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The Peter Iredale, a turn-of-the-20th-century, 278-foot sailing ship, was constructed of steel and iron. It saw only about 15 years of service, but has remained partly buried on Clatsop Beach for more than a century. Today the Iredale remains attract the curious as a vestige of the commercial sailing era.
On October 25, 1906, skipper H. Lawrence sighted Tillamook Rock Light in the morning's wee hours and roused his crew. They waited off the Columbia River for a pilot to guide them in. Meanwhile, a stout southwest wind arose. Just before dawn, the skipper found his ship in the midst of a roiling mass of breakers. As the vessel scraped the bottom, virtually everything above deck started to collapse, dispersing the crew. Lawrence ordered his men to the stern.
A lifesaving crew from Point Adams and volunteers from Fort Stevens rushed to the beleaguered hulk. All of the shaken crewmen were brought to shore safely.
It was hoped that the hull could be salvaged by towing it out to deep water, but it could not be dislodged. Salvage operations were halted and the ship was deserted.
Numerous events — including shells fired over the Iredale by a Japanese submarine — have come and gone, but the rusting hulk remains undisturbed.