|Above, the brand new Wollochet in service for her original owners, the Washington Navigation Company. Photo
courtesy of the WSHS. Below, the George S Pearson, in a rare postcard shot. Author's collection.
|End of the Fox Island...
Thanks to Lorne Campbell, who provided me with the following information:
According to the 23 Sept 1968 issue of the Prince Rupert Daily News, George S.
Pearson, then named Western Service and owned by Nelson Bros. Fishery, was
caught in a storm in Hecate Strait between what is now Haida Gwaii (then Queen
Charlotte Islands) and the mainland on 8 September 1968. She was loaded with
supplies including washers and dryers to serve the fishing fleet. As name implies, she
was attached to the fishing fleet and was a supply ship. The house was destroyed in
the storm and it says the owners had not determined what to do with the hull. I
assume it was scrapped as I can find no reference anywhere of the hull’s fate.
I would agree with the assessment of the old Wollochet being scrapped.
Given the boat was essentially wrecked, the all wood construction, and the
age, I can't see anyone investing a ton of money to rebuild the vessel.
However, if you have information of anything other than the boat being
scrapped, feel free to email me.
Photo courtesy of the M. Sharp Collection.
BUILT: 1925, Skansie Brothers, Gig Harbor, WA.
FORMER/LATER NAMES: a. Wollochet, b. Fox Island, c. George S. Pearson, d. Western Service
OFFICIAL NUMBER: 224559
L/B/D: 90 x 33 x 10 GROSS/NET TONS: 148/98 PASSENGERS/AUTOS: 134/18 cars
NAME TRANSLATION: Woolchet Chinook for "squirting clams"; Fox Island, which was named in 1841, by Commander Charles Wilkes for Dr. J. L. Fox, the
assistant surgeon of the Wilkes Expedition; George S. Peason, wholesale grocer and political figure in British Columbia, Canada.
FINAL DISPOSITION: Sold to Canadian interests after the Defiance replaced the vessel on the Port Townsend-Keystone run. She sailed as the George S.
Pearson until retired and sold in 1966. As the Western Service, upper works wrecked in a storm in 1968, scrapped thereafter.
The Fox Island leaving Keystone while working for Olympic Ferries Inc. Photo courtesy of the Raymond W Hughes Collection.