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Pages of History: Heroism lauded in tugboat fire

From the pages of the Del Norte Triplicate, January 1960.

Crescent City’s disaster of Sunday, Dec. 27, 1959, when the tugboat Celilo exploded and caught fire, might well have been of major proportion had it not been for the quick action and actual heroism of two men.

Keith Richcreek, skipper of the fishing boat Neva D, boarded his boat and went immediately to the rescue of the men aboard the tug.

Chief Everett Burke of the Coast Guard cutter stationed in the harbor and his crew were credited with checking at least three fires aboard the gasoline-laden barge and on one occasion brought their cutter within 30 feet of the burning tug in an effort to halt the fires and then towed the still-burning tug out of the harbor.

Hen conjecture

If someone asks you, “Who was that old hen I saw you with at the courthouse Tuesday?” don’t get upset. He’s serious.

A little red hen, clucking contentedly, was picking bugs and what-not from the courthouse lawn Tuesday, much to the surprise of city and county workers. No one knew where she came from, but there were some conjectures:

“She’s going to file for a divorce.”

“She wants a building permit for a new henhouse.”

“Her business license rates are too high.”

Just where the little red hen came from is a mystery, but one thing is obviously clear — she flew the coup!

Curtains for railroad

Few Del Norte people realize today that a busy railroad once linked Crescent City and Smith River with a twice-daily run.

The passenger station was in the rear of the old Hobbs, Wall company store (now known as Trehearn’s) on Third Street. The company track ran north of Third, cut southwesterly across the flats, then to Fort Dick and Smith River along the general route of old Highway 101.

The train consisted of one passenger car and one freight car pushed (or pulled for the return trip) by a hard-working little steam engine, all soon to be gone forever.

1960’s first baby debut

Tiny Bonnie Rose Wiens made her debut at Seaside Hospital at 7:55 a.m. on New Year’s Day and thus became Del Norte’s first-born of 1960.

Bonnie is the daughter and second child of Ida and Dedie Wiens of Malone Road. She joins a brother, 17-month-old Allen.

Harbor tests surges

Gauges to test surges in the Crescent City harbor will be placed at Citizens Dock and at the A.C. Dutton dock by Army engineers in the near future, according to an announcement this week by Harbormaster Darold Richcreek.

The purpose of the gauges, according to Richcreek, is to determine what is needed in the way of future jetty construction in order to further quiet the port’s waters. Assurance that the gauges will be installed, he added, is contained in a letter from the Army engineers’ office in San Francisco.

Funds for a complete survey of the harbor with reference to needs for dredging, further construction, etc. have been allocated by the federal government.


Del Norte Triplicate:

312 H Street
P.O. Box 277
Crescent City, CA 95531

(707) 464-2141

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