Madroño (tender)

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Madroño

Madroño (#GVNF) (1885-1927+), 163-foot government steamer built by John H. Dialogue in Camden, New Jersey. She was launched in 1884 and was commissioned on 14 September 1885. She was designed as an inspection tender for service on the west coast as a replacement for the tender Shubrick. She arrived in San Francisco, California, in January of 1886. Madroño carried 26 officers and crewmen, and by 1890 supplied 28 light stations and ten buoys. She also delivered the payroll the lighthouse keepers. Madroño was acquired by the U.S. Navy for service in World War I, and commissioned 27 July 1917. The earliest lighthouse tenders were christened with botanical names, with larger vessels bearing the names of trees and shrubs native to the districts where they served. Madroño remained in service until she was sold in 1927.



In the News~

1888 Madroño, with a Commander Ludlow, paid a visit to the Waters family on San Miguel Island.


December 16, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The steamer Madroño, the Government lighthouse tender, arrived Wednesday night and left yesterday for Hueneme. The Madroño is on a tour of inspection of the lighthouses. She will return to Santa Barbara next Tuesday.”


December 22, 1892 [LAST/SB]: “The lighthouse tender Madroño went north Tuesday morning, stopping for a few hours in Santa Barbara.”


March 27, 1893 [LAT]: “The lighthouse tender Madroño came in Saturday on her way up the coast, and sailed at noon Sunday.”


June 12, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “The government steamer Madroño, lighthouse tender on this coast, put into port Saturday night to stay over Sunday.”


June 12, 1893 [SBDI]: “The lighthouse tender Madroño arrived in harbor Saturday evening and remained over Sunday.”


June 13, 1893 [SBDI]: “The lighthouse tender Madroño will be in the harbor again the latter part of the week on the way from San Diego to San Francisco.”


June 15, 1893 [SBDI]: “The lighthouse tender Madroño passed through the channel last evening on her way north.”


December 18, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “The lighthouse tender, Madroño, has left the harbor.”


July 6, 1894 [SBMP]: “The lighthouse tender Madroño arrived in port last evening about 7 o'clock from the south. She is on one of her regular supply trips.”


July 25, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “The lighthouse tender Madroño arrived in port today (Wednesday) at 1 o’clock P.M. from San Francisco, on a tour of inspection of the lighthouses along the coast…”


August 1, 1894 [SBDI]: “The lighthouse steamer Madroño was in port last night bringing supplies in the way of oil, paint and hose for the Santa Barbara lighthouse.”


August 6, 1894 [SBDI]: “The lighthouse tender Madroño on her way north stopped in the harbor a short time this morning to receive mail.”


May 22, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “The Gedney has returned from her surveying trip to San Miguel Island and is anchored near Stearn’s Wharf. Along side her is the graceful Madroño, the lighthouse tender. On the other side is Burtis’ boat and the Santa Rosa Island craft…”


November 21, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Frank Curtis of the Madroño, lighthouse inspector for the Twelfth District, with two guests aboard his schooner, left yesterday for San Diego and other southern coast points.”


September 14, 1899 [LAST/SB]: “The United States tender Madroño was in this port yesterday, and in the late afternoon located a big automatic whistling buoy two miles off shore in the bay. The people all over the city are complaining of the thing, as a noisy and useless nuisance. The shipping here is not of such importance as to justify the constant and mournful noise of the buoy.”


January 24, 1900 [SBMP]: “The government lighthouse tender Madroño dropped anchor in port yesterday for a brief stay.”


March 13, 1901 [LAT/SP]: “The lighthouse tender, Madroño, is operating offshore preparing the new light beacons north and south of Deadman’s Island for service.”


June 25, 1902 [LAT]: “W. J. McGimpsey left today for San Nicolas Island, where he will prospect for oil. He has leased the island from the government, and expects to begin drilling within a short time. ‘I have visited the island before,’ said he, ‘and spent some time investigating the field, which, so far as it is possible for a man to judge from a geological point of view in relation to other geological fields in this section, impresses me as being equal, if not superior, to any that have thus far been successfully operated.’ A report is going the rounds of sea-faring men and others that all the buildings and shacks on the island were seen burning the latter part of last week. The island was visited Tuesday by the United States lighthouse tender Madroño, when notices were posted ordering a French sheepherder to vacate, for the reason that the island property had been leased by the government. A few days later, the scow Brothers, Captain Winters, conveyed the sheepherder, with 3000 sheep, to San Pedro.”


June 28, 1902 [SBMP]: “San Nicolas Island was visited Tuesday by the U.S. lighthouse tender, Madroño, when notices were posted ordering a French sheepherder to vacate for the reason that the island property had been leased by the government.”


September 17, 1903 [SFCall]: “Death of Captain David Davies. Captain David Davies of the lighthouse tender Madroño died yesterday at the age of 72 years. The deceased was a native of Cardigan, Wales, and had been on the coast in the lighthouse tender service for many years. He was widely known, both by seafaring men and landsmen. He was one of the sturdy characters of the service and was noted for his genial disposition.”


September 22, 1903 [Farallon Log Book, National Archives]: “Received news by cable of Capt. Davies death of Madroño. Hoisted flag half mast. C. J. Cain, Keeper.”


November 3, 1907 [SBMP]: “The lighthouse tender Madroño was over at Santa Cruz Island all day yesterday, presumably for the purpose of locating the site of the four lighthouses ordered by the government to be placed on the north side of the island. The matter was taken up by the late Captain Merry several months ago, with the result that the government determined points on the island. The Madroño also overhauled the Santa Barbara whistling buoy.”


August 27, 1910 [SBMP]: “The U.S. Madroño, after leaving here Thursday, steamed across to Richards [sic] Rock on the west end of San Miguel Island, where preliminary surveys are being made for the erection of a light house. The work is only a part of what has and will be done around the island before plans have been definitely settled upon for the several stations authorized by Congress.”


November 12, 1910 [SBMP]: “The lighthouse tender Madroño was in port Tuesday, leaving supplies for the Santa Barbara lighthouse and also en route to Richardson’s Rock near San Miguel Island, which is to be marked by a lighthouse if Congress authorizes the expenditure.”


July 17, 1912 [SBMP]: “The lighthouse tender Madroño was in port yesterday with supplies for the Santa Barbara light.”


February 16, 1915 [TI/Avalon]: “Over 500 specimens of different varieties of Catalina fish and other sea life were taken to San Pedro Thursday on board the U.S. lighthouse tender Madroño, for direct shipment to the government exhibit at San Francisco…”