Thursday, June 14, 2012

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 43

USC&GS Carlile P. Patterson
Many of our ancestors have had connections with the sea.  Before I.C. Lee joined the Seattle Fire Department and afterwards the Seattle Police Department he worked on the Patterson.  We don’t have exact dates of his service on the Patterson but since he was promoted to Police Sergeant in 1905 it must have been around 1899/1900.  There is a number on the card “1245” but no publisher is indicated. 

I.C. Lee, ca 1904

The Patterson was built in 1883 and named after Carlile Pollock Patterson who was the 4th Superintendent of the Coast Survey and the first of the Coast and Geodetic Survey.  She was a beautiful wooden ship with frames of white oak with cedar tops, the planking, beams and lower deck were yellow pine, and the upper deck was white pine.  Rigged with double topsail yards she also had a steam engine.  She was outfitted with state-of-art equipment for deep-water hydrography. 

It is interesting to note the sails.  It is almost as if in the transition from wind power to steam power the ship builders and sailors wanted to make sure that should the steam power fail the ship could still sail onward.  Several trans oceanic ships of that time period were also dual powered by steam and sail.  Even the small life saving boats used during the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition in 1909 had oars as well as a gas power motor.  (See postcard Thursday, 27)

The Patterson was used primarily as a survey vessel off the coast of Alaska although she also served in other west coast locations and in the Hawaiian Islands from 1885-1918.  During 1918 and 1919 she was transferred to the US Navy.  Later the steam engine was replaced with diesel, other changes were made and she had a merchant career for several years.  She was wrecked in a storm December 1938, going aground in the Gulf of Alaska while on the way from Kodiak to Seattle.

Nelson B.C. and the Kootenay River, 1905

Morley & Company, Nelson B.C., Canada, published this postcard.  The card was sent to Petra Lee with a thank you for her hospitality signed only as M.K.  The Lees had many friends who traveled and sent postcards.  Although this scene looks as if it should be on the coast it is actually inland north of Spokane, Washington therefore about 300 miles from the sea.  However, it looks so much like some places in Norway it is easy to see why so many Scandinavians decided to settle in the Pacific Northwest, northwestern Canada and Alaska.

For more information about the Patterson see:

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