On this day in Mendocino history…

A large steam ship on the water with wooded hills in the background

The Steamer Fort Bragg Loading Lumber at Big River, Mendocino, c. 1920. At this time, the Fort Bragg was operated by Charles Higgins of the Higgins Steamship Company in San Francisco. Note the letter “H” on the smokestack. (Perley Maxwell (photographer), Gift of Emery Escola, Emery Escola Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

September 7, 1932 – The wooden steam schooner Fort Bragg was declared a total loss after becoming stranded on the south jetty at Coos Bay, Oregon. Fifteen of the 20-man crew were taken off immediately by the Coast Guard, who then returned to the wreck to remove Capt. John Samuelson and the rest of the crew. When the wreck occurred, the ship was enroute from San Francisco to Portland carrying a general cargo.

Built in Fairhaven, California and launched at Eureka in 1910, this lumber schooner was named in honor of the city of Fort Bragg, California. The Fort Bragg was designed as a combination freight and passenger carrier and was a familiar vessel along the Mendocino coast.

More historical photos of Mendocino available in “Perley Maxwell’s Mendocino,” by Bruce Levene. Includes the Mendocino High School Photography Students 2002 Then & Now Project. $25.