Shipwreck of the Aggi

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In the News~

May 8, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton returned from Talcott’s Reef in the Sea Wolf yesterday afternoon with another load of barley taken from the wreck of the Aggi. He left at 6 o’clock last evening for another load of the grain, accompanied by Allan Watt and Captain Charles Davis, of the Universal Film Company of Los Angeles, who went for the purpose of getting some photographs of the wreck.”

May 14, 1915 [SBMP]: “Universal buys Aggi. The Norwegian ship Aggi that recently was driven into a gale onto Talcott Shoal, off the Santa Rosa Island shore, has been bought for motion picture purposes. By negotiations concluded last Wednesday night by Captain Charles E. Davis, representing the Universal Film Company of Universal City near Hollywood, and the San Francisco board of marine underwriters, the picture company purchased the wreck and will utilize it for a series of photoplays.”

May 16, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain Eaton and Captain Davis, the latter representing the Universal Film Company, the moving picture concern that has bought the wreck of the Aggi to use as photoplay material, went to the wreck in the Sea Wolf yesterday and will return today.”

May 18, 1915 [SBMP]: “Wreck of the Aggi will soon be dream. Universal must hurry if it wants to photograph the real thing. Henry McRea, D. M. Meaney and Allen Watt of the Universal Motion Picture concern’s company that is working in the photoplays that are to be made with the wreck of the Aggi as a setting, arrived at the Arlington Hotel from Los Angeles last Sunday and went over to the Universal camp on Santa Rosa Island shore yesterday afternoon by the powerboat Panama to get plans organized for active work. Forty members of the company arrived at the island camp last Saturday from San Pedro on the Santa Rosa Island Company’s powerboat, the Vaquero. The Panama will be stationed at the island as long as the company remains there. The camp is distant about six miles from the wreck, and it is in one of the few good spots for camping this part of the island supplies. The Panama will transport the actors to and from the wreck, besides making trips to the mainland for provisions and mail for the temporary population of the island. According to reports received yesterday by parties coming in from the wreck, the ‘stage property’ that the picture concern has bought will not last long. It is said that, under the terrific winds that have been blowing at Talcott’s Shoal the past few days, the hulk is settling, and only the foreword part of the deck is now above water. As Scotty Cunningham, returning from the scene yesterday, expressed it: ‘They’ll have to hurry up with their moving pictures. The wreck will soon be only a dream — and you can’t photograph a dream.’ The Universal is reported to have paid $3000 for the wreck.”

May 18, 1915 [SBMP]: “The power schooner Panama came in from the Aggi wreck yesterday morning, bringing 200 sacks of wet barley, an anchor saved from the wreck and a lot of brass work and other junk. This load was called the last to be taken from the wreck, which is reported fast breaking up. All the barley now left in the hulk is said to be under water, and there is nothing else aboard worth saving that can be got at.”

May 23, 1915 [SBMP]: “Wreck of the Aggi is elusive to camera. Universal Players here, however, have been enjoying island life. Word received from the Universal Motion Picture Company’s camp on Santa Rosa Island yesterday was to the effect that the sixty of the company’s actors there for the purpose of using the wreck of the ship Aggi in photoplays had not as yet been able to do any work on or around the wreck, on account of the rough water in the vicinity of Talcott’s Shoal, on which the battered hulk lies. The company has done some work on the island shore, however, covering the scenes depicting the landing of the supposed victims of the wreck, and the results are thought to have been satisfactory as to these features. The actors in camp are said to be having a delightful experience in their island picnic, and to be enjoying the unusual benefit of island camp life under full pay. General manager George A, Magie of the Universal Company, who was here with the company to direct operations in the work in hand, went back to Universal City yesterday to be on hand for the big annual barbecue of the concern, to be given today at Universal City, instead of at Eddie Maier’s ranch, where it has been held for the past three years. In this affair Elks will loom large, as is usual, and a number of members of the Santa Barbara lodge will go down to participate in the Universal joy today.”

May 23, 1915 [SBMP]: “Wreck of the Aggi reported sold. Newmarks of Los Angeles is said to have relieved Universal. It was reported yesterday that the Newmark Grain Company of Los Angeles had purchased from Universal Motion Picture Company the wreck of the ship Aggi that lies on Talcott’s Shoal off Santa Rosa Island, and that the buyer will go ahead at once in the salvaging of the wreck, the picture concern retaining the picture rights of the property. Rumor has it that the price paid was the same that the Universal Company paid the underwriters for the remains of the Aggi — $1000. This deal is said to have been consummated by H. E. and H. S. Woolner, father and son, interested to the Newmark Company, and general manager Magie of the Universal Company, all of whom were on the island during the past week. The opinion prevails among people who have seen the wreck that the Universal Company did a good stroke of business in unloading this very questionable piece of property at the full price paid for it, unless the cargo of the vessel should prove to include something more valuable than the soaked barley that it is supposed to hold as its only feature of value, but probably the buyers know what they are about.”

May 25, 1915 [SBMP]: “The Universal Players who had been at Santa Rosa Island in hope of making use of the Aggi wreck for pictures, have returned to the mainland. The sea was so rough that nothing could be done. The Aggi is now in such condition that she is hopeless for any purpose and there will be no more salvage. The news was received that Hans Thormadsen, the first mate, became insane in Chicago on his way home to Norway. This is attributed to his severe experiences while this ship was battered by the storm.”