Point Firmin

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Point Firmin (#203151) (1906-1907), 42-foot wood-hulled commercial gasoline launch built in San Pedro and brought to Santa Barbara by Henry Short in 1906 for island fishing and pleasure trips. Point Firmin was destroyed in a southeaster on January 8, 1907, less than a year after Short had brought her to Santa Barbara.

In the News~

May 8, 1906 [SBI]: “In the new power launch purchased by Henry Short in San Pedro a few days ago. Santa Barbara gains the largest and most serviceable boat in the bay. Mr. Short made the trip from San Pedro to Santa Barbara in twelve hours. The boat is called Point Firmin and is a trim craft forty-two feet long, ten-foot beam and four-foot draught. She carries a sixteen horsepower engine and has a large cabin and staterooms. The Point Firmin is just what is needed here for trips to the islands and for cruising around the channel. She carries twenty-five or thirty people easily and already Mr. Short has engagements to take out fishing and excursion parties.”

May 8, 1906 [SBMP]: “Short’s new boat. Henry Short just brought to this city a large and serviceable power launch which he will use in carrying passengers to and from the Channel Islands, and for fishing excursions. The name of the new craft is Point Firmin. Mr. Short purchased her in San Pedro and brought her to this city, making the trip in twelve hours. She is a pretty craft, 42 feet long, ten-foot beam and four-foot draught. She carries a 16 horse power engine and is fitted with a large covered cabin and toilet rooms. The Point Firmin has a capacity for carrying from 25 to 30 people with ease, and is just the boat that is needed for carrying large parties across the channel. Mr. Short has already had several of his friends out for a sail and they are well pleased with the new boat.”

May 15, 1906 [SBMP]: “A party of fifteen young men made a trip to Santa Cruz Island on Sunday in Henry Short's power launch Point Firmin which was Short's first trip to the island in his new boat.”

May 16, 1906 [LAT]: “A party of fifteen young men made a trip to Santa Cruz Island on Sunday in Henry Short’s power launch, Point Firmin, which was Henry Short’s first trip to the islands in his new boat.”

May 17, 1906 [SBMP]: “Among the boats out yesterday were Gourley's sailboat Belvedere, the Potter launch Nina, Henry Short's launch Point Firmin, and Captain Merry's Vishnu.”

May 20, 1906 [SBMP]: “Henry Short took out a party of pleasure-seekers yesterday for a run across the channel in his power launch Point Firmin. Mr. Bell was the host of the party. His guests enjoyed a very pleasant trip.”

May 22, 1906 [SBMP]: “Henry Short will take a party to Santa Cruz Island today in his launch Point Firmin. They will return this evening.”

June 2, 1906 [SBMP]: “Henry Short will take a party to Santa Rosa Island this morning in his launch Point Firmin. On Sunday he will carry excursionists to Santa Cruz Island.”

June 9, 1906 [SBMP]: “A large party of young people went on a pleasure trip up and down the Channel Islands last night in Henry Short's launch Point Firmin for several hours. They sailed and sang and had a genuine good time...”

June 10, 1906 [SBMP]: “J. L. Hendricks has arranged to carry passengers from this city to Summerland for entertainment that will be given there next Saturday in a novel way. He has chartered the launch Point Firmin and offers the water route for that day.”

June 14, 1906 [SBMP]: “County auditor Schauer will chaperone a fishing party this afternoon on the launch Point Firmin.”

June 15, 1906 [SBMP]: “The launch Point Firmin will make two trips to Summerland Saturday in the evening for the benefit of those who wish to attend the dance there.”

June 19, 1906 [SBMP]: “The power launch Point Firmin can be secured for pleasure and fishing parties, moonlightboating, etc. Prices—$2.00 per hour. $5.00 for 3 hours. Above prices for small fishing parties only, consisting of not over five persons. Phone Bennet Black 2261. H. S. Short.”

June 25, 1906 [SBI]: “A jolly party left Santa Barbara this morning by the Point Firmin to camp on Santa Cruz Island for a week… Jimmy Short, Jr., Master Gerow and Captain Short of the Point Firmin.”

July 8, 1906 [SBMP]: “One party of pleasure seekers headed by Mr. Darling has secured the power launch Pt. Firmin, and will leave early this morning for a cruise to Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands.”

July 10, 1906 [SBMP]: “A large party of pleasure-seekers, headed by Mr. Darling, returned Sunday night from a fishing excursion to the islands. They left Saturday afternoon and sailed through heavy fog to Anacapa Island in Henry Short's launch Point Firmin. From Anacapa they cruised back to Santa Cruz and dropped lines for deep water fish, catching over 100. Among the varieties were sheepshead, rock bass, cabrillo, albacore, bonito and yellowtail.”

July 10, 1906 [SBMP]: “A party of young clergymen and ecclesiastical students sailed for Santa Cruz Island in the launch Point Firmin, and will spend three weeks on the shores of the Channel Islands...”

July 14, 1906 [SBI]: “A large party of young folks will visit the islands on the schooner Point Firmin, leaving in the morning and returning the same day. The party is under the direction of Mr. Marion of the Field & Cole Co. and Mr. Coats of Burson’s store.”

July 31, 1906 [SBMP]: “Captain Short's yacht, Point Firmin, made the passage of the channel Sunday with a party of well known Santa Barbara people, including Dr. G. A. White, F. H. Conant, C. C. Knight, E. J. Mott and others. They visited Painted Cave and Cueva Valdez and saw much of the beauty of the islands.”

August 3, 1906 [SBMP]: “Henry Short was out in the channel with a party of fishermen yesterday. The party was arranged by Mr. Ames, who was accompanied by four gentlemen and three ladies. They made a trip out into the channel in the power launch Point Firmin and caught 15 large albacore. The fish averaged twenty-four pounds each in weight. Ed Hayward will take out a number of his friends for a sail in the Point Firmin today.”

August 4, 1906 [SBMP]: “Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Hayward entertained a party of friends yesterday morning on a fishing excursion in Henry Short’s power launch, Point Firmin…”

August 6, 1906 [SBI]: “The guests of Mr. Wade of Goleta, who formed a fishing party to Santa Cruz Island yesterday in Henry Short’s boat, the Point Firmin, are not likely to forget the many experiences which befell the trip… Mrs. Wallace Bates acted as hostess today on a channel trip, the Point Firmin again being pressed into service.”

August 9, 1906 [SBI]: “This evening the Point Firmin will carry a party of young people down the channel for a three hours trip. Those who will take the sail are members of the societies of the First Presbyterian Church of this city. Harry Lamb is one of the most active of the committee of arrangements.”

September 6, 1906 [SBI]: “After a day and night on Santa Cruz Island the members in a little party that arrived in part last evening in Captain Short’s launch Point Firmin, have as many wonderful tales to tell as usually fall glibly from the lips of those who go down to the sea in ships. Marvelous fish were caught, notable a 32-pound albacore… C. W. Ramsey will take a party of about fifteen friends to the islands Saturday to stay until Monday. They will go by the Point Firmin.”

October 6, 1906 [SBMP]: “Henry Short, who has been at the island in the Point Firmin with several friends, returned Thursday evening with seven hundred pounds of fish, making the best catch of yellowtail this year.”

October 21, 1906 [SBMP]: “Reports brought in from the channel by Captain Henry Short of the Point Firmin state that the barracuda are running again, and yellowtail are biting well.”

October 26, 1906 [SBMP]: “The launch Pt. Firmin, Captain Short, brought word to this city yesterday of the wreck of the sloop Sealion on Santa Cruz Island. The vessel is a total loss, but the crew were all saved. The Sealion is owned by a Japanese company, and has been engaged in the abalone trade in the channel for some time past. Owing to defective ground tackle, she drifted onto the rocks at Dick’s Harbor during a heavy blow a day or so ago and broke up in short order.”

November 6, 1906 [SBMP]: “Captain Henry Short leaves this morning in his launch, the Point Firmin, for Anacapa Island on a fishing trip. He expects to return to this port Thursday afternoon.”

November 22, 1906 [SBMP]: “Reporting the roughest weather in fifteen years, the Miramar guests who sailed over to Fry's Harbor, Santa Cruz Island last Friday, returned safely yesterday afternoon in charge of Captain H. S. Short. The staunch launch, Point Firmin, which was used in the trip, proved herself able to ride the unusually rough water, and under Captain Short's able management of the little vessel, the party sufferd no inconvenience...”

November 25, 1906 [SBMP]: “Henry Short will leave Monday morning on his launch Pt. Firmin for a fishing trip to the islands.”

January 9, 1907 [SBMP]: “Wind demoralizes shipping, driving many craft to beach. The Point Firmin a total wreck... By 1 o'clock yesterday morning the boats began to drag their anchors and pound to pieces on the beach. Henry Short's power launch Point Firmin being almost the first to meet this fate. She washed in between the two wharves and was beached near the lumber yard, the heavy seas quickly reducing her to matchwood. The boat is almost a total loss, and her owner believes that he will save nothing of her engine and hull.”

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. His loss is considerably less than at first supposed, for the engine is a valuable one and can be installed in a new boat. Captain Short intends to build a new launch at once, and expects to have it finished within five months. The Pt. Firmin, although a very well built boat, was not as conveniently arranged as might have been, and Captain Short has several improvements in design , which he will embody in the new boat. 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.”

January 20, 1907 [SBMP]: “Captain Short will build new yacht at once. Now that the winds have subsided and the rains ceased for awhile…”

May 26, 1907 [SBMP]: “Charm will go in water today. Launching of fine new yacht for Henry Short delayed yesterday by falling tide… The engines are those salvaged from the wrecked Point Firmin, the power launch belonging to the same owner, which was wrecked last January. Captain Short has had a series of maritime misfortunes against which it is to be hoped his present venture will prove a charm.”

August 17, 1907 [SBMP]: “Captain Short, whose pretty little launch, the Pt. Firmin, upon which so many have sailed up the coast and around the whistling buoy on pleasant Sundays, or have visited the gorgeous islands across the channel, was wrecked, has already begun to plan for a new boat. What that vessel will be, when completed, only the captain knows, and possibly his ideas have not yet taken definite form.”