The Wreck of the Point Arena


Port Hole in the Hull of the Wreck of the Point Arena

The Point Arena was built-in 1887. This sturdy steam schooner carried large loads of cargo yet was nimble enough to navigate the tiny “dog hole” ports [A Dog-hole port was the name given to small ports on the Pacific Coast between Central California and Southern Oregon that operated between the mid-1800s until 1939. They were called dog-holes because the schooners that served them would have to be able to "turn around in a harbor barely small enough for a dog".] of California’s central coast. On August 9, 1913, the Point Arena was loading tanbark [Tanbark is the bark of certain species of tree. It is traditionally used for tanning hides.] at Pigeon Point when rough seas forced her onto the rocks, tearing a hole in her hull. “The stunned seamen could only watch the Point Arena sink into the churning water.” The wreckage of the Point Arena was a danger to other ships and was burned. “It just would not have looked good to have a wrecked ship in front of a lighthouse.” [emphasis added] This five-ton section of the Point Arena hull washed ashore at Anõ Nuevo and was uncovered by storms in 1983. [This story was taken from an informational sign that was adjoining the wreck of the Point Arena, at Anõ Nuevo State Park.]

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