Tuesday, March 24, 2009

To Roger Edwards

I would like to thank Roger Edwards (in the red hat), founder of the Salmon Beach Historical Society, for his help in our efforts. All of the old photos that you will see here are from the vast collection of Roger Cushman Edwards. Roger is, in my opinion, one of our greatest natural resources here at Salmon Beach. He's devoted decades of his life to the gathering of the beach's history in collections of pictures, interviews and, finally, the publishing of a beautifully done book called "Tacoma's Salmon Beach". His efforts in putting together the book have given us all a valuable connection to our past and has made us aware, not only of the value of documenting our time here at the beach, but preserving tidbits of of the past as we stumble upon it. The people that snapped photos of friends and family so that they could show off their tent camps, fish, or boats, had no idea that, in some cases nearly a century later, we would be looking at the same pictures and pointing out both the differences and the similarities. It kind of makes you think. At any rate, if not for the efforts of Roger we would not have the large number of photos to look back on or the stories that go with them. For that I say, thank you Roger.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Do you have a rare Salmon Beach rowboat?

These pictures were taken of the Foss Boat today at the Seaport Museum.

It's Friday the first day of Spring and I am taking a vacation day. So I started the day off by stopping by the Seaport Museum down on Thea Foss waterway to do a little research and hopefully get some good pictures to share with you. Rhonda and I had been talking about it for a long time and as long as I was there today I signed us up for a family membership. So, now we are card carrying members (as soon as we get the cards in the mail). Anyway, I was not disappointed. I spent at least an hour there and had the whole place to myself. I did find what I was looking for and more. First of all the Salmon Beach Boathouse brand that was burned into the wood of each of the rental fleet at the boat house is not only on the Foss boat at the museum but is is on it think in seven different places. I am looking forward to doing a little scraping to see if we have more brands than the two on the outside of the stern. There is also a pretty nice boat shop in the northwest corner of the huge building that they occupy but unfortunately nobody was working this morning. There is so much space and I have high hopes that it will soon be full of boats, big and small. Anyway what I would like you all to do is if you have a wooden rowboat is check the stern , bow, seat, and breasthook to see if you have one of the few rare surviving boats from the Salmon Beach rental fleet. I also have an oar from the boathouse and apparently when they had the brand heated up it was used to mark everything so check your old oars too. So if you happen to have a boat like ours and it happens to have the brand of the Salmon Beach Boathouse let us know. We would love to hear from you (we heard that somone had a 10 foot boat with the salmon brand on it).

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Salmon Beach rowboat comes home

I hardly know where to start. My friend Scott (second from the left) and I have been working on the restoration of a 14 ft. Whitehall for the last two years. Our conversations, while either working or admiring our work, always seemed to come around to getting a hold of a set of plans for an original Foss rental rowboat. The shop that we are working in sits literaly a stone's throw from the location of the old Salmon Beach Boathouse where these fine wooden rowboats were rented to the public. Sadly, the boat house was torn down decades ago and the rental fleet scattered to who knows where years before that. So, imagine our surprise and excitement when a neighbor called me on a Thursday night and told me that they had found what appeared to be an original rowboat from that long lost fleet. Well, the picture tells the story. Not even 48 hours later we are bringing our next project "home", past Chloe the mermaid, and what I am sure will turn out to be years of, not only "messing about with boats", but creating some new history and great memories for the new generations of Salmon Beachers.