The Wreck of the Steamer Santa Barbara, 1905

The wreck of the Santa Barbara at Del Mar Landing, just south of Gualala on the Mendocino Coast, October 1, 1905. The tug boat, Pomo, can be seen in the background. (Gift of Emery Escola, Emery Escola Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

October 1, 1905 – The steamer Santa Barbara, headed for Seattle with a cargo of 300 tons of freight and 18 passengers, wrecked on the rocks at Del Mar below Gualala at 4 o’clock in the morning. Despite a big hole in her bow, her officers soon convinced themselves that there was no immediate danger of the vessel going down, and the passengers were given time to dress and partake of coffee before the three lifeboats were lowered.

The officers and crew took the passengers to shore then returned to the vessel, which was stuck hard and fast on a reef. Later that morning, four passing steamers stopped to help. The Pomo, Point Arena, Phoenix and Sea Foam sent lines to the stranded vessel and made a united effort to pull her off the reef, but their combined strength was powerless to budge her. The Sea Foam continued on her way to San Francisco with the Santa Barbara’s passengers and part of her crew.

A second attempt proved successful, and the Point Arena and Pomo were able to tow the Santa Barbara to her home port of San Francisco. Three weeks later, the licenses of the Santa Barbara’s Captain, Chief Mate, and Second Mate were suspended because they had been “unskillful and negligent in navigating the steamer on this occasion.”

Jewelry For Doors – Vintage Doorknobs From The Larry Sawyer & Harriet Bye Collection featuring the fascinating door hardware that Larry Sawyer and Harriet Bye have collected over many years as vintage door and window vendors with their company Albion Doors & Windows. Colorful, intricate, charming, yet functional, this assemblage provides a peek into some of the everyday objects people handled in former days. Museum hours: Thursdays through Sundays, 11 am to 3 pm. The Museum is located at 45007 Albion Street in Mendocino.