By Karen Wilkinson
Triplicate staff writer
The British schooner Columbia anchored in Trinidad Bay in 1817, passing Del Norte County's waters during its voyage.
Upon anchoring, Columbia's sailors found the bay full of high rocks, which served as roosting spots for thousands of birds.
Local Native Americans returned to their villages and not long after the anchors had been dropped, the vessel was surrounded by canoes.
As a precautionary move, boarding nets were pulled up, all ports but one closed and the canoes were swept to the port. Trading followed and the Britians obtained a few furs in exchange of pieces of six-inch iron hoop. The Native Americans also brought aboard red deer and berries.
In the afternoon several Native American women appeared, and despite offers of blankets and axes, did not come aboard the Columbia. It was apparent to the British that the Natives had little experience with Europeans, "as they did not know the use of firearms; nor have they any iron among them."
Ashore the British found the cross Bodega erected 37 years before. After purchasing all the pelts the Native Americans had for sale, the British anchored up on July 24. The vessel experienced much difficulty beating her way out to sea.
ABOUT THIS SERIES
Del Norte County turns 150 this year. To celebrate our county's storied history, The Daily Triplicate will carry an article, about the past 150 years, in each edition for the rest of the year. We continue with a look at the first European and early American expeditions to the area.