162 years ago, the USS Shark

sank (Sept. 10, 1846) on the Columbia River Bar after spending several weeks at Ft. Vancouver.
The crew survived, but the Pacific Graveyard consumed the 86 ft. Navy survey schooner.

Click to see where to buy the whole thing!

Click to see where to buy the whole thing!

Pieces of the wreck were salvaged as far south as Arch Cape and as recently as Winter, 2008. (click underlined links to see previous articles about the Shark with pictures posted on this blog)
The history of this one ship has captured global attention, and reminded us all of our long-standing fascination with shipwrecks and maritime history.
While the carronades which were uncovered by the 2007-2008 Winter’s ravages are yet to be restored or fully proven to be from the Shark, they are periodically displayed at Nehalem Bay State Park in Manzanita, OR and have been the topic of historic presentations at local museums.

Links:

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site featuring an article on the Shark
Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard at NW Limited…History in VogueTM
Columbia River Maritime Museum

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USS Shark carronades on display this weekend

in Nehalem Bay Park near Manzanita, Oregon.
Here’s an excerpt from the Cannon Blog at Oregon State Park website:

“Posted June 20
Been a while between updates, so here’s a catch-you-up.

The next public viewing is July 5, from 1-2 p.m.
Carpool or find some other way to reach the park … this is a holiday weekend and parking will be tight.
The viewing is in the Nehalem Bay State Park maintenance yard (there will be signs … it’s just inside the entrance to the park).

We had an exciting time in May. Oregon Public Broadcasting produces TV episodes for the nationally-broadcast show History Detectives. They’re producing a show on the cannon with the question: Are these from the USS Shark? To help gather more information on their origin, the show arranged for some x-rays of the cannon. Fuji Corportation donated time on one of their portable x-ray machines, and a company called PSI from Portland volunteered their time as industrial radiographers. It was a challenge to get some good, clear images, but they did produce a couple. It was cool to watch them in action, and the x-rays give us a peek beneath the heavy, crusty shell (made of sand and iron, sort of a natural concrete).”

X-Ray of the USS Shark Carronades found near Arch Cape, Oregon in February 2008
Check out this photo from their photo gallery (click for larger).
Links:
Dead Reckoning Shipwreck Chart (includes the USS Shark among hundreds of other shipwrecks of the Pacific Graveyard)
Cannon Blog at Oregon Parks
Cannon Photo Gallery
Columbia River Maritime Museum
PBS History Detectives

Carronades from USS Shark to be displayed

in Manzanita tomorrow, April 29, 2008 at Nehalem Bay State Park.
The small cannons are normally kept submerged in water and secured until restoration, but the Oregon Parks Dept. is draining the water and inviting visitors to come and view them from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 pm.
Here are a few photos from NW Limited’s trip to see them at the last public viewing in March:

The surface feels much like concrete encasing the carronade due to pressure and reaction of the elements surrounding the carronades for 162 years.
They were buried in approximately 20′ of sand prior to the Winter of 2007-2008 storms’ erosion.

You can see the mounting apparatus on the bottom of the cannon in this picture on the right.

The pieces in the bottom of the tub are a chain and possibly other bits of the USS Shark Navy schooner, which was wrecked on the Columbia River Bar.
The carronades even have their own blog: Cannon Blog
The USS Shark is one of the hundreds of Oregon and Washington, Columbia River shipwrecks featured on our Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard shipwreck chart.
Three versions of the chart are currently available (click the following link to see more):

Cannons from USS Shark topic of event at Columbia River Maritime Museum

At 2:30 pm Saturday, March 22, historian Greg Shine of the Fort Vancouver National Site, gave a free, public speech about the cannons, or carronades, that were recently found at the Arch Cape, Oregon beach.  David Pearson, curator for the Columbia River Maritime Museum, spoke afterward about conservation and restoration efforts.
They are believed to have come from the 1846 wreck of the USS Shark, a Navy research schooner.
Below are a few photographs (click for larger images) we took while visiting the Nehalem Bay park at the State Park-hosted viewing of the carronades (they are being kept constantly immersed in water, to prevent further damage before restoration begins):

The surface feels much like concrete encasing the carronade due to pressure and reaction of the elements surrounding the carronades for 162 years.
They were buried in approximately 20′ of sand prior to the Winter of 2007-2008 storms’ erosion.

You can see the mounting apparatus on the bottom of the cannon in this picture on the right.

The pieces in the bottom are a chain and possibly other bits of the USS Shark Navy schooner, which was wrecked on the Columbia River Bar.

The event took place at the Columbia River Maritime Museum at 792 Marine Dr. in Astoria, Oregon.
If you’re at the coast on vacation, the Columbia River Maritime Museum is a terrific place to start your adventure, and get an inside look at shipwrecks, shipwreck history, sailing and fishing historic memorabilia, and the story of this region’s maritime history in general. The gift shop has a terrific (and the newest, best and probably biggest!) shipwreck chart you can take home with you…Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard
For more about the chart, visit Dead Reckoning for images, but you really have to experience it in person to get the full experience.
For that privilege, you can call Bill, email, or catch us at one of the events where we are in attendance.

Links to news articles:
Fort Vancouver expert to shed light on recently found cannons
Navy still owns cannons found from 1846 shipwreck
Links to the co-sponsors of this event:
Fort Vancouver National Site
Northwest Cultural Resources Institute
Hosting the event:
Columbia River Maritime Museum

March in the Pacific Graveyard

“George W. Prescott -3/9/1902- Schooner: Founders off the Columbia- 1 dead”

106 years ago on this day in history, the Pacific Graveyard claimed another life and ship. The insatiable appetite of the river’s mouth is plainly evident on the shipwreck chart by NW Limited…History in VogueTM.
The names listed there represent so much more than initially meets the eye…


The next day, March 10, in 1875 the bark Architect was lost. $8500 ( approximately $154,136.99 by today’s reckoning) worth of ship was salvaged for a paltry $52.00 (or $942.96 today).
Just five years later, the Delharrie would also be lost, and $112,000 investment is gone. That would be akin to a  $2,463,824.00 loss in 2008.Luckily, these events are less frequent now, with the advent of dredging and modern navigation aids.  The challenges of fog, weather and shifting channels have been minimized, not to mention the mitigating presence of the United States Coast Guard.
The Columbia River bar, known aptly as the Pacific Graveyard will never be fully appeased, however, and continues to claim lives and vessels.

Framed, matted with photographs,
stamps and the list of lost fishing vessels,
to name a few of the extras you get with
this shipwreck chart option.

$500 (that’s $27.57 in 1875 money)

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

The Tao of Wow…

Wow is a word that crosses language barriers; there is no mistaking what it means.
For those that aren’t so sure:

wow 1 (wou) Informal
interj.
Used to express wonder, amazement, or great pleasure.
n.
An outstanding success.
tr.v. wowed, wow·ing, wows
To have a strong, usually pleasurable effect on: a performance that wowed the audience.

We specialize in “WOW“.
For giving or getting, NW Limited…History in VogueTM is in a class by itself.
Book your ticket : Email bill@nwlimited.com or call 503-338-6056 

See us this weekend at America’s Largest Collectible & Antique Show in Portland, Oregon at the Portland Expo Center just off I-5 near Delta Park/Jantzen Beach.

Fishing for words?

If you’re in town for the 11th annual Fisher Poet’s Gathering, you might come on up to NW Limited…History in VogueTM and have a look at our newest offering of Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard, featuring a list of the lost fishing vessels from the region. We are just two minutes from downtown on the hillside overlooking the Columbia River. Call for your appointment: 503-338-6056
The commercial fishing industry is a dangerous one, and while many of the boats on the list went down without a life lost (and often thanks to the heroic United States Coast Guard), there will always be those vessel names associated with the sudden loss of peers.
The list of fishing vessels is featured on handmade paper, and printed using an antique letter press; giving a tactile depth to the dates and the names which are so evocative of a way of life on the edge.
This is just one aspect of this magnificent gathering of maritime history, one which encompasses the lives of those we lost while working on the sea, and the memories we all share as part of this community. 
The list of lost vessels in itself speaks volumes of the ultimate price paid for the living made on the sea.  Where words fail, all that is needed are the dates and the names…most of us know the rest.
Custom tributes within this run of 500 matted, framed charts are more than welcome, since each framed chart is hand-built and assembled right here in Astoria, Oregon.
Call or email Bill to see how we can immortalize your memories. 503-338-6056

Shipwreck Discoveries Continue to Intrigue Beachcombers…

Shipwrecks as history are in vogue, for they are in the news frequently of late. 
Public interest is obvious in the flocks of visitors to see the mystery shipwreck which recently appeared in the Coos Bay area.
  More previously-lost bits of ships are turning up. The unprecedented churning of December’s big storms may be partly to blame.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

 In December 2007, a partially-burned shipwreck piece washed ashore near Ocean Shores, Washington.  No identity has been determined for that wreck.  Could it be a vessel previously unidentified, or is it a part of a known shipwreck?

 At left,  one of many featured photos from the framed, matted version of Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard, depicting the Frank W. Howe, which ran aground on North Head.  Two lives were lost as well as the ship and cargo of lumber.

On Presidents Day, two cannons were discovered near Arch Cape, Oregon.
They are believed to be from the USS Shark, a war ship/survey schooner which attempted to cross the Columbia River bar in 1846, and sank there.
The ship is listed in her rightful place on Dead
Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard
which is the most detailed, most beautiful shipwreck chart created to date by Bill Brooks of NW Limited…History in VogueTM.

Bill’s contribution to local history, as well as local culture are commendable for the sheer volume of information available here. 
It must be seen to be believed!

(detail below of the mouth of the river portion of Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard, showing the USS Shark among the multitude of others)

She may have been wrecked at the mouth of the Columbia, but where the USS Shark’s cannons ended up were a secret which the elements chose now to reveal….
or is it the beginning of another saga, the story of another shipwreck altogether?

The discoveries of these wrecks and their wreckage are significant in that these events are the story of all of us, of communities, places and people.  They are a part of our past, present and future.  History. In Vogue!
This quote from the the Oregonian Oregon Blog Live site illustrates well the concept of how shipwrecks have far-reaching effects:
“After it wrecked, part of the ship’s wreckage came ashore near Hug Point. A trio of carronades was among the wreckage. At the time, a Navy sailor was sent to recover the wreckage but he was able to reclaim only one of the cannons. He moved it to higher ground, but it eventually was covered in sand and disappeared until 1898 when it washed ashore. That cannon later became the namesake of Cannon Beach. ”
Archaeologists are requesting that visitors leave the relics where they lie, and not disturb them so that they can better determine their origin. You can, however, have your very own shipwreck chart, which is even better with all the “extras” you will receive in the framed version. (click this link for a preview of this amazing piece of history)
$50 for the lithograph in a tube, and $500 for the framed, matted, intensively detailed version.  There will be 500 of each available. 
Call 503-338-6056 or email bill@nwlimited.com  to find out more.

KGW News: Hands off historic cannons near Cannon Beach, archeologists say
OPB News: Beachcombers Find Cannons on Oregon Beach
Pair of Cannons Found on Oregon Coast Could Be From 1846 Ship
Mystery Ship Revealed in Deep Sand Near Coos Bay, OR