Contemplating.

Contemplating.
Wayzata, Minnesota

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sepia Saturday 63 : 26 February 2011

I find this week’s Sepia Saturday 63 fascinating for various reasons. When anything relates to ships or water there are so many courses one can sail......If you desire more information for playing along too just go here

http://sepiasaturday.blogspot.com/2011/02/sepia-saturday-63-saturday-26-february.html


This man sitting outside during a cold Minnesota winter is an example of a vendor making a profit from our curious nature for all things at sea.  He knows he'll sell many copies with a headline "30 ADRIFT IN SOUTH SEAS" image courtesy Minnesota Historical Society, photographer unknown, appeared in Minneapolis Tribune.
So my Sepia Saturday begins this week's theme about the great Four-masted barque, "Richelieu"
and my bond and attraction to water with stories from the sea or other waterways.   "Richelieu" refers to- a French prelate and statesman, principle minister to Louis XIII (1585-1642), was the name-ship of a class of French battleships in WWII, is an airport in Quebec, Canada, also a river, a color and so much more.

So many boats, so little time…here are just a few.  A most interesting note is the building of ships, their christening, names given and later renamed, the labels/flags/names they carry (for country too) the ports they visit, and often their momentous demise, or rebirth.

The changing or reissuing of past names can confuse things....you see the French had another more famous ship named "Richelieu" later which was a battleship....in her honor I present several other vessels much like that French navy battleship.......

Postcard from, Tanapag Harbor, Saipan November 11, 1944.  Vessels (left to right) USS Salmon, USS Saury, USS Besugo, USS Burrfish, USS Pipefish, USS Sea Cat, USS Fulton, (tender) USS Ronquil, USS Tambor, USS Perch II, USS Pampanito, USS Archfish, and USS Searaven. (I've seen the USS Pampanito a museum ship berthed at Pier 45 San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf)


Now for a maritime disaster in Chicago, Illinois .... about a much documented ruin of the Eastland.  These images are from postcards from an antique store.
The S.S. Eastland- Clark Street Bridge- Chicago River
Just what happened?  The S.S. Eastland based out of Chicago was a passenger ship used for tours.  On July 24, 1915 she rolled over while tied to a dock on the Chicago River.  A total of 844 passengers and crew were killed in what was known as the largest loss of life disaster from a single shipwreck on the Great Lakes.  Following that disaster, the Eastland was salvaged and the United States Navy bought her and designated her as a gunboat (here we go again) renamed, USS Wilmette, and primarily used as a training vessel on the Great Lakes and was scrapped following World War II.

In her touring days they called her "Speed Queen" of the Great Lakes.  Sadly she was known to have too many flaws, too top heavy, her center of gravity too high, and she was over crowded once in 1903 causing her to list and water to flow up one of her gang planks.  So many incidents proceeded even a mutiny ensued on the 14th of August 1903 while on a cruise from Chicago to South Haven.

S.S. Eastland, after disaster on the Chicago River.  July 24, 1915.
...and this photo is of....
A postcard of :  The brave and the strong divers, and their untiring efforts aided greatly in the recovery of bodies from the hull of the ill-fated Eastland.

Flipping over to my father's scrapbook a look at a saying and a long time treasure.....

"Down East" a most asked question of the Maine tourist is what does "Down East" mean?  In early times it seems the state was generally reached from Boston and other points by sailing vessels and with a prevailing westerly wind travelers sailed downwind to Maine, creating the local term, "going down to Maine" or "Down East."
also from that scrapbook is a Christmas greeting card from my father to his mother (now mine)

Apparently my father was aboard the U.S.S. Macomb DMS - 23 and besides my father's note my grandmother typed this message on the inside with her name below it...

A Mother's Prayer
God bless the ship Macomb
Wherever she may be
May His angels chart her course
Through every kind of sea.

My grandmother loved writing and creating poems, and yes this is a common sediment most mothers have while their sons or daughters are serving their country.  But my grandmother had a scare besides.   This is the story I heard.   It's not always the best of times to be in an automobile accident, but my father suffered one during a weekend leave, and lucky for him he had a short time in the hospital instead of going out on his scheduled ship which had some incident and sunk.
I close this post with sort of a mystery on the water.

            Going back to a family album this grouping of photos remains a mystery to me yet.  (I won't post them all) All are untitled, no story quotes and pasted in the middle of photos from Marseilles and Versailles France.  So your guess or knowledge could solve this unidentified collection of ship disasters.  For the purpose of this post my best presumption would be the location Marseilles, France, in and around the military fort located there.  Please offer any information if possible.

Smoke drifted like lost barges across the morning sky.....
heavy bursts of smoke...drifted away.....clouds sailing calmly as though nothing had happened...

Two ships together they slip.......

like lost soldiers never to return home again...
Side by side they shared a lost journey....

Interesting ship to the left of this photo.......
Through the smoke churning up on the right side of photo you wonder if something wasn't brewing on shore as well?
Oh these barrel drifting by could bring answers to this mystery....

The black-clouded smoke swirls no more and soon she will be completely out of sight, but surely not out of mind. 
.....and so ends this brief flash through life on the water......and just a short few of the very many vessels that have roamed our world......just as ships will forever more pass by in the night...so live long those lives that live by the sea...

17 comments:

JJ said...

Karen: Check this out:

http://www.jakendall.com/ja-kendall-soonipi-article.html

Be sure to visit the "Tall Ships" tab. It sounds like you might enjoy it - and it fits in with Sepia Saturday.

Kristin said...

the poor vendor! he looks like he's hunkered down for the duration.

Karen S. said...

JJ thanks for the link very interesting! I enjoy learning the secrets of some artists too, like one from St. Paul who paints various red objects into his artwork, and also will sketch in a self photo of himself...or he'll hide pictures of stuff relating to the topic of the painting....all interesting!

Judie said...

WOW! Just WOW! These are some of the coolest (no pun intended) photos I have seen in a LONG time! You are just a virtual wealth of photo info! Thanks for a most interesting post.

sage said...

Neat post. I love ships and need to photograph some of the post cards I have of them. Thanks for sharing.

Crazy as a Cool Fox said...

Wow this post is packed with lots of info. I like that history. I like your reference to "downeast" I knew exactly what that meant being from the area. Have you read anything from the magazine "Downeast?" It's full of good articles of Maine. www.downeast.com

Bob Scotney said...

Fascinating post Karen. There were two occasions in WWII when the French Fleet came to grief. The first in 1940 when Churchill ordered it to be attacked near Oran to prevent the Germans getting hold of it.
Later in 1942 the Vichy government ordered that ships be scuttled at Toulon.
I just used google - French Fleet Destroyed.

darlin said...

It's amazing the photos you have, that first one with the fella selling his papers outside is a fantastic shot, the one which grabbed my eye the most. I also love what your grandmother wrote to your father, her mothers prayer. Very nice and another amazing post!

TICKLEBEAR said...

rarely would one say a car accident was a fortunate thing, but knowing else he could have faced, surely this was considered a blessing of sort...
great works assembling all of this!!
:)~
HUGZ

Postcardy said...

I like the first picture of the vendor. I wonder if there are more hints about the date on the original picture.

Postcardy said...

I checked the MNHS website--the vendor photo is dated 3/24/1937.

Galen Pearl said...

Your blog is always such a delight. I love your photos and the thoughts that go with them. I was up at my cabin this weekend and had to dig my car out of the snow, but nothing as cold as that vendor. That is a tough way to make a living! Loved all the photos of the ships.

Christine H. said...

I wonder if that man in Minnesota selling the newspapers wished he was adrift in the South Seas. This was a very interesting post (as always), but it does make me want to stay on dry land.

Tattered and Lost said...

All quite fascinating, especially the sinking of the Eastland. Thanks for opening up a piece of history I'd never heard of.

Alan Burnett said...

I don't know about "so many boats, so little time", for me it was "so many boats, so much fascination". Loved the post.

Titania said...

A very interesting story and pictures about ships. They are associated with pleasure and tragedy. I do not know much about boats as I am a true "landrat"! I am more at home on land or in the air! It is fantastic that you have all this history in your photo collection.
All these battle ships in formation I thought of the Spanish armada, in the sixteenth century, it must have been the same proud look, their vulnerability not yet proven.

Nancy said...

That poor vendor. I feel frozen just looking at him. And then, it's frightening to see photos of sinking ships - and to learn that so many people died in the disaster of the S. S. Eastland. I'm glad they finally realized it had too many problems to keep it going. I don't think water vessels are supposed to just lean and fall over.... I think I'll stay on dry ground!