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Pages of History: Shifting sands clog harbor after surges

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

Army engineers began an emergency survey of Crescent City harbor to determine if special federal disaster funds should be used for immediately dredging a huge mass of mud, silt and sand from the port, all of which was moved into the harbor by the recent prolonged tidal wave surges. The survey is expected to take three days.

Preliminary soundings sponsored by the Crowley Company have shown that the deposit is as much as 12 feet deep in some parts of the harbor. Vincent Hills, local manager of the Oil Terminals Company, said that daily soundings indicate the silt has not yet settled and depths are changing with the tides. 

According to the soundings to date, and unless the silt moves in, there are no indications that a lumber barge would be in trouble at Citizens Dock. Port authorities could not be certain, however, that a loaded lumber barge could go from the inner harbor to the outer harbor without encountering difficulties.

The inner harbor handles all of Crescent City’s oil imports and approximately one-fourth of the port’s total lumber exports. 

County preps for celebration

Action was sparked on several fronts this week in preparation for celebrations expected to draw thousands of people into Del Norte County during the first part of July.

Veterans, who regularly stage a safe Fourth of July Celebration in Crescent City, have pooled their efforts with promoters of the 10-year Citizens Dock festival for a bigger and better three-day event, July 2-4. 

Plans are also being fomented far and wide for the Oregon Mountain tunnel celebration four days later, July 8. Bradley Page, secretary-manager of the Del Norte Chamber of Commerce, said many citizens from Oregon and Nevada counties who are interested in promoting better access to the sea, have been invited to attend. 

Nick Carter, chairman of the Citizens Dock Celebration Committee of the Del Norte Chamber of Commerce, said combining the dock festival with the Fourth of July celebration will result in a better program and greater attendance than had been expected for the event on May 28 and 29, which had to be postponed because of after-effects of the tidal waves caused by South American earthquakes. 

Crescent City lighthouse

Leased from the federal government by the Del Norte Historical Society in November of 1953, the Crescent City lighthouse on its rocky promontory off Battery Point is becoming Del Norte County’s major tourist attraction. One of the oldest lighthouses on the California coast, it predates its closest neighbor, the Northwest Seal Rock lighthouse, off St. George’s Point, by 36 years.

Mr. and Mrs. John Hamilton have welcomed 1,819 registered visitors from many parts of the parts of the world during their year as curators. During that time, Mrs. Hamilton, a charming and pretty hostess, has encountered only two groups of visitors who were non-English speaking. The most recent were two delightful women tourists from Mexico, she said. 

An inspection of the grounds and a visit to the museum maintained in the non-residential portion of the main building constitutes the informal “tour” conducted by Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton.


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