Ning Po

From Islapedia
Pirate Ship Ning Po at the Isthmus,
Catalina Island, California
California Post Card Co., Los Angeles, Cal.
[original in SCIF archives]
Ning Po tourist attraction, Isthmus, Santa Catalina Island
The Chinese Pirate Ship Ning Po at the Isthmus, Catalina Island, Calif.
Ning Po sinking at the Isthmus, Santa Catalina Island


Sign on the Ning Po at the Isthmus, Santa Catalina Island

Ning Po (1753-c. 1938) [Ningpo], 138-foot three-masted Chinese pole-junk built ca. 1753. Washed ashore near Santa Monica in 1912, the junk,recently a smuggling ship, was bought by the Meteor Co. and brought over to Catalina Island to be used as a Chinese restaurant in Lovers Cove. Her last anchorage was at Ballast Point at the Isthmus. She was beached, and over the years she rotted and sank in the sands of the harbor. In 1938 she was finally burned. At the time of her abandonment Ning Po was one of the oldest vessels afloat. Ning Po had a long and tumultuous career:

  • 1806 seized for smuggling and piracy;
  • 1814 captured and set on fire at Nanking;
  • 1823 seized for smuggling silk and opium;
  • 1834 confiscated by the British under Lord Napier for smuggling and for carrying slave girls to Canton;
  • 1841 captured by the Chinese government and used for seven years as a prison ship for pirates and smugglers. During this time, the Chinese government found some of the prisoners too expensive to feed, and reportedly ordered 158 of them beheaded;
  • 1861 seized by rebels in Taiping and converted into a transport because of her size and speed. Retaken by "Chinese" Gordon, in command of the English Imperial forces against the Taiping rebel. Gordon changed her name to Ning Po meaning "calm waves" or "peaceful waves" and after the city of the same name;
  • 1861 wrecked in a typhoon;
  • pre-1884 the vessel preyed on tourists in Hong Kong. Passengers were taken of board for a few days' cruise. The unsuspecting passengers would then be robbed and set ashore. The British vessel H.M.S. Calliope captured the Ning Po imprisoned the 60 crew members, and sold the vessel in Hong Kong;
  • 1911 captured by rebels in the battle of Hankow and sold to Americans for $50,000; 1912 wrecked in a typhoon on June 12. Wrecked again in a typhoon September 26 off Kyushi, with the loss of the sails and use of the rudder. Crew mutinied and refused to work. Four men rowed the vessel 320 miles back to port. Once in port, the crew were taken in arms. On December 22 of the same year, a new crew sailed the repaired Ningpo 7,000 miles in 55 days to San Pedro;
  • 1913 towed to Venice Beach for display. In April, the junk was towed down to San Diego, and in October she was towed back to San Pedro. In November, the Ning Po wrecked off Dead Man's Island. While being dry-docked and repaired in Long Beach, a small silver plate was found behind one of the "eyes" of the ship. The plate had inscriptions on it that were translated: "The eye of the dragon is bright and colorful." Put on display at Long Beach; * 1915 towed to San Diego and put on display;
  • c. 1917 towed to Catalina Harbor for display;
  • 1938 burned (possibly for a movie) in Catalina Harbor.


Courtesy Santa Catalina Island Museum
Courtesy Santa Catalina Island Museum







In the News~

August 13, 1912 [Humboldt Times]: “Chinese junk coming to coast. On July 20, the Chinese war junk, Ning Po bought by a syndicate to be exhibited at port on this coast left the Yangtzse river. The Ningpo was making her third start and the crew were convinced that it was unlucky to set sail on Friday. When the vessel started the first time she left on a Friday, and two men were drowned, Coggin and Flanagan, two seamen who were jerked overboard by a rope, on the thirteenth, and the following Friday the junk went ashore and was floated on the following Friday. To a man the ship's company refused to start again on a Friday.”


October 23, 1912 [Oregon Journal]: “Foreign. The Chinese junk Ning Po is reported to have left Shanghai September 17 on its third attempt to cross the Pacific to San Francisco, having previously been compelled to turn back by typhoons. The junk is a three-masted vessel of about 600 tons, manned by Chinese under the command of Captain Toft, a Norwegian navigator.”


October 24, 1912 [Seattle Daily Times]: “The Chinese junk Ning Po, which had previously made two unsuccessful attempts to cross the Pacific, left Shanghai September 17, bound for San Francisco. She is being brought here for exhibition purposes. Twice before the Nino Po started, but each time was driven back by a typhoon. W. M. Milne, who will handle the junk when she gets to this coast, arrived here yesterday on the Liner ;;China. He thinks that the Ning Po will make it this time. The junk is a three-mast vessel about 600 tons register and is manned by Chinese sailors with Captain Taft, a Norwegian navigator, in command.”


February 12, 1913 [San Francisco Call]: “Junk bound to make the Gate. Obsolete Chinese craft, sailing from Yokohama, spoken by Matson liner Honolulan. The Chinese junk Ning Po, which left Yokohama 51 days ago for San Diego, was spoken yesterday morning by the Matson liner Honolulan, which was expected to arrive late last night from Honolulu. Captain Bennett of the Honolulan reported by wireless the speaking of the Ning Po. He gave the junk's position as latitude 34.56 north, 131.15 west, and reported all well aboard the ancient craft. The junk is being brought to this coast for exhibition purposes. It is in command of Captain Toft, and made several starts from the coast of Asia before getting well away. It has been reported lost more than once, and twice put back to port badly battered. The Ning Po has three masts and is said to be a fine type of Chinese merchant ship as it was many years ago.”


February 12, 1913 [San Francisco Chronicle]: “Ancient War Junk spoken by Liner. Strange sight is witnessed by the passengers on steamer Honolulan. The unusual spectacle of an ancient Chinese war junk relic of past centuries of the Chinese empire, rocking over the Pacific surges, was witnessed by the passengers of the Matson liner Honolulan, which is due here this morning from the islands. The old craft, which might claim existence before the famous Flying Dutchman came into being, was seen at 10 o'clock Monday morning in latitude 34 deg. 56 min.; longitude 121 deg. 15 min., according to a radiogram received from Captain Fred Bennett. Not expecting any such craft still to be riding the seas, even the skipper was taken off his feet, or off the bridge, when the weird looking fighting ship of dead dynasties showed up on the horizon, its gaudily colored sides and high poop deck reflecting the sun and its queer-looking sails reefed close to the wind, giving her a rakish cut in the water. Captain Bennett applied his marine glasses and made out that the boat was the Ning Po, a famous old war junk, which left China 137 days ago for San Pedro. Nothing has been heard of the craft since it squared away fifty days ago from Yokohama in command of Captain Toft, and manned by an Asiatic crew. The Ning Po is being brought to the Coast for exhibition purposes, and is said has a bloodthirsty record, with the primitive battle equipment on board to prove it. It was doubted by sailormen that the vessel could make the long voyage across the Pacific. Several times after leaving Shanghai she had to put back on account of storms, and once, was dismasted in a typhoon, but nothing daunted her crew, who appeared to have great faith in the obsolete ship, despite her age. The Ning Po will probably reach her destination in a few days, favored by good winds.”


February 15, 1913 [San Pedro News Pilot]: “W. H. Milne of Pasadena, owner of the Chinese junk Ning Po, arrived here yesterday to meet the strange craft. He went out in a launch this morning expecting the junk to arrive today. She was sighted Monday morning by the Matson liner Honolulu. The Ning Po is a famous old three-masted war junk of the type of the period of 1280, although she was not built until 1806. She is about 500 tons burden, 158 feet long and 37 foot beam. Like all the old junks she has a very high poop and a massive wooden rudder. She left Shanghai September 16 and it is said has no clearance papers. If this is true she is liable for a tonnage tax amounting to about $600 or $800. The junk has had a stormy time. Twice she was compelled to put back to port after starting on her long trip, once on account of mutiny of her Chinese crew. The junk will be towed to Venice after she has cleared here. Mr. Milne expects to take the junk through the canal to New York after the expositions on this coast.”


February 15, 1913 [Riverside Daily Press]: “Old Chinese junk comes to California. Los Angeles. Feb. 15.—Naval constructors await the arrival of the Chinese junk Ning Po at Venice with keen interest. The Ning Po is due at Venice today, where she will be anchored for exhibition purposes and will also be shown at the San Diego and San Francisco expositions. It is a commonly accepted idea that the watertight bulkheads and compartments are an invention of modern naval construction. However, the Chinese junk Ning Po has nine such watertight bulkheads and compartments, and she was built in 1806, according to the British customs records of China. She is 158 feet in length, 37 feet beam, and 15 feet in draught, built almost wholly of camphor wood with practically no iron in her construction; all joints being mortised and locked with a wooden pin. Although she has been rebuilt she still has her original hull which is sound and sweet and clean. She is a three-masted junk of 600 tons burden, and is of the type of the period of 1280.”


February 20, 1913 [San Francisco Chronicle]: “The Chinese junk Ning Po, which left Shanghai on September 16th, arrived in the outer harbor early this morning after passing quarantine and inspection. The ancient craft will be taken to Venice for exhibition purposes.”


February 26, 1913 [San Pedro News Pilot]: “Chinese pig is not worrying over confiscation. The controversy between Deputy Collector W. H. Wickersham and Dr. W. A. Weldon over a white pig confiscated from the Chinese junk Ning Po is costing 50 cents per day. The pig is to remain a charge or ward of the government until a certain legal time shall have elapsed, when it may be sold without violating any section, clause, chapter or volume of federal or international law. In the meantime the government is bound to feed the pig every day and for this purpose 50 cents a day is appropriated out of the general fund.”


March 12, 1913 [San Diego Union]: “Junk Ning Po has wild fight in Venice storm. Waves toss craft about in alarming manner; crew nearly drowned. May come here soon. San Diego Harbor to offer protection to famous Chinese craft. According to advices received from San Pedro last night a heavy storm is raging off that port. Shipping is safe in the harbor, but along the unprotected beach the waves are running fifteen feet higher than they have been for weeks. t Venice the pier is being shaken. The Chinese junk Ning Po, which is destined to be exhibited at the San Diego exposition, was dragging from its anchor and a boatload of sailors from the vessel was capsized and nearly drowned while attempting to make shore. Heavy winds, according to the dispatches, are sweeping the shore, and indications are that the storm will be heavier before daybreak. At various beach resorts bulkheads have been shaken and unprotected wooden walks along the beach have been washed away. Lifeguards save mate. Andrew Jansen, first mate of the Ning Po, and three Norwegian sailors were attempting to make shore when the boat in which they were riding capsized about half a mile from land. Lifeguards patrolling the beach witnessed the accident and hurried to the rescue. The Ning Po has had a strenuous time battling with wind and sea ever since its first attempt to cross the Pacific. The craft left Shanghai September 16, passing through Van Dieman straits into the Pacific. On its first voyage it ran into a typhoon which unstepped two of the masts and carried the rudder away. The Chinese crew mutinied, but Captain Toft finally induced three of the crew to accompany the first officer in a small boat on a hazardous trip of 300 miles for assistance. 140 days crossing Pacific. The third attempt was successful and 140 days after sailing from Shimdzu the gale-tossed junk entered San Pedro harbor. San Diegans probably will have an opportunity to view this relic of the days when the Chinese merchant marine was in its prime, as it is believed that the Ning Po can safely ride out any storm that sweeps along the Southern California coast. San Pedro reports a high wind, but the waters are quiet and the storm has not in any way interfered with either incoming or outgoing vessels. Redondo reports tremendous seas running along the entire coast. The steamer Governor did not dock at Redondo, but sailed direct to San Pedro as the result of the storm. At Venice, Santa Monica and Ocean Park many insecurely fastened signs were blown down but no injury to persons were reported. It is believed that the owners of the Ning Po will bring the craft to this port for safe keeping during the next month, when severe storms are liable to sweep along the coast.”


March 15, 1913 [Daily Alaska Dispatch]: “History of ship written in blood. Chinese junk more than 100 years old, used in opium smuggling traffic for many years. San Pedro, March 15.—A ship whose history is written in the blood of 158 human beings, a vessel which nearly a century ago smuggled opium in large quantities and continued her operations for 25 years, and which figured largely in Chinese sea warfare, is in this port meeting the gaze of thousands whose curiosity has been aroused by her strange and unique appearance. Presents odd sight. The Chinese junk, Ning Po, with great eyes on each side, great solid carved knees and every piece of timber locked with wooden pins, presents an odd sight, as she lies beside the modern American vessels. The Ning Po has an interesting history. She was built in 1806 for trade with Formosa islands, but became a notorious smuggler of opium and salt in 1814, when she became a prison ship to confine Chinese pirates and smugglers. In 1861 the junk became a transport for Chinese rebels. She was seized in 1864, while carrying reinforcements to the revolutionists and of the 1100 men on board, 158 were beheaded and others subjected to terrible torture. Used as transport. In 1910 the Manchu government used the Ning Po as a transport and the republican forces presses her into service. She left Shanghai Sept. 16 for the North Pacific and ran into the September typhoon, which was the worst in the history along the Chinese coast. Later her crew mutinied and the ship was pulled into port and then sent out anew for Venice. Because of her record and connections the local government officials are interested and are giving the Ning Po a rigid inspection.”


March 20, 1913 [San Diego Union]: “San Pedro, Thursday, march 20.—With her two eyes strangely peering over the water on either side of her stempost, the Chinese junk Ning Po which, nearly a century ago, held the reputation of being the most notorious smuggling craft infesting the China Sea and which figured largely in Chinese warfare, is in this port meeting the gaze of thousands whose curiosity has been aroused by her strange and unique appearance. The Chinese junk, with great solid carved knees and every piece of timber locked with wooden pins, presents an odd sight, as she lies beside the modern American vessels...


April 11, 1913 [San Diego Union and Daily Bee]: “This relic of buccaneer days on China Sea, the junk Ning Po, is to be seen in San Diego harbor during next three weeks.”


May 10, 1913 [San Diego Union and Daily Bee]: “Immigration men pay visit to junk Ning Po. Immigration Inspectors Weddle, Keep, Neilsen and Jones visited the Chinese junk Ning Po yesterday morning as the guests of W. M. Milne, proprietor of the craft. A thorough investigation was made. Inspector Weddle later giving Milne clearance papers so fas as the local immigration office was concerned. The Nino Po will be put on exhibition at San Francisco, Crowley Brothers having obtained the exhibition rights.”


June 20, 1913 [SFC]: “Thursday, June 19. Cleared. Chinese junk Ning Po, Milne, Los Angeles via Santa Cruz and Monterey; W. H. Milne. Sailed. 5:10 p.m., stmr Eureka, Paulson, Santa Cruz, with Chinese junk Ning Po in tow.”


November 19, 1913 [LAH]: “Smuggler junk Ning Po driven ashore by wind. The historic Chinese smuggling junk, Ning Po, which has been lying in the Los Angeles harbor for two months, snapped her anchor chain during the storm and was swept ashore, her stern being badly wrecked. Today she was floated off the jetty in the harbor. Capt. Albert Wiberg was the only man on board the ship when she began to drift ashore. The Ning Po is owned by W. H. Milne of Pasadena.”


November 20, 1913 [San Pedro Daily News]: “Chinese junk Ning Po in service 160 years. Merchantman, Smuggler, Pirate, and Ship of Death, Has Eventful Career in Various parts of Orient and United States. Now on Rocks Near Dead Mans Island. Merchantman, smuggler, pirate, and ship of death, the Chinese junk Nino Po may meet a fate in Los Angeles harbor unlike her history which has been eventful through 160 years of service in various parts of the Orient and the United States. The junk parted her anchor chains late Tuesday night and in a stiff southeaster drifted on the rocks and sand about one quarter of a mile east of Deadman's Island at San Pedro. She is lying in about 12 feet of water and within 15 feet of the rocks of the easterly jetty at the harbor, upon which small boys all day yesterday climbed to view the strange craft which may bleach her bones there adding one more to the vessels which have been wrecked in and around the harbor. W. H. Milne, owner of the junk is optimistic over saving the vessel and said yesterday that efforts would be made Thursday to pull the vessel into deep water. Yesterday at high tide portions of her deck were covered with water to her hatches. The masts unlike those of any other craft in the harbor are lying over to the starboard at an acute angle. The deck slopes until it is with difficulty that persons visiting the vessel could keep their feet and with each swell that comes in the craft groans and weaves, giving an indication of what may be her ultimate fate. Seaman along the waterfront do not share the opinion of the owner of the vessel in regard to salvage and say that she will never float again. Mr. Milne yesterday soon after being informed of the accident to the vessel visited the craft and took off many relics and curios, among which were executioner's swords, impaling hooks, instruments of torture and reed shields and weapons with which the vessel attacked its enemies and defended itself against them years ago. First Officer Albert Wiborg, who accompanied the vessel when it made its memorable voyage across the Pacific was on board the vessel during the height of the storm which visited the harbor Tuesday night and escaped from it after it grounded in a "slipper" boat, one of the small craft which the crews of the vessel used in years past. The grounding of the junk and escape of Officer Wiborg were unlike anything in the history of the vessel, the very manner of grounding and escape being being so commonplace as to become distinguishable in comparison with the crafts previous history. "During a sudden squall in the southeaster that visited the harbor last night," said Officer Wiborg yesterday, "the vessel parted her anchor chains and drifted on the sand. There was but little swell running and when she struck there was not sufficient tremor to know that the vessel was aground. I did not know it until several minutes later when I found that the junk no longer was moving similar to when at anchor. Then I launched the slipper boat and came ashore and reported to Mr. Milne today." The serious nature of the accident to the vessel was not known until yesterday afternoon when she filled and went down the head, and lying broadside and but a few feet away fro the rocks. The Ning Po is said to be the oldest vessel afloat. She was built in 1753 with a camphorwood hull. She was christened the Kin Tai Foong and became a smuggler in Chinese waters. From smuggling she turned to piracy and was equipped with such arms as were current at that time. Finally the operations of the vessel aroused a British commercial organization and was captured by the Chinese government. She then became a prison ship and upon her decks many prisoners were executed. Over 150 prisoners were executed. Over 150 prisoners were executed at one time. In 1861 the vessel was seized by rebels and later was captured by "Chinese Cordon who rechristened her the Ning Po after the village in front of which she was seized. Her last service was in 1910 against the Manchus. The vessel was wrecked twice in attempting to cross the Pacific. She sailed the first time from Shanghai June 6, 1912, and six days later ran into a typhoon. She put back for repairs and sailed again September 16 and met another typhoon nine days later. She sailed again December 22, 1912, and arrived at Los Angeles harbor February 19, 1913, having made the passage of 7000 miles in 58 days.”


November 28, 1913 [San Pedro Daily News]: “The Chinese junk Ning Po will be floated at high tide tonight, if no accident happens. The ten inch pump is working up to the expectations of Mr. Milne of Pasadena, the owner of the old pirate ship.”


November 30, 1913 [San Pedro Daily News]: “The Chinese junk Ning Po was towed to the Craig shipyards in Long Beach this morning for repairs.”


December 8, 1913 [LAT]: “Long Beach. The Meteor Boat Company of Los Angeles this morning purchased the Chinese junk Ning Po, now on the Craig dock undergoing repairs. The junk will be taken to Avalon, where it will be used next season for exhibition purposes.”


January 6, 1914 [San Pedro News Pilot]: “Repairs to the Chinese junk Ning Po, which was blown into the Pacific Wharf and Storage Company's bulkhead by a southeaster a few weeks ago have been completed and the junk was towed to the outer harbor for exhibition purposes Sunday. It is reported that she has been sold to the Meteor Boat Company and will be taken to Avalon.”


February 17, 1914 [San Pedro News Pilot]: “Chinese junk taken to Long Beach. Capt. A. J. Smith, 77 years of age, probably the oldest captain in Southern California ports, has purchased a controlling interest in the old junk Ning Po, brought here by W. M. Milne, and will catch a few nickels from the curious who want to see the junk. The junk has been taken to Long Beach.”


March 3, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “Charlie Lockard went across Sunday to be gone about a week. He has gone to the purpose of boosting the interests of the Meteor Boat Company. It is intended to bring the Chinese junk Ning Po over about June 1st for an added attraction during the season.”


June 30, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “The Ning Po is expected to arrive in Avalon waters Tuesday morning. It will probably be located near Lovers’ Cove.”

The most unique cafe in the world. The old pirate junk Ning Po
Santa Catalina Island, July 15, 1914

July 15, 1914 [LAH]: “The most unique cafe in the world. The old pirate junk Ning Po.


July 21, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “The Ning Po has been anchored in Lover’s Cove.”


August 4, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “Several boat loads of visitors were carried from Avalon via the Ning Po to Pebble Beach…”


August 25, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “There seems to be an element of unfairness in the demands of some residents, who, a year ago, calmored so loudly for amusements and attractions to draw fast crowds to the island… The announcement was made Monday, that because the Board of Supervisors had tried to handicap the owners of the Ning Po, the Chinese junk, or Oriental Cafe, would be removed to San Pedro next week… Knowles & Lockhard, proprietors of the Ning Po, claim to have lost considerable money on their amusement project.”


March 28, 1916 [TI/Avalon]: “The Chinese junk Ning Po is expected at this port Friday. It is planned to use the craft during the summer season by anchoring it in the bay and using it for the entertainment of glass-bottom boat patrons.”


April 1, 1916 [San Diego Union and Daily Bee]: “Chinese junk to be taken north. In tow of the lunch Allenaire the Chinese junk Ningpo will leave for Catalina Island today. After being placed on exhibition at the island resort for a few months the Ningpo is to be towed to Long Beach to have auxiliary engines installed. The ancient Chinese merchantian will then proceed to the Atlantic coast via the Panama Canal. The Allenaire will not return to San Diego.


June 25, 1916 [San Diego Union and Daily Bee]: “Vessels in Port. Chinese junk, Ningpo.


July 18, 1916 [TI/Avalon]: “Saturday evening opened the Chinese junk and famous pirate ship, Ning Po, to many visitors. Mr. Hoyle, who has spent many years in China, is conducting special parties over this historical pirate craft and giving interesting lectures of the habits and life of the Chinese pirates.”


July 25, 1916 [TI/Avalon]:Ning Po now on exhibition. This vessel was built in 1753, when tools and workmanship were very crude; built mostly of camphor and ironwood, the latter being proof against the toredo, the little boring worm of the ocean that is so destructive to modern wooden ships… Arrived at San Pedro, Cal., February 19, 1913, having sailed 7000 miles in 58 days. The Ning Po was bought by Americans last year, and is now owned by the Meteor Boat Company. Ning Po is the most interesting bona fide historical exhibit seen here.”


August 8, 1916 [TI/Avalon]: “In the captain’s cabin on board the Chinese pirate junk, Ning Po, now on exhibition in our harbor, are some very fine examples of fuhkein wood furniture, which are over 200 years old. This wood is one of the hardest and heaviest known.”


August 16, 1916 [TI/Avalon]: “A new attraction has been added to the Ning Po. The Chinese have many peculiar secrets, one of which has been used to lure a large school of white sea bass, and they are now making their permanent home under her. They can be seen from her decks at almost any time through the day.”


August 29, 1916 [TI/Avalon]: “…I noticed a Chinese junk lying at anchor off Pebbly Beach…”


September 5, 1916 [TI/Avalon]: “Residents and others who have not yet visited the famous Chinese pirate ship Ning Po, had best do so soon, as she will not remain in these waters much longer.”


December 19, 1921 [Jasper Weekly Courrier]: “Use old junk in taking scenes of Viola Dana production, The Willow Tree, Weird tales of piracy and smuggling, mutiny and murder, contained in a "red book" of the historic old Chinese junk, Ning Po, are capped with romantic but bloodless climax. The Ning Po's one time crimson deck is trod by motion picture players who reenact scenes of ancient days. In a visionary prelude showing the origin of the legend of The Willow Tree, June Mathis, who picturized the Benrimo Rhodes stage fantasy so that Viola Dane might star in it for Screen Classics, Inc., has medieval Japanese warriors land on the rocky shore of a foreign land. For these cenes Henry Otto, Miss Dana's director, decided to use the Ning Po, which is stranded off the isthmus at Catalina Island, Cal.”


May 21, 1921 [LAH]: “...Rotting on beach. The old pirate ship Ning Po which sprung a leak at sea and put in at Catalina Island to keep from sinking, lies beached and rotting on the open ocean side of the narrow isthmus that all but cuts Catalina into two islands. This old pirate junk has a very unique history, as attested by the following inscription which is fastened near the quarter deck:

Ning Po, the notorious Chinese smuggler, oldest craft in the world. Built in Fe-Chau, China, 1753—the most famous Chinese ship in existence.
  • engaged in rebellion against Emperor Keaking, 1796, when 158 prisoners were beheaded on deck;
  • seized for smuggling and piracy, 1806;
  • captured and set on fire at Nanking, 1814;
  • seized for smuggling, 1834;
  • captured for carrying slave girls to Canton, 1842;
  • captured by Chinese-Cordon in Taiping rebellion, 1861;
  • used as a prison ship;
  • wrecked in typhoon;
  • famous in battle of Nanking, 1864;
  • Captured by rebels in battle of Hankor;
  • wrecked in typhoon off Kyushu, 1912;
  • arrived at Catalina harbor, 1913.

Chopping block. There was also a chopping block on which many unfortunate victims were beheaded. There is no road leading to it, but anxious to drive right up to the gangplank of the famous old ship, the Dodge Brothers tourists took off across lots as they had done in getting around the bad places in the road from Avalon...”


August 16, 1933 [San Pedro News Pilot]: “Eloi J. Amar of San Pedro, new president of the Los Angeles board of harbor commissioners, today was presented with a new gavel and block. The photo shows him with his new symbols of authority, presented to him by Harbor Manager Carl B. Wirsching on behalf of the maintenance division of the harbor department, who made the gavel and block from costa chilsa wood taken from the ancient Chinese pirate ship Ning Po now at the Catalina Isthmus.”


Eloi Amar


November 27, 1933 [San Pedro News Pilot]: “The Chinese junk Ning Po will be floated at high tide tonight, aided by a ten inch pump installed in her hull by Mr. Milne, of Pasadena, owner of the old pirate ship.”


January 14, 1954 [TI/Avalon]: “Last rites for Daniel N. Alexander. Funeral services were held last week for Daniel N. Alexander, aged 91, who passed away at the Harbor General Hospital, San Pedro, December 23. The services were conducted at the Halvorson Funeral Parlors, 576 W. Sixth St., San Pedro. Many beautiful floral tributes were sent to the mainland by Avalon friends. Mr. Alexander had been a resident of this city for the past twenty-five years and had made his home in a small apartment at the rear of 257 E. Whitley avenue... Mr. Alexander, just before his death stated that he had no living relatives... He came to Avalon in 1929 where he had since made his home. He was an expert mechanic and as a hobby, made many useful articles of wood and iron in his little workshop. From the wood taken from the old Chinese junk Ning Po he made quite a number of "treasure chests' inlaid with other foreign woods and abalone shell, and which have become highly prized possessions of his many Avalon friends...”


August 19, 1977 [LAT]: “…Below the old barracks’ west side, the top of a sunken ship, the Ning Po, breaks the surface of Catalina Harbor. It was once a floating restaurant at Avalon and later a museum at ‘Cat’ Harbor before it sank in the 1930s…”