Edith

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Edith (#136571) (1896-1914), vessel used for the abalone trade until the San Clemente Wool Company purchased her for island service. Edith was stranded on November 9, 1914 on San Clemente Island with three on board. No lived were lost.



In the News~

November 15, 1899 [LAT/SP]: “…The schooner Edith has just returned from a trip to San Clemente Island, where she went with a number of Japanese who will collect abalones. The little brown men are equipped with diving apparatus, and will take the much prized univalves from submarine grounds which have hitherto been undisturbed by man.”


November 22, 1899 [LAT/SCat]: “The schooner Edith of Portland, Oregon, Captain W. D. Farwell, is lying in the bay. The owner of the craft, A. C. Tetzen of San Francisco, is aboard, and is looking up the abalone shell business about the island.”


May 26, 1900 [LAT/SD]: “The schooner Edith, Captain A. C. Teazen, arrived in port yesterday, after a four months’ cruise in southern waters, bringing in a cargo of eighteen tons of abalone meat and shells for northern shipment.”


March 14, 1903 [SBI]: “The schooner Edith, which was recently chartered by Captain Waters to temporarily serve the San Miguel Island Company between the island and this city, is due to arrive with a cargo of island products. The schooner was expected to reach port yesterday afternoon, but she was probably detained at the island for some reason. As the channel has been comparatively smooth during the past few days, no alarm is felt because of her failure to put in an appearance.”


March 24, 1903 [SBI]: “The two-masted schooner Edith arrived from the north this morning. She will ply between this port and San Miguel Island.”


March 26, 1903 [SBMP]: “The schooner Edith from San Diego is in the harbor for the purpose of taking a number of sheep shearers to San Miguel Island. The vessel brought a cargo of abalones and shells from one of the southern islands.”


March 27, 1903 [SBI]: “The schooner Edith sailed last evening, carrying a band of sheep shearers for San Miguel Island.”


April 4, 1903 [SBI]: “The little schooner Edith arrived from San Miguel Island this morning with a load of sheep for local butchers. When the cargo was discharged more than fifty dead sheep were taken from the vessel, the unfortunate animals having been smothered and trodden to death by their mates. The pitiful sight was observed by many people, the dead sheep being piled up in a heap on the wharf. No little indignation was expressed by people who witnessed the distressing spectacle that a method of handling livestock that would render possible such results should be practiced by anyone or permitted by law.”


April 14, 1903 [SBMP]: “The schooner Edith arrived yesterday from San Miguel Island with a cargo of sheep.”


May 16, 1903 [SBMP]: “The clear sky yesterday and the blustery weather last night are accounted for by the high wind that has prevailed for the past few days, dispelling the fog along the coast. Captain Ogenio Larco returned from the islands last night after a perilous trip in the Isabelle. He left here a few days ago to take Mr. Vail to Santa Rosa Island, which he succeeded in doing, but owing to the high wind was compelled to lay two days at anchor waiting for the storm at sea to subside. He says it was without any question the roughest weather he has encountered in fifteen years experience on the channel. The Edith, which left here for San Miguel Island, was driven to shelter on the lee side of Santa Rosa Island, unable to make her destination. She lost a 33-foot boat belonging to some Chinamen which she had in tow and which is now adrift somewhere on the high seas. A freight schooner caught in the gale had her sails split and torn away and left almost helpless, but succeeded inmaking port. The Isabelle came over last night, leaving the Edith at anchor, the captain preferring to wait for calmer weather.”


July 1, 1903 [SBMP]: “The schooner Edith is in the harbor with complete equipment for deep water abalone fishing. Among other things, she has a diving bell by which the fishermen can go a depth of eleven fathoms. She is the property of A. C. Tetzen of San Francisco, a wholesale shell dealer...”


August 17, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “On the waterfront. Port San Pedro, Los Angeles. Sailed. Tuesday, August 16. Schooner Edith, Captain Howland, for Clemente Island, for lobsters.”


August 30, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “On the waterfront. Port San Pedro, Los Angeles. Sailed. Monday, August 29. Launch Edith, Captain Roberts, for San Clemente Island.”


April 8, 1905 [LAT/SCat]: “Tommy Whittley, skipper of the schooner Edith, belonging to the San Clemente Wool Company, which plies between San Clemente Island and San Pedro, has returned from an adventurous trip. Tommy is as fearless a dare-devil as ever trod a deck and he refuses to be dismayed at anything in nature. Last week he left San Pedro on one of the stormy days and when he passed Avalon was scudding before the wind hitting only the high places. When San Clemente was reached the wind had subsided somewhat, but during the following night again rose and he was obliged to run around the south end of the island to Smugglers’ Cove for shelter. Then the wind veered and drove him out again, the huge waves pounding him unmercifully, and finally breaking his main boom and disabling the vessel entirely. For two days he and his crew of two men drifted about at the mercy of the waves without a bite to eat or a drop to drink until they went into San Diego Bay where they found shelter and food, and patching up things again, made for San Pedro. Today the Edith will take over some thirty or forty sheep shearers for the spring shearing.”


May 4, 1905 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The schooner Edith, Captain Tom Whittley, owned by the San Clemente Wool Company, touched here this morning, having a cargo of bucks to be turned loose on San Clemente Island. They were Shropshires from George Carson’s Dominguez Ranch. The Edith took on a wagonload of nuts and fishing paraphernalia belonging to Frank Josephs, an old Catalina fisherman, who with a fishing crew goes over under a six months’ contract to fish for the new cannery established on San Clemente by a firm of Japanese. The fish company proposes to take and can any kind of fish brought there, from a sardine to a jewfish or whale — even the despised shark receiving attention for its fins and tail. The cannery has a capacity of 2500 pounds of fish per day.”


October 17, 1905 [SBMP]: “The auxiliary yacht Edith from Catalina and San Pedro is in port with a party of campers who have been spending a month on Santa Cruz Island. They will remain here until Wednesday, when they return to the island.”


May 16, 1906 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The power schooner Edith, which plies between San Clemente Island and San Pedro and belongs to the San Clemente Wool Company, had a singular accident a few days ago. She lost her propeller while out in mid channel between here and San Pedro. In some inscrutable way the coupling became disconnected and a large part of the shaft and the propeller parted company with the ship and dropped into the sea. Fortunately the Edith is rigged with sails and her skipper, Tommy Whittley, is a good sailor, so the schooner is still doing business under sail while waiting for repairs.”


April 20, 1907 [SFC]: “The sloop Edith sailed for San Clemente Island, carrying 40 men for the annual sheep shearing work, which will take about five weeks.”


May 4, 1908 [LAT/SP]: “The power schooner Edith, Captain John, attempted to put out for San Clemente to bring back a cargo of sheep, but when outside in the channel it was deemed wise to return.”


May 16, 1908 [LAT/SCat]: “The power schooner Edith, which plies between San Clemente Island and San Pedro and belongs to the San Clemente Wool Company, had a singular accident a few days ago. She lost her propeller while out in mid channel between here and San Pedro. In some inscrutable way the coupling became disconnected and a large part of the shaft and the propeller parted company with the ship and dropped into the sea. Fortunately the Edith is rigged with sails, and her skipper, Tommy Whittley, is a good sailor, so the schooner is still doing business under sail while waiting for repairs.”


May 26, 1908 [LAT]: “The power schooner Edith arrived today with 230 sheep from San Clemente Island.”


June 2, 1908 [SBMP]: “Three local men narrowly escaped from starvation on San Nicolas Island a few days ago, owing to the thoughtlessness or greed of a party of surveyors from San Pedro. Three weeks ago the power schooner sailed from here with J. J. Libbey, Charles Hansen and Frank Nidever on an abalone fishing trip. The trio landed on San Nicolas, together with their provisions and spare clothing. The schooner sailed home. The trio placed their store of provisions and spare clothing in an old shack near the shore, and then made camp about six miles inland where there was fresh water. Before they had time to remove their supplies thither, the schooner Edith from San Pedro carrying Thomas Howland of San Clemente Island Company and a party of surveyors reached the island. Landing, they found the fishermen’s' cache and believing it to be an abandoned store, removed the contents to the schooner, even taking some of Hansen's clothing. The schooner was still anchored in the little harbor when the fishermen returned to the shack for food supplies, and found the Howland party. Had the Edith sailed with the fisher's provisions, the trio surely would have starved.”


June 5, 1908 [LAT/SP]: “Battle royal in justice’s court in San Pedro over manner of handling cattle. A battle royal raged in Justice Stieglitz’s court for two days over the cases of Captain John Keller, Lee Gregory, J. Beukert and Frank Gonzales of the schooner Edith, charged with cruelty to animals preferred by the Los Angeles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The case is being vigorously prosecuted and strenuously defended...”


September 25, 1908 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Power vessel storm-tossed. Edith compelled to run to Avalon for shelter. After tossing about for several hours in an effort to cross the channel to San Clemente Island, the power schooner Edith, Captain C. Howland, which left San Pedro yesterday, was compelled to make for this port late last evening… The Edith was built several years ago for the Alaskan fishing trade, but was purchased by Captain Howland who uses it to transport livestock from San Clemente Island to the mainland.”


September 26, 1908 [LAH]: “The schooner Edith from San Pedro to San Clemente, lost most of her cargo of railroad ties on the way over, and a part of her forward canvas. Captain Howland was forced to put into Avalon to wait till the wind fell. The loss of the cargo was estimated at $300.”


April 16, 1909 [LAH]: “San Pedro, April 15. With the assistance of the Pasadena Humane Society, the San Pedro Humane Society has won a signal victory in securing the punishment of the three men employed by Howland brothers, who were arrested on April 4, 1908, on a charge of cruelty to some cattle they were bringing from San Clemente in the power schooner Edith. The cattle were in an impoverished condition and were hoisted from the little boat to the wharf here by means of a rope attached, in some instances, around their becks and in other cases by the heels. The trial here resulted against the defendants, but owing to a faulty complaint, the superior court threw the case out of court. There were many in this city who scoffed at the efforts of the local society, which was under the leadership of Mrs. W. A. Weldon. But the protectors of dumb brutes were not to be defeated and the aid of Dr. E. L. Conger, president of the Pasadena society, was secured and new complaints filed at South Pasadena in March this year against three of the men who handled the cattle. These men, Gonzales, Gregory and Kellum, pleaded guilty and were fined $25 each by Judge Glover. Mrs. Weldon stated today that other cases would be filed against the Howland brothers for transporting the cattle in such a poor craft as the Edith proved to be, and also against Benkert, who was buyer for the Howland brothers.”


May 12, 1909 [LAT]: “The power sloop Edith arrived today from San Clemente Island and is discharging seventy-five bales of wool.”


August 4, 1909 [LAT/SCat]: “The schooner Edith of San Clemente Island, with several members of the Out West Club, Mr. and Mrs. John von Blon, Mrs. Jennie Thompson, Arthur Dodge, Robert Yost, Jr., and others aboard, anchored in Avalon Bay for a few hours yesterday. The party left for San Clemente for two weeks’ camping and fishing.”


April 15, 1910 [LAH]: “Two barges of livestock arrived today. The power schooner Edith brought 260 head of sheep from San Clemente Island for the San Clemente Wool Company, and the power schooner Santa Rosa Island brought three cars of horses from Santa Rosa Island for Vail & Vickers. The Edith sailed for another cargo today.”


April 26, 1910 [SFC]: “Los Angeles. Arrived. Schooner Edith from San Clemente Island.”


April 26, 1910 [LAH]: “The power schooner Edith arrived today from San Clemente Island with a cargo of sheep for the San Clemente Wool Company.”


April 29, 1910 [LAH]: “The power schooner Edith arrived today from San Clemente Island with a cargo of sheep for Los Angeles packers, consigned by the San Clemente Wool Company.”


May 5, 1910 [LAT]: “Avalon. Crossing from San Clemente Island to San Pedro last evening, the schooner Edith, owned by the San Clemente Wool Company, encountered a severe storm and put into this port early this morning to straighten up the cargo before continuing the trip. Twenty-five sheep and several bales of wool were washed overboard and lost. The men on board the schooner were much fatigued when they arrived, and it was some hours before the boat was ready to depart.”


May 7, 1910 [LAH]: “The power schooner Edith lost eighty-nine head of sheep overboard on her last trip from San Clemente Island on account of the heavy swell, which broke over her deck. The little vessel came near being swamped and shipped so much water that the crew reached port with considerable difficulty.”


May 9, 1910 [LAT]: “Arrived. Sunday, May 3. Power schooner Edith, from San Clemente Island.”


May 14, 1910 [LAT]: “THe power schooner Edith, Captain Freeby, sailed today for San Nicolas Island with lumber and supplies for Holland Brothers.”


June 8, 1910 [SFC]: “Sailed. Steamer Edith, San Clemente Island.”


July 1, 1910 [LAH]: “San Pedro, June 30. Arrived. Power schooner Edith, from [San] Clemente Island.”


October 7, 1910 [LBP]: “Captain Joe Freeby of the steamer Edith of San Pedro, who resides in this city, returned to Long Beach yesterday after taking six Mexican laborers and 20 tons of seed barley to San Clemente Island, 60 miles from here. Freeby is employed by Howland Brothers of Los Angeles, proprietors of the San Clemente Wool Company, to pilot the Edith to and from the island and to transport the big herds of sheep which are exported from the island to the big markets of the west every month. The captain of the Edith now says there are from 30,000 to 35,000 sheep roaming the island at present time, all of which are the property of the San Clemente Wool Company. The laborers taken over to the island are employed to help dig dams in various parts of the numerous canyons to hold rain water for the sheep. The present existing conditions make it necessary for some of the sheep to cover a long range of ground before they can secure water, and the continual running makes them poor, and therefore takes more grain to feed them. The 20 ton of seed barley which was taken over the first week will be sowed in about two weeks. Last year the output of barley on the island was 180 tons, all of which was fed to the sheep. Sheep are sheared on San Clemente in January and this work gives employment to about 75 men. Only 18 people reside on the island year around, and these are herders who spend most of their time in the saddle looking after the big herds.”


May 24, 1911 [SFCall]: San Pedro, May 23. The movement of cattle and sheep to this port has already begun, five carloads having been shipped today. The power schooner Edith, plies to San Clemente, the Warrior to Catalina and the Santa Rosa to the island of the same name.”


July 12, 1911 [SFCall]: “The power schooner Edith, owned by San Clemente Wool Company, left today for San Clemente Island, carrying lumber and concrete which will be used for sheep on the island.”


October 4, 1911 [SFCall]: “The power schooner Edith arrived from San Clemente Island with a cargo of sheep for the Cudahay Packing company at Los Angeles.”


February 3, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “After drifting for two days in the San Clemente channel, the glass-bottom boat Chicago, owned by Captain Joe Adargo, was picked up Friday by Captain Gregg of the schooner Edith, and towed back to Avalon. The boat was not missed during the storm until after the weather had settled…”


May 4, 1914 [LAT/SP]: “The power schooner Edith arrived from San Clemente Island today with a cargo of sheep. On account of the copious rains this winter, livestock on all the islands are reported in fine condition. There is plenty of grass and hay. About 3500 head of sheep will be the increase on San Clemente Island.”


November 11, 1914 [San Bernardino County Sun]: “San Clemente Island hit by hurricane; fishing vessels menaced. Los Angeles, Nov. 11. — San Clemente Island, fifty miles southwest of Los Angeles harbor, is swept by the worst storm in twenty years. At least two fishing vessels have been lost and the fate of eleven others is in doubt. Three men are known to have been drowned and it is feared many others have been lost from fishing craft in the storm. The story of the desperate battle with the hurricane is told by Capt. R. A. Brett of the fishing launch Ruth, which rode out the storm. "The storm, coming from the southwest, struck San Clemente Island on Tuesday night," he said. "I know of at least fifteen sailing and power craft at work about the island and the fate of eleven of them is in doubt. "Tuesday night a sloop, the name I don't know, entered the northwest harbor. When the storm burst it weighed anchor and started to claw off the rocky shore. "Three of the five men we saw on board leaped into a skiff and attempted to come ashore. The boat upset and the men were drowned. Their bodies were not recovered. The sloop disappeared in the darkness and I do not know what became of it. "The schooner Edith, owned by Robert Holland [Howland], engaged in carrying sheep, was driven on the rocks at the northwest harbor and is a total loss. A scow loaded with lumber, anchored in the same harbor, was blown ashore and wrecked. The storm is the worst I have ever seen in twenty years. I fear the toll of human life, property and loss on vessels has been large.”


November 12, 1914 [SBMP]: “Los Angeles. Heavy weather among the Channel Islands Sunday worked havoc among fishing craft and camps, according to fishermen who return to San Pedro today. Many crawfish outfits on Santa Cruz Island were destroyed by the gale. Albert Gregory, skipper of the power schooner, Edith, returned aboard the fishing boat, Ruth, and reported his vessel sunk…”


December 1, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “The gasoline engine of the launch Edith was recovered Saturday at San Clemente Island. The rest of the boat was a total loss.”


November 17, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “Launches Edith and Mary Ann total wrecks. Two power launches are known to have been wrecked on San Clemente Island by a terrific storm that raged Sunday night and reached the height of its fury Monday morning. It is feared that the greater damage that has not been reported has been done. News of the disaster was brought to port by Reg. Brett, who has been working at the crawfish camp of Billy Souder of Newport. Brett brought Captain Al Gregory of the power schooner Edith to port get assistance. The Edith is a total wreck, but a tug will be sent to the island to save the engine, which lies in about fifteen feet of water…”