Pow­ell River Break­wa­ter

RCN News - - News - By David J Shirlaw readyay­eready.com

At the turn of the cen­tury the Cana­dian In­dus­trial Com­pany owned pulp leases on Lot 450 in Pow­ell River, Bri­tish Columbia and the Pa­cific Coast Power Com­pany owned the wa­ter of Pow­ell Lake. Th­ese two com­pa­nies merged in 1909, and a Min­nesota firm Brooks and Scan­lon pur­chased the rights to the pulp leases and the wa­ter of Pow­ell Lake. They had work­ing cap­i­tal of $1,000,000 and in 1909 the Pow­ell River Pa­per Com­pany was in­cor­po­rated.

It soon be­came ap­par­ent the ini­tial in­vest­ment of two pa­per ma­chines would not be suf­fi­cient and more funds would be needed im­me­di­ately to in­crease the ca­pac­ity to four pa­per ma­chines. Bonds were is­sued and the founders made per­sonal guar­an­tees for the re­quired mil­lion and a half dol­lars. Skilled em­ploy­ees were brought in from the Crown Wil­lamette Com­pany in Ore­gon. In 1911 the com­pany was re­named and in­cor­po­rated as the Pow­ell River Com­pany. Nor­man Lang was ac­quired from Crown Wil­lamette as man­ager un­der the con­di­tion Crown Wil­lamette be al­lowed to pur­chase the ma­jor­ity shares of the Pow­ell River Com­pany.

The first roll of saleable newsprint was pro­duced in April 1912. That year, the com­pany started con­struc­tion of the town that grew up around the plant site. Known as the Town­site, the com­mu­nity con­sisted of 401 in­di­vid­ual homes for the em­ploy­ees. The Pow­ell River Com­pany hired Dr. An­drew Hen­der­son as its physi­cian and he built the first hos­pi­tal, St. Luke’s, in 1913.;

The com­pany built Pow­ell Rivers first school, Hen­der­son School, on Ash Street in 1913. The com­pany also built Brooks School in 1926. Brooks was built as an el­e­men­tary school and later be­came the com­mu­nity’s only sec­ondary school.

The Pow­ell River Com­pany merged with Macmil­lan Bloedel in Dec 1959 and be­came known as MacMil­lan Bloedel & Pow­ell River Ltd. Harold Fo­ley, for­mer pres­i­dent of the Pow­ell River Com­pany and other for­mer di­rec­tors of the Pow­ell River Com­pany, re­signed as di­rec­tors from the merged com­pany in 1961. In 1966 Pow­ell River was dropped from the name and the com­pany be­came MacMil­lan Bloedel Ltd. In 1998 Macmil­lan Bloedel sold the plant and the site to Paci­fica Pa­pers. MacMil­lan Bloedel re­tained their tim­ber rights, which in­cluded Stillwater Divi­sion, un­til they sold them to Wey­er­haeuser in 1999. Wey­er­haeuser sold th­ese rights to Cas­ca­dia shortly af­ter pur­chas­ing them. Paci­fica Pa­pers di­vested them­selves of the Pow­ell River and Lois Lake dams and Pow­ell River En­ergy was formed. In Au­gust 2001 Paci­fica Pa­pers sold the mill and plant site to Norske Skog Canada Ltd. With the in­creased hold­ings the name changed to NorskeCanada. In Oct 2005 the share­hold­ers ap­proved an­other name change, this time to Cat­a­lyst Pa­per Cor­po­ra­tion.

Logs were ini­tially pro­cessed at Pow­ell River and it was soon re­al­ized a break­wa­ter was needed to pro­tect the logs from west­erly gales com­mon to the area. The first two naval ships pur­chased for the break­wa­ter were the for­mer USS Huron and USS Charleston, pur­chased in 1930 af­ter three years in re­serve in Bre­mer­ton. Later HMCS Coat­i­cook and US Navy barge YOGN 82 were added. Af­ter Huron sank in situ in 1960, it ap­pears an as­sess­ment was done on the re­main­ing ships which lead to Charleston be­ing moved to Kelsey Bay BC to join other ships there for break­wa­ter duty and Coat­i­cook be­ing sold to Cap­i­tal Iron in Vic­to­ria for scrap­ping. How­ever on ar­rival at Vic­to­ria, the hulk was found to be in such poor shape that a de­ci­sion was made to scut­tle it be­tween Brotchie Ledge and Race Rocks off Vic­to­ria.

HMCS Coat­i­cook

Com­mis­sioned on July 25, 1944, at Que­bec City, Coat­i­cook pro­ceeded to Ber­muda in mid-Septem­ber for three weeks' work­ing up. She was then as­signed to EG 27 with which she served on anti-sub­ma­rine and sup­port du­ties out of Hal­i­fax for the bal­ance of the war. In June, 1945, Coat­i­cook sailed to Esquimalt, where she was paid off into re­serve on Novem­ber 29. In 1949 her stripped hull was sunk for a break­wa­ter at Pow­ell Rives but was re­floated in 1961. On De­cem­ber 14, 1961, while in tow for Vic­to­ria to be bro­ken up, the hull was found to be struc­turally un­sound and in­stead scut­tled off Race Rocks.

USS Charleston

Cities in South Carolina and West Vir­ginia. II I (C-22: dp. 9,700; l 426'6"; b. 66'; dr. 22'6"; s. 22 k.; cpl. 673; a. 14 6", 18 3"; cl. St. Louis)

The third Charleston (C-22), a pro­tected cruiser, was launched 23 Jan­uary 1904 by New­port News Ship­build­ing and Dry Dock Co., New­port News, Va.; spon­sored by Miss H. Rhett; and com­mis­sioned 17 Oc­to­ber 1905, Cap­tain H. Winslow in com­mand. She was re­clas­si­fied CA-19 on 17 July 1920.

Charleston cruised to South Amer­i­can ports in the sum­mer of 1906 with Sec­re­tary of State Elihu Root on board for good-will vis­its, and af­ter dis­em­bark­ing the of­fi­cial party at Panama in Septem­ber, re­turned to the west coast for over­haul. She cleared San Fran­cisco 6 De­cem­ber 1906 to be­gin ser­vice with the Pa­cific Squadron, sail­ing along the west coast from Mag­dalena Bay, Mex­ico, to Esquimalt, Bri­tish Columbia, on ex­er­cises and fleet ma­neu­vers un­til 10 June 1908, when she en­tered the Puget Sound Navy Yard to pre­pare for the long pas­sage to the Asi­atic sta­tion.

Leav­ing Puget Sound 28 Oc­to­ber 1908, Charleston served in the Far East un­til 11 Septem­ber 1910, first as flag­ship of 3d Squadron, Pa­cific Fleet, and later, as flag­ship of the Asi­atic Fleet. Based on Cavite, P.I., in the win­ter, the Fleet moved north each sum­mer to Che­foo, China, to con­tinue ex­er­cises and vis­its to ports of China, Ja­pan, Manchuria, and Rus­sia, pre­sent­ing a pow­er­ful re­minder of Amer­i­can in­ter­est in the Far East. Re­turn­ing to Bre­mer­ton, Wash., Charleston was de­com­mis­sioned 8 Oc­to­ber 1910 at Puget Sound Navy Yard. Placed in com­mis­sion in re­serve 14 Septem­ber 1912, Charleston joined the Pa­cific Re­serve Fleet, re­main­ing at Puget Sound Navy Yard as a re­ceiv­ing ship through early 1916, aside from a voy­age to San Fran­cisco in Oc­to­ber 1913 as flag­ship for the Com­man­der-in-Chief, Pa­cific Re­serve Fleet.

From 1912 through early 1916, she was re­ceiv­ing ship at the yard. With a new as­sign­ment as ten­der for the sub­marines based in the Canal Zone, Charleston ar­rived at Cris­to­bal, C.Z., 7 May 1916, for a year of op­er­a­tions with sub­marines, re­con­nais­sance of an­chor­ages, and gun­nery ex­er­cises. On the day of Amer­ica's en­try into World War I, 6 April 1917, Charles

ton was placed in full com­mis­sion, and early in May re­ported for duty with the Pa­trol Force in the Caribbean. Based on St. Thomas, V.I., she pa­trolled for com­merce raiders through the month of May, then sailed north car­ry­ing Marines from Haiti to Philadel­phia.

Here she read­ied to join the es­cort of the con­voy car­ry­ing the first troops of the Amer­i­can Ex­pe­di­tionary Force to France, which cleared New York 14 June 1917, made St. Nazaire, France, af­ter a safe pas­sage through sub­ma­rine wa­ters 28 June, and re­turned to New York 19 July. Af­ter train­ing naval vol­un­teers and re­serves for 2 weeks at New­port,

Charleston cleared 16 Au­gust for Ha­vana, Cuba, where she su­per­vised the sail­ing in tow of sev­eral for­mer Ger­man ships to New Or­leans. She next es­corted a con­voy from Cris­to­bal to Ber­muda, where she ren­dezvoused with a group of Bri­tish trans­ports, guard­ing their pas­sage to Hamp­ton Roads.

In Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber 1918 she made two con­voy es­cort voy­ages to Nova Sco­tia, then joined the cruiser and trans­port force, with which she made five voy­ages to France car­ry­ing oc­cu­pa­tion troops over­seas and re­turn­ing with com­bat veter­ans.

Charleston sailed from Philadel­phia for the west coast 23 July 1919, reach­ing Bre­mer­ton, Wash., 24 Au­gust. Here she was placed in re­duced com­mis­sion un­til late in 1920, when she ar­rived in San Diego to serve as ad­min­is­tra­tive flag­ship for Com­man­der, De­stroyer Squadrons, Pa­cific Fleet. She served on this duty un­til 4 June 1923, when she

sailed for Puget Sound Navy Yard and de­com­mis­sion­ing on 4 De­cem­ber 1923. She was sold 6 March 1930.

USS Huron

South Dakota was ad­mit­ted to the Union si­mul­ta­ne­ously with North Dakota as the 40th and 41st states on 2 Novem­ber 1889. (Ar­mored Cruiser No. 9: dp. 13,680; l. 503'H"; b. 69' 7"; dr. 26'1"; s . 22 k .; c pl. 829; a. 4 8", 14 6", 18 3", 12 3-pdrs., 2 18" tt.; cl. Penn­syl­va­nia)

The f irst South Dakota (Ar­mored Cruiser No. 9), was launched on 21 J ul y 1904 b y the Union Iron Works, San Fran­cisco, Calif.; spon­sored by Miss Grace Har­reid; and com­mis­sioned on 27 Jan­uary 1908, Capt. James T. Smith in com­mand.

As­signed to the Ar­mored Cruiser Squadron, Pa­cific Fleet, South Dakota cruised off the west coast of the United States through Au­gust 1908. On 24 Au­gust, she de­parted San Fran­cisco for a cruise to Samoa and headed east­ward in Septem­ber to op­er­ate in Cen­tral and South Amer­i­can wa­ters. In the au­tumn of 1909, she de­ployed west­ward with the Ar­mored Cruiser Squadron. The force called at ports in the Ad­mi­ralty Is­lands; the Philip­pines; Ja­pan; and China, be­fore re­turn­ing to Honolulu on 31 Jan­uary 1910. In Fe­bru­ary, South Dakota joined Ten­nessee to form a Spe­cial Ser­vice Squadron which cruised off the At­lantic coast of South Amer­ica and then re­turned to the Pa­cific late in the year.

Fol­low­ing op­er­a­tions along the Pa­cific coast dur­ing much of 1911, South Dakota be­gan a cruise in De­cem­ber with the Ar­mored Cruiser Squadron which took her from Cal­i­for­nia to the Hawai­ian Is­lands, the Mar ianas, the Philip­pines, and Ja­pan. Af­ter re­turn­ing to the west coast in Au­gust 1912, she par­tic­i­pated in pe­ri­odic squadron ex­er­cises un­til she was placed in re­serve on 30 De­cem­ber 1913 at the Puget Sound Navy Yard.

De­tached from the Re­serve Force, Pa­cific Fleet, on 17 April 1914, South Dakota made a cruise south­ward into Mex­i­can wa­ters in June and an­other west­ward to the Hawai­ian Is­lands in Au­gust. She re­turned to Bre mer­ton on 14 Septem­ber and re­verted to re­serve sta­tus on 28 Septem- ber. She was the flag­ship of the Re­serve Force, Pa­cific Fleet, from 21 Jan­uary 1915 un­til re­lieved by Mil­wau­kee (Cruiser No. 21) on 5 Fe­bru­ary 1916. She re­mained in re­duced com­mis­sion through 1916; and, on 5 April 1917, she was again placed in full com­mis­sion.

Trans­ferred to the At­lantic af­ter the United States en­tered World War I, South Dakota de­parted Bre­mer­ton on 12 April. She joined Pitts­burg, Pue­blo, and Fred­er­ick at Colon, Panama, on 29 May 1917; thence pro­ceeded to the South At­lantic for pa­trol duty op­er­at­ing from Brazil­ian ports. On 2 Novem­ber 1918, she es­corted troop con­voys from the east coast to the mid-At­lantic ren­dezvous point where Bri­tish cruis­ers joined the con­voy. Fol­low­ing the Armistice, South Da

kota made two voy­ages from Brest, France, to New York, re­turn­ing troops to the United States.

In the sum­mer of 1919, South Dakota was or­dered back to the Pa­cific to serve as flag­ship of the Asi­atic Fleet, ar­riv­ing at Manila on 27 Oc­to­ber 1919. South Dakota was re­named Huron on 7 June 1920 and was des­ig­nated CA-9 on 17 July 1920. She served in the Asi­atic Fleet for the next seven years, op­er­at­ing in Philip­pine wa­ters dur­ing the win­ter and out of Shang­hai and Che­foo dur­ing the sum­mer. Or­dered home, Huron de­parted Manila on the last da y of 1926 and ar­rived at the Puget Sound Navy Yard on 3 March 1927. She was de­com­mis­sioned on 17 June 1927 and r emained in r eser ve un­til s he was struck from the Navy list on 15 Novem­ber 1929. She was sold on 11 Fe­bru­ary 1930 for scrap­ping in ac­cor­dance with the pro­vi­sions of the Lon­don Treaty for the lim­i­ta­tion and re­duc­tion of naval ar­ma­ment.

YOGN 82

First of a class of four built by Con­crete Ships of San Diego. Sis­ter ships YOGN 83 and YOGN 84 were used in the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in 1946.

Ron Greene cap­tures HMCS Coat­i­cook blow­ing up. Nau­t­i­ca­pe­dia.org photo.

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