LOST SEATTLE – An ADDENDUM from Stephen Edwin Lundgren!


Here’s another fine contribution from our Stephen.  [Click twice to enlarge and so the better to follow Stephen’s points.]  He must have given most of an afternoon to polish my “1904” date – a fleet speculation – for the Curtis photo that Rob Ketcherside (or his editors) chose for the cover of his new and first book “LOST SEATTLE.”   Thanks again to Rob for a fine addition to the local canon and thanks to Stephen too for his admonishments.  [Somewhere I have a portrait of Stephen, which I’ll add later.  The rest is Stephen’s.]

Rob – CONGRATULATIONS!   Hardcover,  no less and in color.   Far better than Arcadia . Good show!

Checked it out at University Bookstore who reported that it’s been flying off the shelf today. Sales!  And Publicity by Paul. Very good.

My, my, nostalgia. My wife and I took in the Music Hall shows a couple times, Julie Thompson and her first Svengali, Jack McGovern, including at his other venue, the now China Harbor. So much else, I can remember it well. Thanks for not mentioning my Dad in the Kalakala story.

The Yesler Hill and the Courthouse story are very good and accurate. You are hereby adjudged an honorary Profanity Hill expert now. The hanging may proceed. Sez Judge McCann, who was the police court judge. Next case!

You even knew about the secret 1928 City Council ordinance to level the entire hill. Pretty damn obscure. I bet Richard Conlin voted for that. Before he voted to create Goat Hill. Pity he was replaced by a Wobbly.

Now as for the cover harbor photograph – Where’d you find it? Corbis? Hah. They don’t create anything.

what makes somebody think it for 1904 as date for this partial panorama? I don’t think so.

Since you didn’t ask. And didn’t state that in the book, fortunately.

I am more inclined to 1905, even more likely mid1906, having tentatively identified some of the ships in the harbor or at wharf and found what are perhaps contemporary photographs of the Moran Bros Co shipyard – all three “anonymous,” one a AYPE era colorized postcard, and two of them sourced to Joe Williamson, who collected earlier photographers’ works (My bet is Asahel Curtis for all of these aerial views, esp the colorized verson, although Frank Nowell is a possibility, as he was known to climb rooftops and courthouse towers at the time )

One of the white curving prowed steam schooners is very surely the revenue cutter Grant (three masts and tall steamer stack, it was a coaler, to the right), moored as was usual at one of the harbor buoys.  It spent a lot of time at these in the final years up to its surplus sale in late 1906, its iron hulled geriatric engines condition usually keeping it within Puget Sound. The other white hull is another 19th century federal revenue steam cutter,  I have several suspects that were active here at the time. It shows up at the launch of the Nebraska.

The 4 stack torpedo boat destroyer is most likely the USS Perry (Bainbridge class) which also spent a fair amount of time in Puget Sound waters 1904/1905, as part of the Pacific torpedo boat fleets guarding us from errant Russian and/or Japanese fleets. Or British.   I was hoping it was the USS Decatur but that was elsewhere in the SE Asian fleet at the time.

Paul would remember a similar torpedo boat destroyer in a harbor, included in one of the works of nostalgic art donated to the MOFA last month. Probably the Decatur “opening up” the Japanese ports.

On the very far left within the coal smoke is either the USS Nebraska being fitted out after its October 1904 launch, before its late 1906/7 delivery to the US Navy OR another battle cruiser which was also moored at this dock, the armoured cruiser USS New York (3 stacker). I’ve seen a Times photo of this cruiser but missed noting the publication date, as if one can trust the Blethen press as being accurate.  As noted above, there are three existing photographs of that ship from somewhat aerial perspective, one including the full-length postcard of the SS Orizaba et al, and two others  which show the stern and bow of same, and including the 3 stack warship etc. It very much resembles your harbor shot edge.  See attached montage.

However, here’s  the curveball, or sinker (more appropriately).  The 1889 launched tropical steamer SS Orizaba, single raked stack, two masts, is said to have first arrived in Seattle June 1, 1906 after its purchase by the Northwestern Steamship Co for the Alaska trade and then made her first trip to Nome, arriving June 25 and returning with $750,000 of gold. On Aug 7 1906 her name was changed to the SS Northwestern.  At some point c1909 its cabins were expanded, enclosed/rebuilt (Alaska is not the Caribbean!), it was transferred to Alaska Steam and it continued its storied if notorious Alaskan career for three decades as the most often sunk,  beached, refloated, and eventually in 1942, bombed West Coast/Alaskan ship. What survived is still in Dutch Harbor.

So I’d go with summer of 1906 – the Nebraska was still at the Moran yards, the destroyer Perry still hanging around, and the cutter Grant often moored in the harbor. The Hanford building on the corner of First and Cherry wasn’t finished until sometime later in 1906, so that is the outside of the timeframe.

Ironic aside: if indeed the Orizaba and the New York were at the same shipyard in 1906, they both died 35 some years later in the Pacific War (New York scuttled in Manila Bay December 1941, the Orizaba/Northwestern in Dutch Harbor May 1942), and both remain where they lay. The iron hulled mechanically failing Grant sank in a storm up in northern Canadian waters in 1910 after being converted to a fish freighter, and the torpedo boat Perry was eventually scrapped after WWI.

Collegially, as I get back to my own work

Stephen Edwin Lundgren

such as revisting Gorden Newell’s work, with Lost Ships of the Pacific Northwest

Orizaba/Northwestern’s career :   Alaska at War, 1941-1945: The Forgotten War Remembered

Side note: The Grant ended its career with two involvements with the salvation of survivors and later resurrection of the victims of the doomed steamer Valencia off the British Columbia coast. But that’s another story, mine.

Can’t help you with the street clocks. I don’t wear a watch anymore.

Does anybody really know what time it is? or really care?

Paul: bottom line, I say photo is June 1906 not 1904. Sez me and Ace Curtis. He sez send him two bucks for the publication fee. Payable to his account at Dexter Horton downtown. And who the hell is Mr. Corbis? I still got the plate somewhere in the root cellar unless it ended up on the greenhouse roof.