Marshfield, OR Steamer BAWNMORE Wreck, Aug 1895


Metal in Cargo of Electric Car Made the Compass Vary.

Marshfield, Ore., Aug. 31. - The British steamer, Bawnmore, which ran ashore Wednesday morning, had changed her position very little during the last twenty-four hours. She lays broadside to the sea with her head to the south and a heavy list to starboard. Captain Woodsides' impression is that the metal in the electric cars which were loaded on the deck near the pilot house caused a variation in the compass which threw him off course. After reaching shore he sent a messenger to Bandon with a telegram for San Francisco to send assistance and when it arrives an effort will be made to get the vessel off. She has settled twelve of fourteen feet in the sand and at a high water the seas roll over her. It is considered very doubtful that the vessel can be saved, but the captain and crew will remain with her as long as there is a chance of doing so.

Sioux Valley News, Correctionville, IA 6 Sept 1895


Bawnmore Ship's bell

Thank you Jenny. The ship's bell was saved, and has been passed on to decendants of the owner. Here is the short history that was passed along with the bell: "The bell was in operation aboard the steel schooner Bawnmore, owned by William John Woodside. The Bawnmore was built in Belfast, Ireland, in the 1890s. The bell was recovered from the ship's wreckage after she went down two miles north of Black Lock Point, Oregon on August 28, 1895. (The captain of the Bawnmore, Alexander Woodside, brother of the ship's owner, and his crew were safe.) " The bell was in William John's possession until his death in 1912, then passed on to his son, Walter Stephens Woodside, then to his grandson, Walter Jr., and to his great-grandson, Steven, who keeps it safely and in operation in the central coastal village of Capitola, California.

William John Woodside built several ships in Belfast during the 1880s and 90s, and settled with his family in the San Francisco Bay area during the late 1890s. One of the ships, named after his wife Marion, better known as "Polly" was launched in 1885. The steel hulled barque "Polly Woodside" has been carefully restored and is one of a few "Caper Horners" still afloat. She is permanently berthed at the Maritime Museum in Melbourne, Australia.

If anyone has additional information about the Bawnmore, please post a comment.

Steven Woodside