Santa Cruz (steamer)

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Santa Cruz (#23563) (1868-1924) [steamer], 133-foot wood-hulled passenger cargo steamer built in San Francisco which predates the schooner of the same name used in the island trade. The steamer Santa Cruz was owned by the Pacific Coast Steamship Company from 1876-1911. According to Santa Cruz Island Company records, she carried island supplies for almost a decade from 1890-1898. From 1911-1924 she was owned by the Puget Sound Salvage Company. The steamer Santa Cruz burned on the Quillayute River in Washington on May 10, 1924.

In the News~

February 19, 1870 [SBT]: “The steamship Santa Cruz left yesterday, bound for the island of Santa Cruz, where she will take a load of sheep and proceed to San Francisco.”

March 11, 1871 [SBT]: “The steamer Santa Cruz has been placed upon this line in place of the Kalorama, which is laid up for repairs.”

March 16, 1871 [DAC]: “Memoranda. Per Santa Cruz. Was detained at Santa Cruz Island 24 hours on account of strong NW winds.”

March 31, 1871 [DAC]: “Arrived. March 30. Steamer Santa Cruz, [Captain] Harloe, from San Buenaventura via Santa Cruz Island, 5 days, passengers and merchandise to Goodall & Nelson.”

April 5, 1871 [DAC]: “Arrived. April 4. Steamer Santa Cruz, [Captain] Harloe, 38 hours from Santa Cruz Island; sheep and wool to Goodall & Nelson.”

April 18, 1877 [SBDP]: “The steamer Santa Cruz has just been thoroughly overhauled and fitted up for a stock-boat, on the principle of the English stock vessels. She has been fitted with three decks and can carry 2000 sheep at one trip...”

January 17, 1878 [SBDP]: “In the storm’s track. The destruction among the fishing craft was general… The Santa Cruz came in this morning, and fastened alongside the wharf. The Captain started for shore in a small boat, and after a lively tussle with the surf, finally landed. The steamer had been to Santa Rosa Island with sheep, which were landed safely before the storm came up. During the storm the Captain tried to put in a San Miguel, but failed…”

August 30, 1878 [SBDP]: “Mr. John More will take some forty sheepherders to Santa Rosa Island on Sunday by the steamer Santa Cruz.”

September 2, 1878 [SBDP]: “The Santa Cruz left for Santa Rosa Island this afternoon, taking, besides a number of sheep shearers, the engine and workmen from the Carpinteria wharf. Repairs are to be made on the wharf at the island.”

October 5, 1878 [SBDP]: “The steamer Santa Cruz is lying at Prisoners’ Harbor, Santa Cruz Island, loading with wool.”

October 8, 1878 [DAC]: “San Pedro. Per Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz Island. 51 bales wool.”

November 10, 1879 [SBDP]: “The captain of the Santa Cruz reports the trip from San Francisco as being the roughest he has experienced in a long time...”

October 9, 1880 [SBDP]: “The Santa Cruz arrived from Hueneme last night with 1,466 sacks of wheat for John Edwards.”

March 8, 1881 [SBDP]: “We received a call this afternoon from W. M. Tucker, who recently purchased 14,500 sheep on Santa Cruz Island for Merry, Faul & Co. He reports that a thousand of these sheep are being shipped every ten days on the steamer Santa Cruz, which has been chartered especially for this purpose. Four thousand sheep have already been shipped, and it will take some months to transport the entire lot. The sheep are in extra fine condition, and are pronounced to be the best mutton taken to the City this season. There are 45,000 head of stock sheep on the island, in addition to the lot purchased. The lambing season was very successful, and the increase in unusually great. Feed on the island is in excellent condition, and with the assistance of the present rain will be splendid. Mr. Tucker has lately purchased 3000 young lambs for the firm which he represents.”

March 12, 1881 [SBWP]: “We received a call this forenoon from W. M. Tucker, who recently purchased 14,500 sheep on Santa Cruz Island for Merry, Faul Co. He reports that a thousand of these sheep are being shipped every ten days on the steamer Santa Cruz which has been chartered especially for this purpose. There are 45,000 head of stock sheep on the island, in addition to the lot shipped.”

March 14, 1881 [SBDP]: “Fifty head of hogs are waiting to be shipped on the steamer Santa Cruz which has been delayed by the wind.”

June 27, 1883 [SBDI]: “Mrs. J. Caire, Miss Aglae Caire, Miss Helene Caire, Miss María Rossi, Miss Adelaide Dusio of San Francisco, John Drumm, Miss Carrie Drum, Miss Sara Drum, of Oakland, and Miss Madeline Rosseter of Alameda, arrived last evening on the Corona, and registered at the San Marcos; they left this morning on the steamer Santa Cruz for the island.”

July 25, 1883 [SBDP]: “Last Sunday morning the P.C.S.S. Company’s steamer Santa Cruz was seen off the island of San Miguel laying to with an evident intention of making a landing. After steaming about in a rough sea and a stiff breeze of wind, the little steamer was hailed by Captain Larco in his little sloop Ocean King which was near the island, as the reefs were numerous as well as dangerous, and the harbor unknown to the officers of the steamer. Larco was taken on board as pilot and soon had the Santa Cruz safely moored within a sheltered cove in deep water some distance from the shore. The steamer had been sent from San Francisco to take on a cargo of live sheep. As there was no wharf and no gang plank by which the animals could be driven on board, and as no derrick or swinging box could be made acceptable to this purpose, the task of transferring more than a thousand sheep and several head of cows and cattle, all alive and kicking to the deck of the rolling vessel, was a puzzling problem. Two small boats were launched into the water and ran up close to the beach, where the surf was breaking. Then the shepherds or vaqueros proceeded to catch the sheep and carry them to the boats. Here they were laid feet upwards, and one upon the other, and held down until snugly packed unable to move, and in this way carried out into the rolling waters and with some difficulty transferred to the steamer deck which had been converted into a sheep pen. There was no tying or rope used to hold the struggling animals and strange to say that out of one thousand and five sheep, none were lost overboard during the transfer. The operation was performed within twelve hours after it was commenced, and the Santa Cruz bore away with its live cargo for San Francisco.”

November 20, 1885 [SBDP]: “The steamer Santa Cruz came into port this morning from Prisoners’ Harbor where she has been for the last three days for safety from the last storm.”

April 17, 1890 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Steamer Santa Cruz, [Captain] Tribble, 2 days from Santa Rosa Island; produce and livestock, to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

April 17, 1890 [SFCall]: “Importations. Santa Rosa Island. Per Santa Cruz. 758 bales wool, 1 bale goat hair, 2 bundles sheep pelts, 2 barrels tallow.”

May 3, 1890 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Friday, May 2. Steamer Santa Cruz, [Captain] Tribble, 3-1/2 days from Santa Rosa Island; livestock and produce to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

May 3, 1890 [DAC]: “Arrived. Steamer Santa Cruz, [Captain] Tribble, 73 hours from Santa Rosa Island, etc.; livestock and produce, to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

December 6, 1890 [LAT]: “Lost in a storm. The sloop Undine capsized off Hueneme. Three men drowned before assistance can arrive. A passing steamer finds the wreck too late. The sloop Undine, a sixteen-ton steam propeller owned by Captain Ellis of Santa Barbara, was wrecked at 4 o’clock this morning, ten miles from this port. She was used in the fishing trade and was returning from Anacapa Island with a cargo. The crew of three men whose names are unknown were all lost. The steamer Santa Cruz sighted the wreck, and found one man clinging to the bottom, but he sank from exhaustion before assistance could be given him. The Undine was a small naphtha launch recently brought from San Francisco by Captain Ellis and was used to carry passengers to and from the points of interest on the Santa Barbara islands, and also in the transportation of supplies to the sheep-herders of Anacapa. The wreck occurred off Hueneme, and the capsized sloop was passed by the Santa Cruz while on her way from that point to Ventura.”

December 8, 1890 [DAC]: “Captain Tribble, of the Pacific Coast Steamship Company’s steamer Santa Cruz, which vessel arrived in port yesterday from San Pedro and way ports, reports that the steam yacht Undine was wrecked between Hueneme and Ventura some time during the recent storms. The Santa Cruz sighted the wreck on her way down to San Pedro, and shortly after some members of the crew rushed to Captain Tribble and informed him that a man, who was evidently a member of the crew of the Undine, was clinging to the wrecked vessel. Captain Tribble, as quick as circumstances would permit, got the Santa Cruz as near the wrecked vessel as possible, and then threw a line to the man. The latter made many efforts to catch hold of the line, but being too weak failed ion all of his attempts to save his life. Captain Tribble then began to realize the condition of the man, and lowered a boat to go to his assistance. The man made all efforts to cling to the wreck, but before the boat reached him he lost his grasp, fell into the water and was never seen again. The name of the man could not be ascertained, neither were any particulars learned of the cause of the wreck. It is impossible to tell the exact number of men aboard the Undine when she was wrecked, but it was learned yesterday that in ordinary circumstances she carried three men—the captain and two seamen. Captain Ellis was in command of the vessel, and it is feared that he and the seamen perished in the wreck. The Undine was well known to the shipping men of this city. On the 7th of November last she sailed from this city for Santa Barbara, but on the following day she was obliged to return on account of having broken some of her machinery. She sailed again two days later. She was a schooner-rigged craft of fifteen tons, and was owned by a company in Santa Barbara, of which Captain Ellis was at the head. She was used for fishing purposes more than anything else, and lately has been engaged as a tender, carrying fish from Santa Rosa Island to San Diego. She was built at Turner’s shipyard at Benicia, and was only completed a few months ago.”

December 9, 1890 SFCall]: “A few days ago word was received here by telegraph that the steamer Undine had been lost in the Santa Barbara Channel and her crew of three drowned. Captain Tribble of the steamer Santa Cruz, which arrived on Sunday, reported that he had sighted the wreck and endeavored to rescue on of the crew who was clinging to the vessel, but was unsuccessful. Captain Leland of the steamer Bonita, which arrived yesterday, states that on the passage up he called at Santa Rosa Island, and Captain Moore, the superintendent there, told him that on Tuesday evening last he saw a schooner-rigged vessel, with mainsail and two jibs set, blow up and take fire. This was undoubtedly the Undine. She was run by means of an electric motor, the power being generated by means of naphtha or gasoline, and thus, no doubt, exploded. The Undine plied between Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz Island.”

December 12, 1890 [VFP]: “Last evening a Ventura Free Press reporter meet Captain George F. Ellis, the owner of the yacht Undine, which was recently wrecked off Anacapa Island... The Undine’s fate re-establishes and strengthens the sailors’ superstition about the bad luck of starting out a vessel on Friday. She was launched on a Friday, set sail for the first time on a Friday, and was sighted as a wreck by the officers of the steamer Santa Cruz on a Friday.”

April 12, 1891 [SBMP]: “Live seals captured at Santa Cruz Island for Rogers Brothers. José Espinosa and party returned yesterday in the sloop Liberty with six live seals captured by them at Santa Cruz Island for Rogers Brothers. The seals were shipped yesterday afternoon on the steamer Santa Cruz for San Francisco, from which port they will be expressed to New York for exhibition in the parks, etc. They are valued at $100 each. The mode of capturing seals is quite novel. The hunters succeeded in getting between the seals and the water when they are lassoed and caged.”

May 21, 1891 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Wednesday, May 20. Steamer Santa Cruz, [Captain] Nicholson, hours from Santa Rosa Island; 1610 sheep to J. Lorance.”

June 24, 1892 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Tuesday, June 23. Steamer Santa Cruz, [Captain] Tribble, 44 hours from San Miguel Island; livestock to Goodall, Perkins & Co.”

June 4, 1893 [SFCall]: “Arrived. Steamer Santa Cruz, [Captain] Nicolson, 36 hours from Santa Rosa Island; 1030 sheep, 15 lambs, 60 head cattle, to South San Francisco Land and Improvement Co.”

June 9, 1893 [SFCall]: “Importations. Santa Rosa Island. Per Santa Cruz. 63 head cattle, 1001 sheep.”

July 11, 1893 [SBDI]: “The consignment of sheep brought over from the island yesterday in the steamer Santa Cruz was for Sherman & Ealand.”

July 20, 1893 [SBDI]: “The steamer Santa Cruz sailed for Santa Cruz Island last evening about 5 o'clock, having on board F. F. Caire and Miss Caire of San Francisco.”

July 24, 1893 [SBDI]: “The steamer Santa Cruz arrived in the harbor Saturday afternoon with several San Francisco and Oakland people who have been visiting on Santa Cruz Island.”

July 29, 1893 [SBDI]: “The steamer Santa Cruz arrived from the island yesterday afternoon and returned in the evening with Justinian Caire, owner of the island, who arrived on the Santa Rosa from San Francisco.”

November 5, 1894 [SBDI]: “The steamer Santa Cruz was in the harbor yesterday and took on the remainder of the wreckage of the Winfield Scott left here by the wrecker San Pedro, and after placing a couple of buoys for the wharf company sailed for San Francisco.”

November 23, 1894 [SBMP]: “The steamer Coos Bay disabled at Santa Cruz Island. The steamer Santa Cruz arrived in port yesterday with six sailors and the 2nd mate of the steamer Coos Bay on board. They had been picked up in the channel while on their way to this city to report the breaking of the shaft on their steamer while making the wharf at Santa Cruz Island Wednesday night. On orders from the Pacific Steamship Company the Santa Cruz sailed for the island to take off the passengers, which were later brought to this port. The disabled steamer will be towed to San Francisco by the Pomona tonight.”

November 23, 1894 [SBDI]: “The steamer Santa Cruz brought over the crew and passengers of the Coos Bay from Santa Cruz Island last night after which she sailed to Redondo. The Pomona, which goes north tomorrow night, has orders to tow the disabled Coos Bay to San Francisco.”

February 24, 1897 [LAT/SB]: “The steamer Santa Cruz is discharging a cargo of coal at the wharf for the Santa Barbara Gas Company. From this port she will go to San Miguel Island for a cargo of sheep for San Pedro.”

April 11, 1898 [LAT/VC]: “Large shipments of horses, cattle and sheep… Hobson Brothers… recently purchased 22,600 head of sheep in Santa Barbara County, 16,000 of which are on Santa Rosa Island. This large flock will be transferred from the island to Redondo, from whence they will be shipped to New Mexico via the Santa Fe Railroad. The steamer Santa Cruz will transfer the sheep, taking about 2000 each trip. Many of the sheep are in a semi-wild state…”

April 13, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “The Santa Cruz arrived yesterday from the North, and left for Santa Rosa Island to transfer to the mainland 1500 head of cattle recently purchased by F. B. Edson of the firm of Edson Brothers, of Gazelle, Siskiyou County. J. H. Hester, the County Veterinarian, will inspect the animals before they are allowed to board the steamer, to guard against any possible spread of disease. The island stock is considered unusually healthy owing to the isolation of the ranges.”

April 14, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “The Santa Cruz brought over from Santa Rosa Island last evening the first load of 700 sheep for Levy & Hobson of Ventura, and a hundred and fifty head of cattle for Edson Brothers of Siskiyou county. The sheep are to be forwarded to the Utah ranges.”

April 16, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “F. B. Edson of the firm Edson Brothers, the stockmen of Gazelle, Siskiyou County, and J. F. Reynolds of the Oakland Meat Company, are at the Mascarel awaiting the arrival of the steamer Santa Cruz, which is expected Sunday from San Francisco. The Santa Cruz is chartered to carry the large stock shipment from Santa Rosa Island to this city. The first trip will be made Monday, and it is expected that the first trainload will leave two days later. Four trips of the Santa Cruz will, it is expected, complete the work of transferring the stock to the mainland. The cattle will be landed at the wharf and driven to the freight yards, where they will be loaded on the cars for their journey of 500 miles north. The trains will be fast specials, and it is expected that they will cover the distance in two days.”

April 22, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “Sailor Olsen was severely hurt while unloading cattle from the steamer Santa Cruz. He was caught and crushed by the gangplank. He is laid up at the Morris House in consequence, and the attendant physician pronounces his injuries distressing, but not permanent.”

April 24, 1898 [LAH]: “The steamer Santa Cruz is engaged to take 10,000 head of sheep to Redondo, to be shipped from there to Utah.”

April 30, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “The steamer Santa Cruz arrived yesterday afternoon from the Channel Islands with 2000 sheep for A. L. Hobson of Ventura.”

May 8, 1898 [SBMP]: “The steamer Santa Cruz is expected back in the channel in a week or two, and will bring another lot of stock from Santa Rosa Island.”

May 8, 1898 [SBMP]: “The steamer Santa Cruz arrived from the island yesterday with 240 head of cattle and 224 sheep. She left for the return trip at midnight.”

January 13, 1901 [SBMP]: “The freight steamer Santa Cruz arrived from the north yesterday morning with a quantity of grain.”

February 22, 1901 [SBMP]: “Los Angeles and Santa Barbara butchers have purchased 1700 sheep from Santa Cruz Island. The freight steamer Santa Cruz will deliver them next week.”

February 22, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “A lot of sheep amounting to 1700 head, the product of Santa Cruz Island, are to be conveyed from the island by the steamer Santa Cruz to Los Angeles and Santa Barbara markets.”

February 25, 1901 [SBDI]: “The steamer Santa Cruzv left this morning for Santa Rosa Island where she will take on board 1800 sheep consigned to Los Angeles butchers.”

February 26, 1901 [SBMP]: “The freight steamer Santa Cruz was in port yesterday with coal, and sailed yesterday morning.”

February 27, 1901 [LAT/SP]: “The steamer Santa Cruz, Captain Guthrie, put into port today and discharged 1694 sheep which she had taken aboard from Santa Rosa Island.”

March 13, 1901 [LAH]: “Shipping news. The arrivals since February 25 are:...steamer Santa Cruz, Captain Guthrie, from Santa Rosa Island with 1694 sheep for L. Sentous, Los Angeles.”

November 12, 1901 [SBMP]: “The steamer Santa Cruz will stop at Carpinteria today for a cargo of asphalt for San Francisco.”

May 19, 1902 [LAH]: “San Pedro shipping news. The following vessels have arrived at this port within the last few days. Steamer Santa Cruz, [Captain] Nicholson, from Santa Rosa Island with 1300 head of sheep.”

April 28, 1903 [SBMP]: “The steamer Santa Cruz anchored in the channel at an early hour this morning, having broken her shaft in the rough sea that was running yesterday afternoon. The vessel was four hours late.”

December 4, 1904 [SBMP]: “The steamer Santa Cruz Island is in from the islands with a large cargo of over twenty barrels of wine. The wine is from the large vineyards on the island, and is pressed out at the island winery.”

March 31, 1906 [SBMP]: “The Santa Cruz Island steamer was in port yesterday taking on a large amount of miscellaneous freight consigned to the Caire interests on Santa Cruz Island. The boat will sail this morning.”

June 10, 1914 [SBDNI]: “That there is rich pasturage on Santa Cruz Island was proved today when the steamer Santa Cruz put in here with 229 fat sheep for the F. N. Gehl Packing Company. The sheep are in the height of good condition. The crew report the feed better on the islands than for many years.”

November 21, 1919 [SBMP]: “Shortage of rain has caused the pasturage of Santa Cruz Island to become scarce and the 100,000 head of sheep that depend on the vegetation for their existence will soon suffer, it is said, unless precipitation hastens. The steamer Santa Cruz left yesterday morning with 50 tons of hay to use should the lack of food for the animals become critical.”