S Jeanie
Lynn then notes: “I’m confused. The Jeanie was refloated at Point Arena. Then a couple of months later she was overdue but we don’t know the outcome of that trip.”
Chuck replies that the outcome of the trip was known, “We do. Just a long passage. She appears in the shipping news regularly up until this, in 1913” “This” is this cutting:
1913 cutting about the S. S. Jeanie
Make sure read the last para in the above cutting.
Thank you Lynn and Chuck.
One likes to think that the list of ships we have in the website is complete. Well, apparently not. I have unearthed two pics of a Steamship named Sequoia that are not in our list. Alas, I know nothing of her save for the fact that these two photos attest to her operating along the Mendocino Coast.
Loading the Sequoia at Fort Bragg
Steamer Sequoia in Mendocino Bay
Please contact me if you have any more info on the Sequoia.
The S.S. Orteric was a British 6,696 ton tramp steamer built in 1919, 412 feet long and 55 feet wide at the beam. Launched in 1919 she was commanded by Captain Harper. She was grounded 4 miles north of Anchor Bay and lost on December 11, 1922 with a cargo of Black Persian Sheep, which escaped into the hills. The ship was partially salvaged with John Ross buying the anchors and chains for mooring at Rockport.
Our website has only pics of her as a wreck. This one shows her at sea.
S. S. Orteric at sea
Another wee drop of the old histoire.
The Caspar Lumber Company had three steam schooners named, “Caspar”.
The third Caspar was a steel steam schooner displacing 739 tons. She was 175.5 ‘x 34.0’ with a 700 hp engine. Initially named the “Nushagek” she was built in 1904 by United Engineering Works, Alameda, California. The Nushagek was purchased in 1925 from Alaska Packers Association and was renamed when the second Caspar” was sold. The Caspar was laid up in 1939.
The third Caspar had an eventful life. While proceeding very slowly in a dense fog on October 2, 1937, she struck Point Reyes Rock 33 miles north of San Francisco. The crew worked valiantly, and with the last remaining bit of steam finally beached the vessel in 15 feet of water in Drakes Bay. There were two large holes in her hull, one 10 feet wide and the other 3 feet wide, through which water poured into the hold. She was refloated and repaired. On December 16, 1937, she collided with the steamer “Julia Luckenbach” in San Francisco Bay. The latter was apparently undamaged as it continued on its way to Portland, but ‘ the “Caspar,” with a damaged bow, was obliged to go to the shipyard for repairs. The Caspar was laid up in 1939. During World War II she was taken over by the Army and later wrecked in Alaska.
Why am I “featuring” the third Caspar? Well, according to the September 7th, 1921 Fort Bragg Advocate:
“The steam schooner Caspar transported 4,260,000 feet of lumber to San Francisco from Caspar during the month of August. She made seven round trips.”
According to a movie we have the most likely destination was a crate and box making factory located in Pittsburg which is located on the southern shore of the Suisun Bay in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay. Caspar Lumber Company had a controlling interest in the factory.
Pics of the third Caspar seem to be as rare as hen’s teeth. This one – of her as a wreck – was on the website.
The wreck of the third Caspar
A two masted schooner known to have operated in the doghole ports of the Mendocino Coast. The Electra was built in 1877 at Little River, California, by shipbuilder, Thomas H. Peterson. We have two photos of her and I am happy to say now have a third:
S, S. Electra
This is a very unusual picture for a couple of reasons: a) it clearly shows a postcard that has been posted and b) it is the only ship that I know of that was offered for sale via a postcard. I wonder how much they wanted for her?
What does the website know of the S.S. Point Arena? Built by George W. Boole in San Francisco in 1887. She displaced 223 tons. She was stranded and lost off of Pigeon Point on August 9th, 1913. She was a two masted steam schooner.
Here’s the pic:
Steamer Point Arena
Where is Newport? It no longer exists – It was located on California State Route 1 4.25 miles south of Westport. At Newport lumber was loaded onto schooners by a gravity chute extending from the shore to the ship below. Newport was exposed to the open sea and there was no wharf. The ships were made fast to several moorings located on rocks and on the shore. The lines were set in such a way that the schooner had a chance of running back and forth twenty or twenty-five feet with the waves. The chute can be seen in a photo on our website.
The schooners carried from 75,000 to 150,000 feet of timber. No spot along the Mendocino Coast required more skill to maneuver among the rocks, tie up at the moorings and load with a full see running than Newport.
This pic of a postcard shows just how titchy Newport was …….
Newport Shipping Point
If you click on the photo and look above the rock to the right you can see the lumber being loaded.
Our website has minimal info and no picture of the S.S. Prentiss:
“Built William A. Boole in 1902 at Oakland, California. She displaced 406 tons. In her last years she was converted to a barge. She was broken up at San Pedro in 1935.”
The pic below is the first we have of her and the note on the photo tells us she ran aground at Albion in what looks to be a terrible storm.
S S Prentiss ashore at Albion
Double click on the pic to enlarge