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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Treasure awaits discovery on the coast

Storms eventually give back what they once took.

You don’t need to do much more than look out your window to see that we’ve had a rough winter. 
The evidence is everywhere in landslides, structure damage, trees twisted, bent and shattered.  That same weather has also had the effect of exposing shipwrecks both currently known as well as revealing mysteries.
In mid-December of 2007, a 21-ft. piece of a pre 19th-century, partially-burned shipwreck washed ashore near Ocean Shores, Washington. (click for news link) The wreck that it came from has not been identified, but it could be any number of possibilities in a region rich with stories similar.
If you’ve recently ventured
out to Ft. Stevens, you’ve
likely noticed that the Peter Iredale’s more visible than usual.
The violent action of Winter surf and wind have stripped away her shroud of sand, providing great photo opportunities and sightseeing.
         Hidden for a hundred years, another shipwreck has emerged from the dunes near Coos Bay, Oregon. (link to news story) No one seems yet to be able to indentify the wreck, but its construction dates it to the late 1800s. A schooner-turned-barge once plied the waters of Oregon, disappearing into the sands of a southern beach. Forgotten until the elements exposed her, speculation abounds. The hows, the whys and whens are questions leading the mind along limitless paths of possibility. 


Detail of Dead Reckoning showing some of the positions of shipwrecks at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Shipwreck lore makes fascinating history, rife with romantic notions of treasures lost, of life and death heroism.
In truth, the stories behind these maritime misfortunes range from utter tragedy to simple, uneventful groundings in which all hands merely stepped onto the sand entrapping their ship, and walked ashore. Destinies were changed in light of capricious currents, churlish channels and surprise storms. Each story plays out to an end, though many also carry beginnings along with them:
Place names were gained, sometimes a town was begun where shipwrecks deposited large numbers of survivors in one area.
In more than one instance, a survivor met and married their mate at the site of a wreck, and settled there to become part of the place that claimed the very ship they’d arrived on.
If you do your research, you will find a wealth of true-to-life adventure, even treasure may just be lurking beneath the sand,
or preserved within the Pacific’s depths.

 

 “Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard” shipwreck chart by NW Limited…History in VogueTM
(click on chart to view the readable, large lithograph only version)


From Tillamook Bay north to Pt. Grenville, the shipwrecks of the Pacific Graveyard are represented on NW Limited…History in Vogue’s “Dead Reckoning” shipwreck chart. Along the left edge, the names, dates and summaries of the wrecks read like prose, leading you into a reverie of maritime history. These are stories of the earliest civilization in this region.  The lithographs are $50.

Before Lewis & Clark arrived, there were already centuries worth of shipwrecks which had occurred and influenced the native people, therefore changing the course of history.
Collaboration with numerous sources including shipwreck author Don Marshall has ensured the best possible representation of date, location and circumstances as well as identity. Many of these are in the process of being researched even now. (see link to the Beeswax Project as example, below).
Not all “treasure” is tangible, after all.
So: chart a course for historic adventure, and intriguing discovery. Own for yourself, or give as a gift, the ultimate piece of local history, “Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard” by NW Limited…History in VogueTM.
Contact: Bill Brooks 503-338-6056 or email: bill@nwlimited.com
Other links of interest:
Shipwreck Registry of Oregon
Columbia River Maritime Museum
Nehalem Beeswax Wreck Project