Chispa

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Chispa (#) (+1894-1905) [Sp. = spark], a 30-foot whaleboat with an engine converted for passenger service. She was purchased in 1894 by Harold Doulton and renamed Chispa, and later sold to Henry Short around the turn of the century. Chispa was destroyed by a severe storm that hit Santa Barbara in March 1905. The vessels Pride, Alleen, Prima María, Coquita, Fortuna, Kingfisher and Cady were lost in the same storm.


In the News~

March 27, 1894 [SBMP]: “The launch Chispa, Captain F. A. Woodworth, engineer and general utility man George Culbertson on board, returned from the islands yesterday.”


April 25, 1894 [LAT]: “The gasoline launch formerly used at the whale camp near Point Conception has been purchased by Santa Barbara parties, renamed the Chispa, and has been fitted up for passenger service. At present she will run between the wharf and the Monterey, and carry passengers at the rate of twenty-five cents the round trip.”


April 28, 1894 [SBDI]: “The gasoline yacht Chispa broke her shaft a day or two ago while on a trip from the Monterey to the wharf, and has been laid up for repairs.”


May 14, 1894 [SBDI]: “Miramar guests are having a great deal of pleasure now a days with the launch Chispa. Nearly every day a party is out fishing; their success is good and rock fish are being caught in large numbers.”


May 24, 1894 [SBDI]: “The gasoline launch Chispa left Miramar early this morning for the islands with a party of pleasure seekers. They will be absent several days.”


May 26, 1894 [SBDI]: “The launch Chispa, with F. A. Woodworth, George Culbertson, Mr. Doulton, and others on board, has returned from the island trip.”


August 21, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “Great anxiety is felt here on account of the non-appearance of Messrs. George Culbertson and William Bates. They left Gaviota Saturday morning in a small sailboat for this city, and have not been seen or heard of since. This morning a searching party, composed of Messrs. Harold Doulton, Charles and Fred Bates, started out in the gasoline launch, Chispa, to look for them.”


August 22, 1894 [SBDI]: “The Chispa returned from El Capitan last night bringing back Mr. Bates’ sailboat.”


August 22, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “Trying experience of a couple of men in a sailboat. After three days and two nights without food, William Bates and George Culbertson arrived last night on the stage from El Capitan. They left Gaviota on Sunday morning for this city, and were becalmed in the afternoon near More’s Landing. They laid there for awhile and then got in their small boat and rowed as long as they could, towing the sailboat. They dared not land, as the coast was too rocky in that vicinity, and on Saturday evening a strong southeast gale came up. They took in one sail and the other was blown away. They then dropped anchor and, overcome by exhaustion, laid down and went to sleep. During the night they drifted about twelve miles up the coast, dragging their anchor, and on Monday morning they left the boat and rowed ashore in the little boat, making El Capitan, where they awaited the stage. Charles Bates and Harold Doulton started this morning with the launch Chispa to bring back the sailboat.”


August 29, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “Republican delegates are making arrangements to travel to Lompoc in the easiest way possible. They are going to charter the steam launch Chispa to take them to Gaviota, and from there will travel by stage.”


October 26, 1894 [SBDI]: “The schooner Achilles, Captain Ellis, put to sea yesterday on an otter hunting expedition. She took along a crew of eighteen men and several boats including Mr. Doulton’s gasoline launch Chispa. They expect to spend the winter on this trip.”


October 28, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Achilles, Captain Ellis, put to sea today with a crew of eighteen men. She will sail to San Miguel Island first, and if she finds no otter there will cruise down the channel as far as San Nicolas Island. Should she fail to find plenty of otter on the islands, she will then sail north along the coast, and will be gone all winter. Captain Ellis, in any event, expects to spend three months on the trip. The Achilles has a complete otter-hunting outfit, is well provisioned, and is a good, seaworthy vessel. Among the boats taken on board for the trip was Harold Doulton’s gasoline launch Chispa.”


November 21, 1894 [SBDI]: “The schooner Achilles, Captain Ellis, arrived in the harbor this morning from San Miguel Island, where they have been otter hunting for some time past. Owing to the heavy fogs and bad weather, however, they had very poor success. Mr. Harold Doulton who accompanied the party returned last night in his gasoline launch Chispa.”


May 25, 1900 [SBMP]: “Henry Short's gasoline launch Chispa will be launched today from the beach at Carpinteria. Mr. Short has had his engine refitted and expects to develop good speed in the boat. A fishing party will leave on the Chispa Sunday morning for Naples.”


August 11, 1900 [SBMP]: “Captain Short's gasoline launch Chispa will be in the water in a few days, ready for service. She has undergone a thorough overhauling at Carpinteria.”


August 31, 1900 [SBMP]: “Captain Short took a party out late Sunday in his launch Chispa, which is just off the ways after a thorough overhauling.”


March 20, 1901 [SBDI]: “Henry Short has beached his gasoline launch Chispa and will remodel the boat before again launching her.”


June 8, 1901 [SBDI]: “Henry Short this morning launched his gasoline launch Chispa. Several months ago the boat was taken out of the water and thoroughly overhauled, and a new engine and a coat of paint given her.”


July 9, 1901 [SBMP]: “The launches Bumblebee and Chispa, towing the yacht Ariel, left port yesterday morning for the islands with a party of 20 people. Messrs. Short and Higgins were in charge. They will be absent several days and paint the boats.”


July 9, 1901 [SBDI]: “Henry Short’s launch with nine passengers given up for lost, Higgins’ launch drifts to Ventura and yacht Ariel lands on Santa Cruz after fierce battle with elements… Yesterday morning the party of 22 left this port, ten going in the yacht Ariel, nine in Henry Short’s launch, Chispa, and three in Mr. Higgins small gasoline launch… After getting the breeze, the boats gradually drifted apart, the sail boat going a little off her course on account of the wind, and the Chispa working straight for her port on account of her power…”


July 10, 1901 [LAT]: “Santa Barbara. This city was plunged for half a day in the darkest gloom, pending word from a party of pleasure-seekers who left here yesterday morning for Santa Cruz Island, and who were reported lost at sea. Among the party were members of prominent families of the city, and their relatives were frantic with fear lest all had perished. Aboard the launch Chispa were four members of the Hon. Joseph Sexton’s family, two sons and two daughters. The fears of Santa Barbara were allayed about 4 P. M. when the yacht Ariel, the only sailing vessel of the pleasure fleet, arrived in port and reported all safe… The Chispa, a 30-foot whaleboat with an engine, carried nine persons. She was followed closely by the Ariel, a sloop yacht, with ten aboard. The launch Bumblebee followed…”


July 14, 1901 [SBMP]: “The launch Chispa will cross the channel this morning with Henry Short at the helm, and R. Tollman, Alfred Hayward, Lucien Higgins, and Miss Laughlin as passengers. The Bumblebee will also go across in tow of the Chispa.”


July 16, 1901 [SBDI]: “The party of ten which left here Sunday morning with Henry Short in the launch Chispa was due to return yesterday morning, but have failed to reach here. Friends are a little anxious, although confident that all is well. There have been several days of exceptionally quiet weather.”


July 20, 1901 [SBDI]: “The sloop Ariel with Byron Flint, left this morning for Santa Cruz Island. Henry Short will take a few friends over in his launch Chispa tomorrow.”


July 29, 1901 [SBDI]: “Henry Short took a party of young people on a trip to the islands this afternoon in his launch, Chispa.”


October 21, 1901 [SBI]: “The gasoline launch Chispa is being overhauled. Her engine has been taken out to be remodeled into an up-to-date machine and several changes will be made in the boat to make her more seaworthy.”


January 28, 1902 [SBMP]: “H. S. Short returned from the islands in the yacht Chispa yesterday afternoon. Very rough seas were encountered both going and coming.”


July 27, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “Professor Reynolds, principal of the High School at Ventura, and Professor Hadlock, principal of the grammar school at Oxnard, left yesterday on the launch Chispa, for a cruise around Santa Cruz Island. They will be gone about a week.”


April 19, 1903 [SBMP]: “Friends of Henry Short are exercised concerning his continued absence from the city. Mr. Short left Sunday night, a week ago, in his gasoline launch Chispa for Santa Cruz Island on a fishing trip, and intended to return Monday. He took with him provisions for a short time only. Sice then there has been no news of him. The rough weather of the past week has made communication with the island very irregular, and the few island vessels that have returned brought no word of Short. Yesterday the anxiety became so intense that his friend, Lucien Higgins, started for the islands with the Big Loafer to make a search for him. It is not improbable that Short may be at the islands waiting for a lull in the weather. He may have reached the island in safety and have gone to one of the ranch houses for food and shelter during the storm.”


April 21, 1903 [LAT/SB]: “Much concern is felt over the continued absence of Captain Henry Short, who left Santa Barbara for Santa Cruz Island about a week ago, with the expectation of returning the following day, but who has not yet put in an appearance. Immediately after his departure in his private launch Chispa, a heavy storm started in… A rescue party headed by Captain Frank Nidever is now making a search for the missing man and his launch…”


August 16, 1904 [SBMP]: “Henry Short took out a party of fishermen for a day’s sport last Saturday afternoon, going first to Santa Cruz Island, where they remained overnight on the land. The next morning a run over to Anacapa was made and then out into the channel, where all hands fished. The fish bit well, over six hundred pounds being caught in a few hours. Rock cod, red snappers, white fish and yellowtail were caught in large numbers. Others were caught by trolling on the return trip. The party was taken out in Mr. Short’s launch, Chispa, one of the strongest powerboats in the bay. The return trip was made Sunday afternoon.”


August 21, 1904 [SBMP]: “Henry Short, the owner and captain of the power launch Chispa, has returned from the islands after spending three days there...”


August 27, 1904 [SBMP]: “Henry Short went out yesterday morning with his family, J. C. Wilson and attorney Harman Bell of Oakland, and fished during the morning about four miles from the shore. The party was in Mr. Short's power launch Chispa.”


August 31, 1904 [SBMP]: “Henry Short took out a party of eight in his power launch Chispa, and some nice fish were caught...”


September 12, 1904 [SBMP]: “Henry Short took out a party of ten people from Summerland. They made a trip to the islands in the Chispa and trolled for large fish while going across the channel.”


September 18, 1904 [SBMP]: “Stewart White, the well-known Santa Barbara author, left on Friday with his bride and others for two days' explorations on Santa Cruz and Anacapa islands. They made the trip in Henry Short's power launch Chispa...”


October 2, 1904 [SBMP]: A number of fishing parties will be out today after the big fish that are now being caught in the channel... Henry Short has gone to Summerland with his power launch Chispa, and will go to the islands with 20 Summerland residents for a day's fishing and exploring trip.”


March 14, 1905 [SBMP]: “Sunday’s severe storm—launches and small craft demolished in bay… Every small boat that was taken from the water on Saturday has either been sunk or washed ashore. The Pride, Alleen and Prima María are totally destroyed, and the Coquita lost and sunk, aggregating a property loss of about $7000. The Fortuna, Chispa, Kingfisher and Cady have been sunk, with a chance of being raised from the bottom of the ocean and repaired…”


March 15, 1905 [SBMP]: “The gasoline launch of Henry Short, which went down to the bottom of the channel in Sunday's storm, has been located near the end of Stearn's Wharf. An effort was made yesterday afternoon to raise it, but the effort proved unsuccessful. As far as could be ascertained by Mr. Short, the boat appears to be intact. Arrangements will be made today to bring the launch to the surface.”


March 18, 1905 [SBMP]: “Henry Short's launch Chispa, which went down on Sunday and was located on the bottom of the ocean near Stern's Wharf, is still under water. Several attempts have been made to bring her up, but high waves on the ocean make it a very hard task.”


March 19, 1905 [SBMP]: “While Henry Short was dragging in the ocean for his sunken Chispa yesterday, his grapple hooks caught into an old brass cannon which was lying on the bottom of the ocean...”


March 21, 1905 [SBMP]: “Henry Short is still dragging the ocean for the engine and wrecks of several launches that went down in the storm. He has encountered a great deal of kelp in his search, but has not been able to locate his Chispa, the Fortuna, or the engines of the Pride, and the Coquita.”


March 28, 1905 [SBMP]: “Henry Short has after a week's hard work in dragging the bottom of the ocean, located his launch Chispa, which was sunk by the late storm. It was found 300 feet away from the wharf and 100 feet from where it had sunk. The Chispa will be raised today.”


April 5, 1905 [SBMP]: “Roswell G. Emmons, an expert deep water diver of this city, has been engaged to go to the bottom of the ocean after the wreckage of sunken boat... The Chispas engine has also been located...”


August 16, 1906 [SBMP]: “Henry Short took out a party of fishermen for a day's sport... in Mr. Short's launch Chispa, one of the strongest powerboats in the bay.”


January 17, 1907 [SBWP]: “Boat owners will rebuild. New fleet will be in water soon. Valuable engines saved from wrecks. Since the heavy southeaster that cast so many of the smaller craft onto the beach, the waterfront has been the scene of much activity… Henry Short saved all the machinery from the Pt. Firmin, including the shaft and propeller. The hull is a total loss, and Captain Short says that he has salvaged $1700 from the wreck... Short has come in for his share of hard luck, for two years ago he lost the launch Chispa in a heavy southeaster. The Chispa was a total loss, and no effort was made to recover either the engine or the hull.”