Ear: Harvest

The American barkentine Harvest Home, Capt. A. Matson in command, ran aground Jan. 18, 1882, on what is called the "weather beach" (with good reason) about 8 miles north of Cape Disappointment.

She was on her way to Port Townsend, Washington, with a light cargo when she encountered heavy weather at nearly high tide. By the time the man on watch realized they were in trouble — when he heard a rooster crowing in a nearby barnyard — it was, of course, too late. There were no casualties, and at dawn, the men walked to shore without even getting their feet wet.

At the time, the mishap was blamed on a faulty chronometer. Later, the captain blamed Tennent's Nautical Almanac (bit.ly/TTennent). Tennent admitted to a calculation error.

The stranded ship quickly became quite a tourist attraction. She is pictured in a photo from "The Long Beach Peninsula" by Nancy L. Hobbs and Donella J. Lucero.

Over the years, the ship was periodically mentioned in the news. In August 1885, the Morning Oregonian noted that a man caught more than 80 crabs at the wreck.

On Dec. 25, 1900, The Morning Astorian noted that the associate editor of the Chinook Observer, Charles Payne, a shipwreck survivor himself, received a desk made from the wood of several shipwrecks, one of which was the Harvest Home.

On Aug. 3, 1907, the Oregon Daily Journal remarked that the Harvest Home was mostly covered in sand and gradually sinking out of sight. The ship's sad demise was noted in the Aug. 3, 1923, Ilwaco Tribune: Her remains were blown up to make way for a beach auto racing speedway. (http://bit.ly/LewDry, http://bit.ly/WBhhome)

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.