Tall Ships of San Francisco
Maritime History and Model Ships by Steve Priske ~ Shipwright - Historian


K.V. Kruse c.1919

One of the largest wooden ships of sail ever built on the U.S. west coast was the K.V. Kruse. Lauched
from the Kruse & Banks shipyard at North Bend, Oregon in 1919, the ship was the first of her rig to carry
two million board feet of lumber. The K.V. Kruse was 242’ on the keel over 260’ overall and registered at 1728 gross tons. She was laid up in Lake Union Seattle for several years until sold to Gibson Brothers in 1939. They converted her into a barge to carry logs from Vancouver Island to the B.C. mainland. In Jan 1941, while under tow, the K.V. Kruse drifted into Hecate Straits, where she was abandoned.


North Bend II c.1920

The four masted schooner North Bend II
was the last tall ship built in Oregon.
She was launched from the Kruse & Banks shipyard
at Porter, Oregon - today North Bend. In 1928 the ship
stranded on Peakcock Spit at the entrance
to the Columbia River and was abandoned.
13 months later she walked her way off the reef
and re-floated herself the only ship recorded in history
to have done so. The North Bend II sank on Guano Rock at Coos Bay, Oregon in 1940.


Portland c.1876

The three masted Barkentine Portland
was launched in 1876, for the
Simpson Brothers of San Francisco.
Here we can see how hard she was
driven, her decks loaded with lumber
and fully awash, on her way to Hawaii.
The Portland would sail until 1906.


Klikitat Shipwreck c.1912

The three masted Barkentine Klikitat
sailed out of San Francisco for the
Simpson Lumber Company. Her primary
route was to Hawaii and Australia.
In 1912, on her way to Sydney, she ran
aground off Honlli Point, Hawaii.
Note the ships ‘Ensign’ in the
distress position.


STS Speedwell c.1911

Here we see the San Francisco steamer
STS Speedwell loaded with two million board
feet of lumber leaving Coos Bay, Oregon.
The ship also accommodated 40 passengers.


Wreck of the Santa Clara c.1915

On Nov. 2, 1915 the Steam Schooner
Santa Clara of San Francisco was on
her way from Astoria to San Francisco,
when she got caught in a strong storm & the
ship was washed onto the Coos Bay south spit and
wrecked. 14 passengers died when one of the lifeboats capsized trying to make it to shore. This photograph
was made the following day on Sunset Beach.


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