As I see it: Surviving a ship wreck | Bandon News
While the first story I share didn’t happen outside of Bandon Bar, it involved passengers from Bandon, and it’s part of the fascinating story of what it took for a woman to survive. The photo shows the crowds on the beach at the scene of the wreck.
It was November 2, 1915, when the steamboat Santa Clara, operating between Portland, Coos Bay, Eureka, and San Francisco, was wrecked as it entered Coos Bay harbor at 4:20 p.m. By the time the first article hit Western World headlines on November 4, eight bodies had been found in a capsized lifeboat and nine were missing, including Ms HA Morris of Bandon. The Santa Clara was carrying 48 passengers and 42 crew members.
The parents and sister of a local woman were rescued, and since both parents were disabled, they should have been on the first lifeboat launched; luckily, they were found in their berths after the first boat left … because it capsized in the breakers and everyone on board was lost.
Ms Morris had spent the summer with her sister, and it wasn’t until Mr Morris, who owned a crawler traction engine in Bandon, saw his name on the missing list, that he even realized that ‘she was going home.
He chartered the Whitsett car and drove to Marshfield hoping to find his wife alive.
The article read: “Late tonight no trace of her was found and a patrol was established along the beach to watch for corpses that might drift onto the shore with the tide.
The next issue of Western World recounted Ms Morris’ narrow escape when she nearly perished in her efforts to save a child.
“In a heroic effort to save a seven-year-old boy, whom she was holding in her lap as the lifeboat capsized, Ms. Morris nearly lost her life. She held the boy in her arms as she drifted and working her way to shore a short distance from the beach, when a large wave of sneakers hit them.She threw the boy over her head and a foot hit her in the jaw, making her unconscious. waves, the life jacket tending to throw her over her back. When she reached shore, she was completely exhausted and had to be transported to a nearby beach cabin. “
She was taken to North Bend Hospital where she was treated for a severely bruised jaw and fractured rib. And finds her husband.
The boy Ms Morris tried to save was later found dead on the beach.
The second, third and fourth lifeboats were luckier and reached land safely, but the fifth with eight crew members, including the captain and the first mate, capsized twice while trying to get out of the way. detach from the ship.
“Each time the men were thrown into the water, but were able to climb back onto the ship again, and they were eventually rescued by the rescue crew using the breech buoy.”
The second photo was taken in August 1960, during a highway project at the top of the hill. To the left you can see the Ralphs Ice Cream sign, where the Asian Garden is now located; to the right is petrol station 76, where Banner Bank is now located. The brick building behind the gas station, which has been operated over the years by Lanny Boston and also by John Bowder, is the Western Bank. North of the station was Bill Ellis’ television sales and service business.
The third photo shows longtime businessman and cranberry grower Elmer Gant, who has served his community in so many ways, including as a member of the Bandon School Board.
This photo was taken in May 1965, but his honors began long before that. A front page article from February 20, 1947, Western World is titled “Gant Gets Surprise Award for Long Service in Scouting”.
The article explained that Gant was the 27th holder in 37 years of scouting the coveted Oregon Trails Council Silver Beaver Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the National Scout Council on volunteer workers.
“As an active citizen and wartime postmaster of Bandon, Gant served as a Scout Leader for 19 years. It was only last year that he gave way to others, and he is now chairman of the troop committee. “
Gant was accompanied to the speaker’s table during the spontaneous ceremony by two Bandon Cubs, Donald Martin and Carl Rosenkilde.
Two of Elmer and Grace Gant’s five children, Tom Gant and Gloria Haga, still live here. Another son, Jim Gant, lives in Cottage Grove and the youngest, Susan Winnop, lives in Alabama. Another daughter, Glenda Hawkins, passed away several months ago.
What most don’t know is that the Gant brothers were very successful businessmen before the fire.
A Western World article from July 1929 speaks of their success.
Another example of the distinct success that Bandon has had in the city’s commercial life is the very active men’s furniture house known as the Gant Brothers Store, which maintains large stocks of all kinds of the best clothing lines for men. men, hats, nationally advertised footwear, clothing, general furnishings for men and boys, and footwear for the whole family.
“This is actually a chain of stores from this valley. Hub Clothing has other stores in Coquille, Myrtle Point and Powers. Three brothers from Elmer Gant, who is the local manager, take care of their business in Coquille. They are Homer, Orvin (OT) and Ellis. “
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I was sorry to learn that my good friend Pauline Brown had passed away on May 25 in McKinney, Texas, where she and her late husband John had moved in 2018 after living 21 years in their beautiful home overlooking Lake Fahy.
The Browns had moved to Texas to be close to their two sons and their families. During her working years, Pauline, who was 83, spent 34 years as a nurse.
Instead of a service, the couple requested that their ashes be scattered near the Coquille River Lighthouse in Bandon. Memorial contributions can be sent to First Presbyterian Church, 592 Edison, Bandon, or the local food bank.
I also learned that a Celebration of Life will be held for Jack McMahon on July 17th at 2 p.m. at VFW Hall.
The Bandon House will hold its annual meeting of members on Tuesday, June 22 at 6 p.m. at The Barn. Speakers will include Port Manager Jeff Griffin and Dave Lacey, who serves as the South Coast Destination Coordinator for the Oregon Coast Visitors Association.
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One of the new chamber members is Bandon Bay Jets, owned by Court Boice, Curry County Commissioner, former co-owner of Jerry’s Jet Boats and former owner of Paradise Lodge on Rogue River for nearly 30 years.
The one-hour tours on the Coquille River from the old town will be educational and historical. Boats will operate Friday through Sunday through October, and reservations can be made by calling Prowler Charters at 541-347-1901 or 541-661-6150. To learn more about the company, visit their website at www.bandonbayjets.com.
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The Bandon Police Facebook page warns of a scam. Someone claiming to be from town calls people and threatens to shut down their utilities unless their bill is paid now, over the phone. If you receive such a call, hang up and call the city at 541-347-2437.
I just saw a spooky photo on Facebook where a homeowner’s camera caught a guy sneaking into their property and setting the door to their house on fire off the Cape Arago Highway in the Empire region . He shows him lighting the fire and casually walking away.
Apparently, this is the third fire that the arsonist has started in recent days in the same area, between Wilshire and the Cape Arago fire station.
Speaking of fear, the other night I was watching 20/20 on TV and all of a sudden I heard a loud bang. It looked like someone was trying to enter my house through the sliding glass door, which I quickly discovered was not locked (which is unlike me). Anyway, I couldn’t figure out where the noise was coming from, so I grabbed my trusty little gun and went back to watching TV.
It wasn’t until the next morning when I went to get dressed and opened the door to my walk-in closet … met all of my best dresses and jackets and everything on the shelf at the above them. … lying in a crumpled heap on the ground.
Due to too much weight (that should tell me something) the screws holding the shelf had torn off the plasterboard. Now I have to find someone to fix the mess … or admit I have too many clothes and get to Brees.