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Historic Shipwreck Profile: Additional Background on Vessel

J.B. Stetson

Steam Schooner

Newspaper clipping from Monterey Peninsula Herald 4SEP1934 p5 col 6-7 of shipwreck J.B. Stetson

Source: Monterey Peninsula Herald (Monterey, CA), September 4, 1934, p5, col 6-7.
Courtesy of Monterey Public Library.


J.B. Stetson Is Eleventh Vessel Wrecked On Local Coast In Last 100 Years


Eleven ships have piled up on the Monterey coast in 100 years. The S.S. J.B. Stetson is the tenth to be battered to pieces by the seas. One escaped disaster near Point Pinos and was floated off the rocks at high tide.

The first shipwreck was the bark Natalia in which Napoleon had escaped from Elba. She was driven ashore in December, 1834 by a gale in Monterey bay. Charles Dana mentioned her in his “Two Years Before the Mast” and said that all of her crew but one were lost. He writes:

“This was owing to the carelessness or ignorance of the captain, who paid out all his small cable before he let go his other anchor. The ship Lagoda, of Boston, was there at the time, and rode out the gale in safety, without dragging at all, or finding it necessary to strike her top-gallant-masts.”

After the Los Angeles was wrecked at Point Sur, the St. Paul went ashore, bows on, at Point Joe, during an August fog in 1896. She was on her way from Point San Simeon, loaded with calves and sheep.

For three months she withstood the pounding, then went to pieces over night. Her mainmast still lies near the road at the point.

The rescuer of the St. Paul’s crew and cargo was the Gypsy, which met disaster eight years later near New Monterey.

Again destruction lay in August fogs and the little ship Celia went ashore on Moss Beach in 1906. It was before rapid communication and she blew all night, her whistle lashed open, before help came. To the distress signal of the Stetson response was immediate, and her crew was off in five hours.

The Roderick Dhu followed the Celia upon Moss beach in April, [1909] and a fragment of her hull can still be seen at very low tide.

In 1911, the Santa Rosa piled up at Point Arguella. Then, fifteen years later, the S.S. Flavel ran on the reefs at Cypress point, a few yards from where the Stetson now lies.

A third wreck was added to the record of Moss Beach last year when a little Coast Guard cutter went to pieces on the rocks.

Newspaper clipping from Monterey Peninsula Herald 7SEP1934 p2 col3 of shipwreck J.B. Stetson

Source: Monterey Peninsula Herald (Monterey, CA), September 7, 1934, p2, col 3.
Courtesy of Monterey Public Library.


News of the Waterfront


Since the unfortunate “J.B. Stetson” piled up at Cypress Point early on the morning of Labor Day the old-timers have been saying “I remember when—” at a great rate. In Tuesday’s Herald a story by Miss Claire B. Hudson was published. It listed 11 wrecks and was based on information obtained from Mrs. C.S. Fackenthall of Pacific Grove, and old-timer who has been at the “ringside” of many important events of local history. Yesterday a letter from L.S. Slevin of Carmel was printed which “anted” the list up to 16. And now boys at the municipal wharf join the Associated Oil company in asking “How about the Frank H. Busk which tried to enter the bay ‘overland’ at Point Pinos?” Well, we had forgotten her—but you see she was like “bring ‘em back alive Buck.” She was hauled off at high tide intact.

Reviewed: April 11, 2024
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

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