CURRAN, Phillip

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CURRAN, Phillip (c. 1842- ) was born in England according to the 1880 census at which time he was 38 years old. His wife, Jeanette, was born in Scotland circa 1848. Their daughter, Jeanette, was born in California in 1878.


In the News~

July 9, 1884 [SBDP]: “The trial of Ah You… Phillip Curran testified: am a seaman employed on schooner Santa Rosa; knew Ah You; was on the island week ago Sunday; saw More and the Chinaman there; took Thompson aboard the schooner who was ordered by More to bring Chinaman’s things from schooner; the fence prevented me from seeing clearly what was going on the wharf; saw More who was standing near the steps bring his hand down twice in rapid succession as if striking; Ah You was about three feet from More; Chinaman was standing with his hands hanging down by his sides; went about my business and did not pay much attention to what was going on at the wharf; recognize the things brought into court as the ones belonging to Ah You…”


August 24, 1899 [SBMP]: “The gasoline schooner Magic, formerly the Lizzie Belle W., lies in three and one half fathoms of water in Rancho Viejo Bay, Santa Rosa Island... The schooner Santa Rosa went to the scene of the wreck and took aboard the captain and engineer Duffie and started for the mainland. Captain Phil Curran of the Santa Rosa said that there was no excuse for the wreck and more especially since it happened on a quiet day with a smooth sea and a light land breeze and in broad daylight. When last seen her masts were sticking out of the water.”


September 18, 1899 [NYT]: “A large whale was washed ashore on the east end of Santa Rosa Island on Friday, September 8. It was still alive when found, but expired shortly afterward. Captain Curran of the Santa Rosa stated that the whale was of a kind that he had never seen before. The monster was sixty feet in length.”


November 26, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “Schooner Santa Rosa lost in Cuyler’s Harbor. The steamer Santa Cruz brought into port Captain Burtis and Philip Curran, the crew of the Santa Rosa, and they tell a tale of terrible suffering for three days and nights, and the wreck of the finest vessel in the harbor. The schooner Santa Rosa, belonging to the A. P. More estate, was lost early Friday morning in Cuyler’s Harbor, San Miguel Island, during a raging southeaster. The Santa Rosa left this port Sunday morning with freight and mail for Santa Rosa Island, and on Monday proceeded to San Miguel and encountered a southeaster, with a heavy sea. She put into Cuyler’s Harbor and threw out both her heavy anchors. The storm became fiercer and breakers began rolling over the vessel. Every jerk the captain thought to be the last and fatal one. Two hundred yards off were several hidden rocks. This lasted two days when, on Friday morning at 3 o’clock, one anchor chain parted and the vessel dragged the other and was at the mercy of the sea. The small entrance to the channel was a whirlwind of fighting waves. The vessel could not be controlled and was fast closing in on the sunken rocks. Seeing this, the men lowered the boat and had no sooner gotten in when, looking about, they saw the Santa Rosa covered by a wave, and that was the last time she was seen. They had had nothing to eat for twenty-four hours before the wreck. They made for the open sea, and for fifteen hours were at the mercy of the waves, when finally picked up by the steamer Santa Cruz. The Santa Rosa was the largest vessel in the channel, being thirty-five tons register. She was built for the More brothers in 1878 for use in the island business. She was valued at $6000, with no insurance, and last year $1000 worth of repairs were made on her.”