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The end of the William Bowden

The end of the William Bowden

Feb. 13, 1926: The fishing barge William Bowden sits grounded at Redondo Beach during a harsh winter storm.

The next morning a lengthy story in the Los Angeles Times described destroyed piers, homes, businesses and roads up and down California.

According to the report, “The fishing barge William Bowden, 250 feet long and moored about a mile and a half from shore off Redondo Beach, snapped its four anchors early in the morning and was washed up on shore near the municipal pier.”

A follow-up Associated Press story in the Timeson Sep. 23, 1926, reported that:

Dynamite last night sounded the death knell of the old clipper ship William Bowden, which went on the beach here in a storm last winter. The ship had been in use as a fishing barge. It had been known as one of the fastest ships in the Australian trade. A heavy charge of explosive blasted the hull to kindling. Its destruction had been ordered by city officials, who declared the stranded wreck a menace to public safety.

Just for the fun of it, I Googled “William Bowden” and found a history at this website.

According to a citation from the Tacoma. Wash., Public Libary,┬áthe Bowden was originally a four-masted schooner built in 1892. After damage suffered in voyages to Australia in 1919 and 1920 she was laid up in San Francisco. In 1925 the William Bowden “was sold to Los Angeles owners as a fishing barge, and was wrecked at Redondo Beach on Feb. 12, 1926.”

This image was previously published in the 1987 book “Images of Our Times: Sixty Years of Photography from the Los Angeles Times.”

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