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Posts Tagged ‘shipwreck’

Travel Theme: Spooky

Posted by Jody on October 29, 2012

The beautiful beach at Fort Stevens State Park and visible remains of the Peter Iredale.

OK, so maybe we’re not really talking “spooky” here. It really would have been bone-chillingly scary though, for the officers and crew of the Peter Iredale, a four-masted steel barque that was headed for Portland, Oregon on October 25, 1906. Due to the deadly combination of the rising tide, dense fog, strong winds and rough seas, the Peter Iredale ran aground in the dark of that fateful night. Interestingly enough, not one soul was lost among the ship’s crew of 27, including two stowaways. With any other fate, this scene might have been considered quite eerie!

The Remains of the Peter Iredale

Over one hundred years since it ran aground, the bones of the Peter Iredale’s rusted bow and masts are still visible jutting out from the sandy beach at Fort Stevens State Park near Warrenton, Oregon. Easily accessible, this shipwreck is a crowd-pleasing tourist stop, especially if one is interested in the history and lore of the Graveyard of the Pacific. It certainly was a thriller for me!

The Remains of the Peter Iredale

To find the remains of the Peter Iredale: When heading north on Oregon Hwy 101 from Seaside veer left onto Columbia Beach Road/Ridge Road. Turn left on Peter Iredale Road. It’s a short jaunt over the dunes to the shipwreck from the rather large parking lot. The route is very well signed. Restrooms are available here.

Related links:

Maryport Sailing Ship Peter Iredale (Mighty Seas)

Transcript of the Naval Court findings (Issued in London by the Board of Trade on the 24th December 1906.)

The Oregon History Project

Graveyard of the Pacific (Oregon State Parks)

Fort Stevens State Park

 This week’s Travel Theme is “Spooky.”


Posted in Pacific Coast Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Frolic Cove (aka: Pottery Cove), Northern California

Posted by Jody on November 11, 2011

Frolic Cove is one of our all time favorite Pacific Coast finds.  Simply put: It’s an amazing, peaceful, rocky cove bordered by very small patch of sand, nestled within the  beautiful steep bluffs of the Northern California coast. In the cold waters off shore rest the remains of the Frolic. The Frolic shipwreck site is “one of the best preserved mid-nineteenth-century shipwrecks in California.” (CA State Parks)

Frolic Cove, Northern California (©Jody Diehl)

Frolic Cove, aka: Pottery Cove, Northern California (©Jody Diehl)

The brig Frolic ran aground on a submerged reef and sank off the Mendocino County coast on July 25, 1850. It was on the final leg of its trip to San Francisco, having sailed all the way from China with 135 tons of cargo. The ship and its cargo of Chinese goods destined for the market in San Francisco were lost beneath the turbulent seas. The Frolic wreck now lies in Pottery Cove just northeast of the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse. The Frolic is a unique gold rush era cultural resource, and its sinking is a particularly interesting story that involves many of the major events of mid-nineteenth-century California. The Frolic site was nominated and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.” (California State Parks)

Sadly, it appears that this beautiful, secluded spot may soon be unavailable to the public, as Frolic Cove lies within the boundary of the Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park (map). This historic park, an absolute coastal treasure, is scheduled for closure by the State of California no later than July 1, 2012.  Be sure to visit Frolic Cove if you can, while you still can!

We’re going to keep our fingers crossed!

A Good News Update on December 2012: This coastal treasure remains open to the public with limited facilities and reduced services.  Please check the park’s website for further updates.

Click here for more on the Frolic and the Frolic Cove Project from California State Parks.

Posted in Friday Finds, Northern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Graveyard of the Pacific: The Bones of the Peter Iredale (Hammond, Oregon)

Posted by Jody on October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat? Actually, here’s the perfect Halloween treat for beachcombers!

Lewis and Clark National Park is made up of 12 separate park sites located in about a 40-mile stretch of the Northwest Pacific coast from Long Beach, Washington to Cannon Beach, Oregon. Historic Fort Stevens State Park, which is part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, is located just 10 miles west of the Astoria, Oregon (The “Little San Francisco of the Pacific Northwest”). This area is just a portion of the Washington-Oregon coast known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific” due to the treacherous rugged coastline and unpredictable weather which have together resulted in thousands of shipwrecks over the years.  The sandy beach at Fort Stevens State Park is particularly exciting due to the bones of the British ship, the Peter Iredale, which have been resting on the sands since 1906! How cool is that?

Peter Iredale (Photo by Robert Bradshaw/Wikimedia Commons)

Fort Stevens State Park “includes almost 4,000 acres, featuring year-round camping facilities, miles of ocean and river beach, horseback, hiking and biking trails, fishing and swimming lakes, shipwrecks, and sweeping views of Astoria, Youngs Bay, Southwest Washington and the Columbia River mouth. A replica of a Clatsop Indian long house is located on the grounds of Fort Stevens Historical Site. The park also offers a military interpretive museum, the only enclosed Civil War earthworks site on the West Coast, and, in fall, Civil War battle re-enactments.” ( Who could ask for anything more?

To read a brief but very interesting  history of the final voyage (and demise) of the Peter Iredale and  the transcript issued in London by the Board of Trade on the 24th of December 1906, see the  Finding and order of a Naval Court. It’s a great read! The good news: the entire crew was rescued due to the “prompt action of the United States life-saving crew at Hammond in having the lifeboat alongside in heavy surf.”

Happy Halloween from The Graveyard of the Pacific!

Posted in Monday Miscellaneous, Pacific Coast Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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