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Steamer Gazelle Explosion - Canemah, OR
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dkestrel
N 45° 21.021 W 122° 36.971
10T E 530065 N 5021942
Quick Description: A historical plaque regarding a ship wreck on the Willamette River near the locks/falls.
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 5/15/2014 2:51:59 PM
Waymark Code: WMKQ8X
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member StagsRoar
Views: 5

Long Description:
Copied from the plaque:
"600 Yards South of this point explosion of Steamer Gazelle, April 16, 1854. Loss of twenty four lives. Marked May 13, 1933 by Multonomah Chapter D.A.R."

Copied from website: (visit link)


The following authentic information is from the pen of C. P. Culver, Esq.
Oregon City, Saturday noon,
April 8, 1854…….

Mr. GROVER; one of the most heart rending calamities that has, perhaps, ever occurred on the coast of the Pacific, happened at Canemah, this morning, at about 7 o’clock, A. M. The new steamer Gazelle. Belonging to the “Willamette Falls Canal, Milling, and Transportation Company, while lying alongside the wharf boat, at Canemah, receiving freight, and but a few minutes before her intended departure for Corvallis, was blown almost completely into atoms, by the explosion of her boilers. Not a vestige of them remains on board the hull, save the head of one of them. As far as is known, twenty lives have been lost, and about thirty persons injured, some of them severely, others but slightly. Among the killed is Mr. David Page, the Superintendent of the Company, and recently from San Francisco. Gloom and despondency rest over our community. I have only time to send you a list of the killed and wounded, as at present ascertained: --

1. Mr. David Page, Linn City;
2. David Woodhull, Michigan;
3. Joseph Hunt, Oregon City, Surveyor;
4. Rev. Jas. P. Miller, Takenah;
5. John Clemmens, Oregon City;
6. David Fuller, Portland;
7. Cyrus Wadsworth, near Oregon City;
8. Samuel F. Burch, Polk county, formerly of Missouri;
9. James White, Salem;
10. J. M. Fudge, Canemah, Pilot of the Wallamet;
11. W. S. Morgan, Rickreal, Polk county;
12. Daniel Lowe, passenger his residence unknown;
13. Antonio, a Spaniard, Dalles, on his way to the mines;
14. ------ Blanchet, St. Pauls, O. T.;
Of those attached to the boat, there were killed; --
15. John Daly, cabin boy;
16. John K. Miller, deck-hand, of Elizabeth, Wisconsin;
17. John Bloomer, deck-hand, residence unknown;
18. ------ Hatch, deck-hand;
19. Michael McGee, fireman;

1. ------ Hill, Takenah;
2. Charles Knaust, Portland;
3. David McLane; Portland;

1. W. L. White, Canemah, knocked down by splinters while standing on the bank;
2. Lavina Pell, Champoeg, slightly scalded and cut in the forehead;
3. Mrs. J. P. Miller, wife of Rev. Mr. Miller, of Takenah, who was killed, two ribs broken;
4. H. Royce, Linn city, slightly injured;
5. Mr. Murphy, Deputy Surveyor, severely injured;
6. Mr. Shortess, Astoria, slightly bruised;
7. Charles T. Gardiner, Oregon City, injured badly, arm is broken and slightly scalded;
8. Miss White, Salem, daughter of James White, killed;
9. J. Herald, Indiana, slightly scalded;
10. B. F. Newby, Oregon City, injured badly;
11. Robert F. Rains;
12. Robert Pentland, scalded slightly;
13. D. J. Davis, Salem, slightly cut on the head;
14. Crawford Dobbins, Portland, leg broken, amputated;
15. John Trowel, Oregon City, bruised and scalded;
16. Henry Wilson, scalded slightly;
17. Mr. Hubbard, Cincinnatti, O. T., badly scalded;

Of those employed on the boat, three were injured:
18. Capt. R. Hereford, slightly scalded;
19. Pascal Plant, 2nd Engineer, severely scalded and bruised while at his post;
20 James Partlow, Pilot, bruised slightly;
21. John Boyd, Mate, both arms broken and severely scalded;
22. James Stanfield, Steward, slightly hurt;
23. Preston Black, Assistant Steward, slightly scalded;
24. An Indian, leg broke;
25. John Craul, a boy, severely scalded;
26. Joseph Latshaw, slightly injured;

1. The little daughter of Rev. Mr. Miller, of Takenah;
2. Z. Crowell, Clerk of Gazelle;
3. Mr. Joseph Tonie, Chief Engineer;
4/ Wm. Latham, passenger;
5. Mrs. Plant, wife of 2nd Engineer, and child;

The foregoing is a correct list, so far as is known, up to the present hour. – Sunday.

Oregon Statesman, April 18, 1854, 2:3.

The First Side-Wheeler Ever Propelled on the Upper Willamette
A friend of the Statesman furnishes it with more steamboat references of the Willamette river, as follows:
On the 18th of January, 1854, the ill-fated Gazelle was launched by the Willamette Falls Canal, Milling and Transportation Company and after making a few trips she exploded her boiler on the morning of 8th of April, while lying at the landing at Canemah, scattering death and destruction on all. The steamer was a complete wreck so that her hull sank where she was tied. By this terrible accident twenty –five persons were instantly killed and twenty or thirty were wounded, several of whom afterward died. Every town along the river was represented at this harvest of death and the disaster cast a gloom over the then entire territory. The following list of killed and wounded is as near correct as possible to give at this late day: Killed—David Page, Linn county superintendent of the company; David Woodhull, Michigan; Joseph Hunt, Oregon City; Rev. Jas. P. Miller, Takena (now Albany); John Clemens, Oregon City; David Fuller, Portland; Cyrus Wadsworth, near Oregon City; Samuel F. Burch, Polk county; Jas. White, Salem; J. M. Fudge, Canemah, pilot of the steamer Willamette; W. S. Morgan, Rickreal; W. S. Morgan, Rickreal, Polk county; Daniel Love, (res. Unknown); Mr. Blanchet, St. Paul, Marion County; John Daley, cabin boy; John Bloomer and Hatch, deckhands; Mike McGee, fireman, injured; W. L. White, Canemah; Lavina Paul, Champoeg. Mrs J. P Miller, Albany; H. Royce, Linn City. Oregon Statesman, Jan. 7,1894, 24:2.

Thanks to Queens Blessing for the leg/internet work on this event.
Date of Shipwreck: April 16, 1854

Type of Boat: Steamboat

Military or Civilian: Civilian

Cause of Shipwreck: Explosion of her boilers

The plaque and the river can be viewed from the car. Closer inspection requires jumping the guard rail.

Diving Permitted: Not Listed

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Only log the site if you have visited it personally.
Floating over a site does not qualify as a find if it is a wreck that requires diving - you must have actually visited the site - therefore photos of the site are good.
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