G. W. Prescott

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G. W. Prescott (#85329) (1874-1879), 92-foot two-masted lumber schooner, which was wrecked in August 15, 1879 in the Point Bennett area of San Miguel Island. She was carrying a cargo of railroad ties at the time. Vessels who visited the wreck include: N.B.; Newport; Orizaba; Santa Rosa; and Star of Freedom.



In the News~

June 12, 1874 [MWCS]: “The new schooner, G. W. Prescott, was successfully launched on Wednesday evening at 7 PM. A large concourse of visitors was present. She is owned by the Little River Mill Company and Captain Hanson. Mr. G. W. Prescott is the agent of the Little River Company...”


August 25, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa, Captain Lindbridge, arrived Saturday with the crew of the schooner Prescott. The Prescott under command of Captain Fox, was on her way from San Francisco to San Pedro with a load of railroad ties on August 16 when during a heavy fog he went ashore on San Miguel Island. All hands were saved, but the schooner is a total loss.”


August 25, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa arrived from the islands last Saturday evening with the crew of the wrecked schooner Prescott, of San Francisco, on board.”


August 26, 1879 [SFDEB]: “Santa Barbara, August 25th. The schooner Prescott, from San Francisco to San Pedro with railroad ties, went ashore on San Miguel Island in a fog. The schooner will prove a total loss. The crew were all saved, and have arrived here on the Santa Rosa.”


August 27, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner N. B. sailed for San Miguel Island last evening to assist the wrecked schooner Prescott that went ashore there last week.”


August 27, 1879 [SDU]: “The schooner Prescott has been wrecked on San Miguel Island. The crew were saved and have arrived at Santa Barbara.”


September 3, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa goes to San Miguel Island tomorrow to wreck the schooner [G.W.] Prescott that went ashore on that island two weeks ago.”


September 11, 1879 [SBDP]: “The captain of the schooner Prescott, ashore on San Miguel Island, sailed for San Francisco this morning on the Orizaba to order heavy anchors to be used in heaving the schooner off, those taken from this place not being heavy enough for the purpose. The agent for the Board of Underwriters, who is at the island, thinks he can get the vessel afloat and save her, as her masts are all standing and everything above water seems to be all right. The vessel lies in a bay, and the ties with which she was loaded can all be saved, except about 1000 which have floated off. The captain thinks the ship’s bottom will be found too badly injured to allow of her being saved, as she is on the rocks. He says that a difference of 40 feet would have carried the schooner clear of the point on which she struck.”


September 15, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner Santa Rosa has arrived from the islands with H. H. More aboard. She will take on a couple heavy anchors for use in getting the schooner Prescott, ashore on San Miguel Island, and sail for the scene of the wreck shortly.”


September 16, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom sailed for San Miguel Island yesterday with the heavy anchors and tackle to heave off the schooner Prescott.”


September 22, 1879 [SBDP]: “The agent of the Underwriters arrived from San Miguel Island on Saturday evening and left on the Orizaba for San Francisco to secure the services of a tug to tow the schooner Prescott up to the city. The Prescott has been got off the reef on which she struck, but is still inside the outer reef. It seems she went over this during an unusually high tide and some doubts have been felt as to whether she could be taken back over it during the present stage of water. The agent thinks that as she has been very much lightened by removing her cargo there will be no trouble in getting her over. One side of the vessel is badly broken, but otherwise she is in good condition and can be readily repaired and made as good as new.”


September 29, 1879 [SBDP]: “The agent of the underwriters went to the islands Saturday after the schooner Prescott, which will be taken to San Pedro for repairs.”


October 6, 1879 [SBDP]: “The Senator was unable to land the wrecking party on San Miguel Island on her last trip, on account of the heavy sea. The spray from the surf entirely concealed the wrecked schooner Prescott, and it is feared she may have gone to pieces.”


November 6, 1879 [SBDP]: “The captain of the schooner Prescott, which went ashore on San Miguel Island last September, has been suspended by the Board appointed by the United States Naval Inspector to enquire into the loss of the vessel.”


November 15, 1879 [SBDP]: “The schooner Surprise brought from San Miguel Island the party of wreckers who have been engaged in getting off the schooner Prescott, which went ashore in September last. The vessel had been hauled off and anchored at a little distance from the shore to wait for a steamer to tow her to the city for repairs, with every prospect of saving her in good condition. The Newport called twice at the island for the purpose of taking her in tow, but owing to rough weather, had to abandon the attempt. On Wednesday last, the wind, which had been blowing hard from the southeast, whipped around to the west and blew a gale which tore the ship from her anchorage, and with an unusually high tide threw her up onto the beach higher than when she first went ashore. The men, who had expected to obtain supplies from the Newport, had run out of flour and other luxuries, and had subsisted for several days on mutton, of which there is a plentiful supply on the island, so that they were glad of the opportunity of leaving by the Surprise.”