Wreck of the Lupatia – Jan. 3, 1881

An excerpt from NW Limited’s ‘Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard’ chart reads:
“Lupatia -1/3/1881- British bark: A south-easterly gale throws Lupatia onto Tillamook reef; a dog survives -16 dead”

One can imagine her final hours. A bleak, January night with the wind and surf shattering her against the rocks mere weeks before the Tillamook Lighthouse, a/k/a “Terrible Tilly” was to be lit.
The crew working on construction of that lighthouse saw Lupatia’s running lights as she approached.  In the near-miss incident,  they could hear Lupatia’s crew shouting orders of “Hard apart!” as they scrambled to keep her off the rock which so desperately needed a light as warning. 
 The construction crew kindled fires, and used lanterns to try and assist the captain as he navigated the rock-strewn reef.   Narrowly missing the rock itself, she disappeared into the darkness.
Lupatia’s debris littered the rocks below the nearly complete lighthouse the following morning.  16 lives lost…
 Would her fate have been the same had her captain had that light to use as guide?
 Unlike the Peter Iredale, or the George L. Olson, nothing remains of the Lupatia, no structure to climb and explore, no resting place to visit.
NW Limited’s historic achievement of the most detailed and complete shipwreck chart to date, immortalizes her.
The lithograph alone is a great place to start when looking for shipwreck history, but the framed and matted version  (left) is an adventure of its own with its photographs of shipwrecks, United States Coast Guard insignia and USPS stamp, the lost fishing vessels and more, all displayed within a high-quality, hand-finished frame.

Each chart is custom-built by Bill Brooks of NW Limited in Astoria, Oregon and no two will be exactly alike.
While you can’t take home the George L. Olson,
or the bowsprit of the Peter Iredale, you can
have “Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard,” your own magnificent gathering of maritime history in the Pacific Northwest.
bill@nwlimited.com or 503-338-8215

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] a year later, as the Lighthouse was nearing completion, the British bark, Lupatia was on a collision course for the treacherous rocks. Workers on the rock managed to light off […]

  2. Simply wish to say your article is as surprising. The clearness on your post
    is simply spectacular and i could think you are an expert on this subject.
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    Thanks one million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

  3. […] took 500 days to complete. In early January 1881, when the lighthouse was near completion, the barque Lupatia was wrecked near the rock during a storm and sank, killing all 16 crew […]

  4. […] a year later, as the Lighthouse was nearing completion, the British bark, Lupatia was on a collision course for the treacherous rocks. Workers on the rock managed to light off […]

  5. “Tillamook Lighthouse, a/k/a “Terrible Tilly”….No one ever called Tillamok Rock Lighthouse “Terrible Tilly” until James Gibbs coined that phrase in his 1953 book. Also, in your article its unclear as to what the Lupatia hit. Did she hit the rock and sink, the wash rock to the east of it or the Head itself?

  6. Does anyone know the name of the captain of the shipwreck, “Lupatia”? An ancestor I am looking for was supposedly lost at sea at that time of the Pacific Coast. . His name was Louis Hastorf, possibly related to Charles Hastorf who survived a shipwreck off Cape Flattery in 1877. If Louis Hastorf wasn’t the captain, could he have been part of the crew? Is their a crew list of men lost on the “Lapatia”? Thank you for your reply.

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