The Steamer Sequoia

Postcard of the Sequoia loading lumber at the Fort Bragg pier, 1898-1903. (Kelley House Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

September 19, 1898 – The steamer Sequoia left Mendocino with the largest cargo of railroad ties that had been shipped in many years. This was the first visit to Mendocino of this new vessel, which had been built near the sawmill at Fort Bragg the previous spring specifically for the lumber trade. She was 151 feet long and had a capacity of 300 tons.

The Sequoia wrecked on a bar at the entrance to Humboldt Bay on January 14, 1907. All members of the crew were saved, but the ship was a total loss. Even her engines couldn’t be saved as sand completely filled the engine room.

The licenses of Captain John Lunstedt and Chief Mate Knut Knutsen were suspended for three months following the incident. The captain was found “negligent and unskillful in attempting to cross Humboldt Bay bar at night so soon after low water with a strong tide running and bar breaking,” and Knutsen was also “negligent and inattentive to his duties.”

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