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Washington State University Libraries
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Pullman, WA 99164-5610 USA
(509) 335-6691

PC 128
Album of Columbia River Light Ship No. 50

It is unclear when and from whom this was acquired, save that it apparently came to the Libraries before 1959. It was held in MASC as Cage 4019 before being redescribed by University Archivist Mark O'English as a photographs collection in June, 2009.

Number of Containers: 1
Number of Images: 37


On April 11, 1892, Light Ship 50 was towed to a position five miles west of the Columbia Riverís mouth where she became the west coast's first active lightship. In November, 1889 a serious storm broke her anchorage, and the next day her crew beached her; she remained beached until June, 1901. Between February and June of 1901 she was hauled 700 yards overland to where she could be relaunched; after repairs she was returned to her station on August 18, 1901. In 1909, she was removed from lightship duties, and in 1915 she was sold at public auction.


The cover reads "Compliments of Allen [Andrew Allen] & Roberts [J.H. Roberts], Portland, Ore., Contractors for moving Columbia River Light Ship No. 50, overland from Ocean Beach to Baker's Bay, at Forth Canby, Washington. Distance, 1-2 of a mile. Light Ship was stranded at McKinsey's Head, Nov. 29, 1899; moved May, 1901." Additional handwritten notes read "Presented to Louis Heinrichs, Ord. Sgt USA. Ft. Canby, Wash."

The collection holds 37 photographic images, maintained in their original order and binding. All photographs are undated and undescribed, though most are noted as having been taken by J.F. Ford. The photograph depicts the grounded ship, the process of moving her overland, those involved, and finally the ship back at dock.


This collection is open and available for research use.


The suggested citation for the collection is:

[Item Description]
Album of Overland Transport of Columbia River Light Ship No. 50, 1901 (PC 128)
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Washington State University Libraries
Pullman, WA