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C A Thayer

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art ()


In the bay of San Francisco sits the C. A. Thayer. This ship was built to 1895 to hull timber. The usual route it took was from Grays Harbor, Washington, picking up timber from E.K. Wood's mill, to San Francisco.

The C A Thayer
Under the C A Thayer


     The Thayer is a three mast, lumber schooner and was 219 feet long. It had a small crew, only consisting of 8 or 9 men. These men did not only sail the boat, but they also had the duty of unloading the large cargo off the ship. After 17 years in the lumber industry, the Thayer sustained damage in 1912 from a strong gust of wind. Steam power pushed the Thayer  to change its cargo.
     Instead of bringing cargo to San Fransico, the Thayer took cargo from San Fransico all the way to Western Alaska. in April the cargo consisted of barrel staves and tons of salt. The Thayer would then sit in Squaw Creek or Koggiung. There the sailors would capture fish. The Thayer would return to San Fransico with its cargo hold over flowing with salted salmon from Alaska. When WWI broke out, inflation became an issue for the Thayer. The cargo ship began making two month voyages to Australia carrying Northwestern fir and redwood. Coming back from Australia the cargo would consist of coal, hardwood or copra. Beginning in 1925 the ship made yearly visits to the Bering Strait from Poulsbo, Washington to codfish. In 1942, the army bought the Thayer to help with the war effort. The Army turned the fishing boat into a ammunition barge in the Britsih Columbia. After the war had ended, J.E. Sheilds bought back his boat from the Army and returned it to shipping.

     The ship's final voyage was in 1950. The C. A. Thayer was the last commercial sailing vessel to ever operate along the West Coast.


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  • Maritime and Naval History
This location was created on 2015-04-19 by Daniel Parlock, Marshall University; Instructed by David J. Trowbridge.   It was last updated on 2015-04-28 by Daniel Parlock, Marshall University; Instructed by David J. Trowbridge.

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