Did you know that the 105th ANNIVERSARY of the four-masted steel barque PETER IREDALE running aground on Clatsop Spit is Oct. 25? The Iredale is pictured above, in a photo by J. WATERHOUSE, shortly after grounding.

The 285-foot-long Iredale, out of Liverpool, England, was built in June 1890 in Maryport, Cumbria, and named after her owner. TOM IREDALE (who doesn’t say how he’s related, but apparently he is) has a very extensive website about the Iredale, and its shipping company, P. Iredale and Porter, at iredale.de/maritime/shipslist.htm

According to the OREGON HISTORY PROJECT (tinyurl.com/ohpiredale), on Sept. 26, 1906, the Iredale sailed out of Salina Cruz, Mexico, heading for Portland. Caught in a squall, CAPT. H. LAWRENCE said that against a “heavy southeast wind” and “strong current ... she was in the breakers and all efforts to keep her off (the shore) were unavailing.” Consequently, the Iredale rammed into the sand so hard that three of her masts broke.

Rockets were set off, and members of the lifesaving station at Point Adams braved the elements to rescue all 27 crewman, and even two stowaways.

The captain was cleared of any possible wrongdoing in the stranding of the Iredale in an investigation held by the Naval Court at the British Vice-Consulate in Astoria Nov. 13, 1906. In fact, the Vice-Consul even went so far as to add that he “desires to express his satisfaction with the quiet and orderly behaviour of the crew when in Astoria.” Lawrence must have been a good captain in more ways than one.

On that note, the Oregon History Project says, “WILLIAM K. INMAN, one of the lifesavers who helped Capt. Lawrence ashore, remembered that the red-bearded captain stood stiffly at attention, saluted his ship, and said ‘May God bless you and may your bones bleach in these sands.’ He then turned and addressed his men with a bottle of whisky in his hand. ‘Boys,’ he said, ‘have a drink.’”

— Elleda Wilson