Beeswax Wreck on Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Oregon Public Broadcasting network is airing a feature about the Nehalem Beeswax Wreck on Oregon Field Guide. 
Click for link to video of the broadcast

Beeswax stamp from Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard shipwreck chart

Beeswax stamp from Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard shipwreck chart

If you haven’t already caught this episode, and are interested in learning more about Oregon’s oldest known shipwreck and its history, make sure to watch and familiarize yourself with this fascinating story about a Manila Galleon mystery. The links below will also provide more information.

Links:
Dead Reckoning the Pacific Graveyard slideshow, which includes clues to the Beeswax wreck mystery
Oregon Public Broadasting website
Search our blog for Beeswax wreck info
Beeswax project website
Scientists search for buried treasure off the Oregon coast KGW.com article from their news feature in May of 2008

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Oct. 25, 1906: Wreck of the Peter Iredale

On October 25, 1906, the bark Peter Iredale was wrecked on the Oregon coast at Clatsop Spit near

The Peter Iredale shortly after grounding in October, 1906

The Peter Iredale shortly after grounding in October, 1906

Warrenton attempting a Columbia River entrance.
The grounded ship was unsalvageable.
Over a century later, only her rusting bones remain.

Peter Iredale revealed by the storms of December. Photo taken January 2008 near Ft. Stevens

Peter Iredale in January 2008 near Ft. Stevens. The wreck is one of several hundred casualties of the Pacific Graveyard and appears as the most familiar landmark on "Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard" shipwreck chart by NW Limited...History in VogueTM.

 
Oft-photographed, endlessly visited by tourists, the Iredale’s weathered skeleton is testament both to the forces of nature and folly of man. 

There are countless more like her that have disappeared, shipwrecked forever by virtue of lucky salvage or the relentless pounding of waves, wind, tide and time.

Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard” documents these, lifting them from conscious memory, and marking them in historic record.
Anecdotes from each wreck are provided, stories which are entwined in the foundation of a region rich with maritime activity.
As the newest and most complete shipwreck chart of the SW Washington, NW Oregon coast and lower Columbia River, it is also the most aesthetically-minded.
Printed on high-quality paper, the lithograph (detail shown below) is built to stand the test of time both as a collectible, historic tribute and an artful display. 
Dead Reckoning Shipwreck chart detail showing the wreck of the Iredale as well as several others at the mouth of the Columbia River click on the image for larger, readable version

"Dead Reckoning" Shipwreck chart detail showing the wreck of the Iredale as well as several others at the mouth of the Columbia River

For information on ordering a shipwreck chart directly from the creator, please contact bill@nwlimited.com or call 503-338-6056.

Commune with the Dead

This weekend at Ocean View Cemetary in Warrenton, Oregon, the Clatsop County Historical Society will be hosting the fifth rendition of their popular “Talking Tombstones” event.  If you love history, it’s an event not to be missed.
From the Historical Society’s website:

Talking Tombstones V, “Friends In Low Places”

Ocean View Cemetery, Warrenton, OR
10/26/2008
Event Fee: FREE

The Clatsop County Historical Society with sponsorship from Astoria Granite Works is excited to once again present Talking Tombstones. This year’s sequel, “Talking Tombstones V, Friends In Low Places” will be held on Sunday, October 26th from 1:00 p.m. until dusk at the Ocean View Cemetery, SW 18th Street, Warrenton.

Ten former citizens are expected to return from the great beyond for a graveside chat with any and all willing to visit their tombstone.This is a FREE event, however donations are welcome.

Visitors should plan to arrive no later than 4:00 p.m. as the deceased begin to fade from view as the darkness of night draws near.

To learn more about Talking Tombstones or how you might assist with the event, please call 503-325-2203 or e-mail: cchs@cumtux.org.
 

 

Links:
Talking Tombstones Coast Weekend – Daily Astorian
Talking Tombstones at the Clatsop County Historical Society’s Website
Where’s Grim
Tales of the dead written in stone Daily Astorian article w/video

Conquering the (Columbia) River

Pacific Graveyard Week is happening now, and “Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard” is part of

Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard  $500 as shown

Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard $500 as shown

the happenings.
Bill has loaned the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment State Park a sunken ship chart to be hung in the “Conquering the River” exhibit where there are historic artifacts from the area’s wrecks displayed in rooms overlooking the Pacific Graveyard itself.

Other events throughout the region include tours of North Head Lighthouse in addition to the exhibit at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center which will run through December at Cape D.

Ft. Columbia State Park is hosting a sea shanty camp on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ft. Stevens State Park in Oregon is hosting free, ranger-led talks from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the wreck of the Peter Iredale.  The Iredale wrecked Oct. 25, 1906.

Columbia River Maritime Museum, Astoria  will host “An evening of Maritime Music,” featuring the instructors of the “Sea Shanty Camp of the Columbia,” at 7-9 p.m. Saturday. Admission for this event is free.

Links:
NW Limited…History in VogueTM
Dead Reckoning slideshow
Tours, displays reveal dramatic “Graveyard.”
Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment
Columbia River Maritime Museum

Astoria, Oregon historic photographs

 These five will join another set of framed, historic photographs and of course a Dead Reckoning shipwreck chart that Bill built as customs to hang in the Clatsop County Courthouse in Astoria, Oregon.

Various images depicting scenes from Astorias rich, historic past

Various images depicting scenes from Astoria's rich, historic past - a custom, part of a set to accompany a framed, shipwreck chart

The first three with framed chart

The first three with framed chart

Nobody frames history like we do!
Wander on over to the website and see what’s available.

We have Oregon, Washington local historic events and autographed, entertainment events with national, even global appeal, all made right here in Astoria, OR.

 

Email: bill@nwlimited.com or phone 503-338-6056

In their footsteps…

“Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Fort Clatsop begins its 2008-09 “In Their Footsteps” free speakers series. The first program in this monthly series is “Innovators and Traders: The Indigenous

Retrace Lewis & Clarks footsteps with a map of their route by NW Limited...History in Vogue $275

Retrace Lewis & Clarks' footsteps with a map of their route by NW Limited...History in Vogue $275

People of the Columbia River,” presented by Pat Courtney Gold held at 1 p.m. Sunday.
International commerce, diplomatic relations, cultural exchanges and tourism are hot topics today in the Pacific Northwest much as they have been for thousands of years among the indigenous people who live along the Columbia River.”

Other In Their Footsteps: speaker series programs include:

Oct. 19,  1 p.m.: “Becoming Oregon: A Printed History,” by Robert L. Hamm

Nov. 16, 1 p.m.: “Lewis and Clark and the International Competition for Oregon,” by Mark Eifler

This third-Sunday forum is sponsored by the Lewis and Clark National Park Association, Oregon Council for the Humanities, Officer’s Inn Bed & Breakfast, and the park. The programs are held in the Netul River Room of Fort Clatsop’s visitor center and are free.

For more information, call the park at (503) 861-2471.

Links:
Lewis & Clark maps at NW Limited…History in VogueTM
Lewis and Clark National Historic Park (U.S. National Park Service)

USCG Pterodactyls come to see the Graveyard

(reposted from The Daily Astorian’s website):
Astoria hosts Coast Guard’s Pterodactyl Roost
Annual meeting brings pilots and other flight-crew members to view the Graveyard of the Pacific

By KARA HANSEN
The Daily Astorian

About 200 U.S. Coast Guard aviators descended on Astoria as the annual Pterodactyl Roost began Thursday.

The annual meeting of the Coast Guard Aviation Association, a fraternal organization also known as Ancient Order of the Pterodactyl, brings together pilots and other flight-crew members for four days of sight-seeing at the Graveyard of the Pacific.

Vice Adm. Vivien Crea, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, will also attend part of the event. Second in command in the Coast Guard, Crea is the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. military.

Coast Guard Group Astoria competed against Air Station Barbers Point in Hawaii for the opportunity to play host to this year’s Roost, said Lt. Adam Davenport, an Astoria pilot.

“We sold the Pterodactyls on Astoria by showcasing its scenery, charm and high probability of breathtaking search and rescue,” he said, noting Coast Guard members cross the country to train in the rough waters at Ilwaco, Wash.’s National Motor Lifeboat School and at Astoria’s Advanced Helicopter Rescue School. “We are a destination for SAR training and experience for the entire Coast Guard, both afloat and air assets.”

Those attending the Roost will visit historic sites such as Fort Clatsop and the Doughboy Monument and filming locations from the “Goonies” and “Kindergarten Cop” movies, sample Oregon seafood and wine and explore Washington’s North Head Lighthouse and Cape Disappointment, overlooking the treacherous Columbia River bar.

They’ll also get to check out some of the Coast Guard’s newest and recently updated aircraft: the new MH-60T Thunderhawk helicopter, the HC-144 Casa search plane, an MH-65 helicopter from Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., a C-130 plane from Air Station Sacramento, Calif., and one of Air Station Astoria’s three HH-60 Jayhawk helicopters.

The event was coordinated by a committee of Coast Guard Lt. Rob Potter, Lt. Brooks Crawford, Rear Adm. Ed Nelson, Capt. Rod Leland, Cmdr. Ron Larsen and Cmdr. Malcolm Smith under the direction of Capt. Peter Troedsson, Coast Guard Group Astoria’s commander. It ends Sunday with a business meeting.

Davenport said the organization offers numerous benefits for members, mainly by helping them stay connected with Coast Guard aviation, enjoy camaraderie of former and current colleagues, network for future jobs “and promote recognition and historical preservation of all things Coast Guard aviation.”

All 19 pilots at Air Station Astoria have been members at some point. “We get invited to join upon receiving our wings,” Davenport said.

Links:
Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard at NW Limited…History in VogueTM
Article at Daily Astorian

Commercial Fisherman Expo and Hotdog Highliners Competition


Sunday, Sept. 7th – in conjunction with Astoria’s Sunday Market, there will be a Commercial Fishing Expo and Hotdog Highliners Competition.
Don’t miss your chance to rub shoulders with the ilk of hard-working men and women that work the waters of the Pacific Graveyard, many of whom also fish the Bering Sea in the industry made famous by Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch.
Entrants must have registered by Sept. 3 in order to compete.
Competitions include the Dover Sole Relay Race, Forklift Coin-flip, and teams made up of three highliner “deckhands” successfully completing a series of tasks such as eating oysters, donning a survival suit, stacking crab pots and knot-tying in order to gain bragging rights and donated prizes.
In addition to these, there will be entertainment in the form of commercial fishing demonstrations, Sea Shanty songs by the Living Historians, fisher poets and
NW Limited…History in VogueTM will be there as a vendor in our usual spot as well as at the Fishing Expo.
Englund Marine, Polk-Riley Printing, Junes Ltd., J&H Boatworks, Jon’s Seafood and Pier 39 are some of the sponsors.
Links:
Fishing Contest Enlivens North Coast Oregon Town

Press: Coast Weekend

NW Limited…History in VogueTM is what’s happening:

Click here to read the online article in the Daily Astorian’s Coast Weekend.

Tales from the chart – The Erria (interview by D. Kanally)

The Fire Aboard the Erria – December 1951
An Interview with Don Fastabend by David Kanally.
This interview and additional information on the Astoria Marine Construction Company and Joe Dyer’s boats may be found at Columbia River One Design
Original archival materials are stored at the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, OR.
Photos courtesy of Cliff West.

The Erria under Tow after the fire was put out

The Erria under Tow after the fire was put out

(Ed note: On December 20th, 1951, the Danish Freighter Erria caught fire while anchored in the Columbia River along the shores of East Astoria , Oregon . Eleven souls were lost in the fire. Don Fastabend, owner of Astoria Marine Construction Company (AMCCO), was a machinist lead for the firm at the time, working at their Tongue Point facility. He was called, along with many of his colleagues, to help fight the blaze. His account of the dramatic incident follows.)

“The Erria had been in Portland and was headed out to sea, but the Columbia Bar was rough that night, so they decided to anchor in the river near East Astoria until things calmed down. About 1 or 2 a.m. on December 20th, they started to pick anchor and something went wrong. Some people believe that the wiring to the motor on the anchor windlass caught fire. That wiring ran through the #3 hold, and that was the worst burned of the whole ship.In any case the fire was discovered. Erria was a combination freight and passenger vessel, so there were crew and passengers aboard. They immediately launched the lifeboats and rowed to the nearby Coast Guard station. The Coast Guard and the Navy responded and squirted water on the fire for a while, but pulled off by 4 or 5 o’clock the next afternoon. The ship had listed pretty badly, and the fire was still going strong.

Smoke is billowing not from the fire, but from an auxiliary motor used to power the anchor windlass. Bob West photo, 1952.

Smoke is billowing not from the fire, but from an auxiliary motor used to power the anchor windlass. Bob West photo, 1952.

A salvage company was called in, and their representative, Captain Whitmore, showed up in town and inquired at the Chamber of Commerce, looking for which companies controlled the local labor market. AMCCO had about 400-500 people working then, so was a prime labor source. The word went out at the Tongue Point facility, “Don’t go home tonight at quitting time.”

Whitmore arrived on the scene at Tongue Point and began asking where CO2 could be obtained. We knew that the Navy kept CO2 in a hangar at Pier 3 at Tongue Point . So Whitmore called the officer on duty…it was the end of the day and all the brass had gone home, so the duty officer was probably an Ensign. Whitmore introduced himself as Captain Whitmore (a rank possibly attained in the Merchant Marine), but the young Ensign took him for a Navy four striper!So the Ensign called out the duty section and the CO2 was promptly delivered to Whitmore. This worked so well, that our boss, Johnny Cederberg, thought Whitmore should try the same tactic to get a vessel to carry the CO2 and the crew out to the Erria.

It worked again, and before we knew it we had a LCM 6 (a 56-foot landing craft) with fire monitors and a Navy crew!

The Erria anchored just off East Astoria. Bob West photo, 1952.

The Erria anchored just off East Astoria. Bob West photo, 1952.

We rigged up a manifold arrangement for the CO2 tanks that allowed us to change out tanks and keep the CO2 flowing. We journeyed out and came alongside the Erria. The side of the ship was just glowing red with heat in the engine room, where the hottest part of the fire was. We played water with the fire monitor on the side of the ship ’til it cooled enough that we could hold the bow of the M boat against it.

We burned a 3” hole in the side of the ship and started dumping CO2 inside the ship. By morning the engine room fire was out. We came back ashore for a while at that point, to get more CO2. There wasn’t any more from the Navy supply, but we knew there was CO2 aboard Navy ships, so we began “acquiring” more.

By about 8:30 or so, the Lieutenant Commander in charge of repair operations at the shipyard came up to me and asked me what we were doing, so I told him about what we were up to. He also wondered who the hell Whitmore was, and pretty soon, Whitmore was gone and they took the landing craft back and we all went home and got some sleep.

The next day we all met at the dock of Arrow Tug and Barge and met up with Mr. Martinoni, who was the president of the salvage company. He stayed with us until the bodies were recovered and the fire was put out.

We used a barge to haul pumps out, and we pulled alongside the Erria and began pumping water into and out of the ship. We’d feel along for hot spots, burn a hole and pour in water. The fire was mostly between decks.

I found the first two bodies by the doorway on the main promenade deck, two young women crew members.

The other people who died were sitting in chairs in the lounge just off the boat deck. We figured, since there was no power to the davits that the crew had to lower the lifeboats down to deck level manually, and these people were waiting for that operation to take place, and were overcome by smoke and gasses. One of them was trying to get out on his hands and knees, but got trapped in a corner. Another guy tried to go back to his stateroom to get something, and never made it back. We pretty much swept him up with a broom.

The deck was all teak, and heavily oiled, and there were a lot of hardwoods used in the construction, and lots of varnish, so that would make for bad fumes and gasses.

We only saved one hold, hold #5.

Eventually we got a lot of the water pumped out and the ship leveled out.

The Erria was quite a ship. She even had a swimming pool. One of the holds, hold #4, was refrigerated and was full of apples. The fire got into the insulation of the refrigerated spaces and caused us to wonder what would have happened if all those apples would have burst at once!

We all worked day and night, with not very much sleep, to get that fire out. I’ll never forget that I earned $600 the week of Christmas. And our normal wage back then was $1.85 an hour, so $600 was very big money for that time.

The Erria being towed by the Zwarte Zee. Bob West photo, 1952.

The Erria being towed by the Zwarte Zee. Bob West photo, 1952.

Anyway, the Erria was eventually towed to dry dock in Portland , to be completely checked out to be sure she was seaworthy to be towed back to Europe for rebuilding . She was brought back down to Astoria, and anchored at just about the same spot where the fire happened, while she waited for her tow by the tug Zwarte Zee.

The Zwarte Zee. Bob West photo, 1952.

The Zwarte Zee. Bob West photo, 1952.

She was rebuilt as a freight-only vessel and made it back to the Columbia River once that I know of. I remember one more funny thing: When we got to the crew quarters in the aft section of the ship, we found a stash of Danish 9% beer, which was pretty darn good. When the crew came back and found out what had happened to their beer, they were pretty mad at us, so we went out and bought them some Lucky Lager. They gave it one taste and weren’t very happy. They said “This stuff is like Kool-Aid!”
Links:
(and thank you) The original story hosted on Columbia River One Design’s website
Columbia River Maritime Museum