Fort Ross, CA Steamer POMONA Wrecked, Mar 1908

WRECKED SHIP TO BE TOTAL LOSS

City of Topeka Takes Stranded Passengers From Beach

Several Men Walk to Railway and Arrive by Train in San Francisco.

San Francisco, March 18 -- The first of the passengers of the ill-fated steamer Pomona of the Pacific Coast Steamship line which was wrecked on a submerged reef off Fort Ross yesterday evening to reach this city arrived here this forenoon. Sixteen of the passengers all men went oerland from the point of landing in Casadero and there took the North Shore train which arrived here at 10:35 this morning. Some of the men covered the distance of fifteen miles on foot walking part of the night while a number of them waited for teams which had been sent in response to telephone messages from Fort Ross.
The remainder of the eighty-four passengers and the sixty-two members of the steamers crew will arrive some time this afternoon on the steamer City of Topeka, according to a statement made at the offices of the Pacific Coast Steamship Company.
Strikes Twice.
According to the sotries of the passengers the Pomona struck a glancing blow on a submerged rock when about two miles off shore. The vessel did not stop immediately sliding off the rock. Proceeding under a slow bell with the water in the hold rapidly getting deeper the steamer fifteen minutes after striking the first rock struck again.
Six boats were lowered each one making two or three trips and by 7:30 o'clock or within forty-five minutes after the Pomona was hard and fast, all the passengers and crew were landed. At 8:15 the water in the vessel had reached the dynamos located between decks and the lights went out on the Pomona. A little later only the top of the cabins on the after decks were visible and a gentle swell began to break over the steamer.
Attorney Tells Experience.
L. G. PUTER, an attorney of Eureka, who was met at the ferry by E. C. COOPER, private secretary of Governor GILLETT related the following experience.
"I had just sat down to dinner when I felt the steamer shiver all over and heard dull grating on a rock. The speed of the vessel seemed to be temporarily shecked, but the steamer was not fast sliding off immediately and continuing on its way. We all realized what had happened but there was no confusion or excitement either among the crew or passengers."
"Captain SWANSEN turned the bow of the Pomona toward the shore and proceeded under a slow bell, the passengers in the meantime putting on life preservers and gathering their hand baggage. Three hundred or so yards off shore the steamer struck aagain and remained fast. Captain SWANSEN ordered the boats lowered. The crew acted admirably. The water had gathered to a depth of six feet in the hold since the vessel first struck and she was listing badly, as the call for women and children first."
"There were about twenty-two women and children on board. These were taken off first. They were perfectly quiet and calm. One old lady had left her Bible in her stateroom and she positively refused to step into the boat until she had secured that sacred treasure. Someone went after the book and the old lady thankfully took it and got into the boat. Reaching the narrow rocky strip of beach at the foot of the precipitous cliffs. It was some time before a path was found up the step[sic] side and the top was not reached without considerable difficulty."
"Arriving at the top of the cliffs, we found a farm house, where everything possible was done for our comfort."

San Francisco, March 18 -- The tug Relief, which was sent from this port last night to bring back the passengers and crew of the wrecked steamer Pomona who were landed at Fort Ross yesterday, intercepted the steamer City of Topeka bound from Eureka to San Francisco off Point Reyes and according to instructions from the Pacific Coast Steamship Company, ordered her back to Fort Ross. The Relief then returned here leaving the duty of relieving the shipwrecked people and transporting them here to the City of Topeka.
The Pomona, as was anticipated last night, will be a total loss.
Runs of Reef.
The Pacific Coast Steamship Company's steamer Pomona, which left San Francisco yesterday morning, struck a submerged reef off Fort Ross and to prevent sinking was beached.
The ship was four miles off the coast when it struck the Monterey reef, so named from the steamer which was lost threre thirty-two years ago. The night was clear and the sea smooth. Second Officer FRED HAMMA was in command when the vessel struck. Captain SWANSEN who had left the bridge but a few minutes before, rushed back and took command.
Calm Passengers.
Panic stricken passengers were calmed while the vessel was backed off the reef. It was found the steamer would not float long and SWANSEN headed it for the beach. Half a mile from shore the Pomona again struck and remained fast.
Passengers were taken ashore in small boats and considerable baggage saved.
The officers and passengers of the Pomona are:
Pomons's Officers.
Captain CHARLES SWANSEN, Chief Engineer JOHN E. CLEMMESS, First Assistant Engineer THOMAS PRESTON, Second Assistant Engineer LAURENCE KOCH, First Officer JAMES CAREY, Second Officer FRED HANNER, Third Officer CHAS. DANE, Purser I. W. W. BROWN, Chief Steward JOHN McFARLAND, and Boatswain GEORGE BROWN.
Cabin Passengers.
P. M. MATTHERS, S. A. SALLAND, GEO. WHIPPLE, F. C. TUTTLE, F. CLAYTON, PETER HEALY, C. H. FULLEVELLEN, STEPHEN H. CLINK, FRANCIS A. HOPKINS, E. EMERSON and wife, MRS. R. M. PECK, E. T. L. LOFFOUREN, J. F. CORNAN, L. G. F. PUTER, D. W. EVANS, A. STANBERRY, B. CUDDYBACK, J. FLOCK and wife, E. A. BLOCHLINGER, J. R. McDONALD, A. ARSON, F. L. TUTTLE, E. J. BURG, C. A. CRAMER, A. T. PHILLIPS, L. H. SMITH, J. L. BULKELEY, E. F. FETCH, O. P. POURIE, F. W. GAWNOR, S. A. JASPER, J. WILLISON, J. S. WEBSTER, B. W. WAITE, MRS. A. J. BERRY, W. N. ANDERSON and wife, H. Y. FITCH, A. C. MOUNT, R. E. BAYARD and wife, C. T. COPELAND, P. DIDINI and wife, JOHN F. BERRY, MRS. J. C. McDOUGELL, MRS. LETTY BRANS, JOSEPH LOPEZ, JOSEPH JOAQUIN, MISS. P. ROBLES, N. E. ANDERSON.
Steerage Passengers.
E. W. ADAMS, TIMOTHY McCARTHY, P. CULLINAN, F. FERNANDEZ, MANUEL SILVA and wife, JOHN INES, MARY SOSA, MRS. FERNANDEZ, HENRY GEORGE, J. H. SPOONAMORE, wife and child, P. PIROSI, G. PIOLI, F. LOREZZO, A. MARCASEI, T. MONFREDI, T. GULIELMO, COPINI GIUSEPPE, JAMES McCURDY and wife, SAM MATHEWS, C. McGRESHAN, T. V. GOODMAN, V. E. LANG, D. URAL, G. DUNLAP, P. H. BROCKMAN, MABEL BUCKMAN, JENNIE BUCKMAN, A. HERSCH, A. VURNEWICH, B. VINTRICH, F. CIPUPOOSH, F. C. DENMENS, T. HERVITES, ROSE DAVISON, A. J. KULE, H. SEAWARD, J. CARPENTER.

Fort Ross, March 18 -- At 2 o'clock this after the Pomona remained in about the same position as when she struck. The high tide is washing over her stern and it is evident that she is doomed to destruction. The steamer City of Topeka arrived here early this morning and left at 1 o'clock for San Francisco with most of the crew and all of the passengers who cared to take passage on her. Captain SWANSEN, Purser BROWN, Third Officer DAIN and eight sailors remained here to save what they can from the wreck.

Oakland Tribune California 1908-03-18