The Peter Iredale
One of the best known of the hundreds of ships wrecked on the Oregon coast over the centuries is the British schooner Peter Iredale. This 278-foot four-master, fashioned of steel plates on an iron frame, was built in Liverpool in 1890 and came to its untimely end on the beach south of Clatsop Spit on October 25, 1906. En route from Mexico to pick up a load of wheat on the Columbia River, the vessel ran aground during high seas and a northwesterly squall.
All hands were rescued, and with little damage to the hull, hopes initially ran high that the ship could be towed back to sea and salvaged. That effort proved fruitless, and eventually the ship was written off as a total loss.
Today, nearly a century later, the remains of her rusting skeleton protruding from the sands of Fort Stevens State Park are a familiar sight to most who have traveled the north coast. Signs within Fort Stevens State Park lead the way to a parking area close to the wreck.
The stretch of beach near the wreck of the Peter Iredale is one of the few places in Oregon where you can drive of the beach.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel