Found Something Interesting in Newport


After the Toledo show some of us went down the river to Newport for lunch. We stumbled upon the old-timer in the attached photo. Originally her sheer was probably at the heavy wale (that's where the deck is aft of the wheelhouse, with a High bulwark), and of course she would have had a small wheelhouse. An interesting old boat, launched in 1926 on Willapa Bay, but when I went looking for her builder I discovered something even more interesting:

"Joseph George, Bay Center, 1868-1945 Joseph George was a boat builder who was seldom without work. He was well known for the distinctive products that came out of his Bay Center shop and many of the finest trollers along this part of the northwest coast were either built by him or modeled after designs he developed. Josie, as he was best known, was born at Wilsonville, near Bay Center, in 1868. (Another source suggests 1871.) His parents were George and Margaret Squamaup (also written as Squanap or Skamock), both of royal Chinook blood. Some people called Josie's father Squanaps George. George Squamaup attempted to flatten Josie's head in the old way of denoting rank, but Margaret, Josie's mother, loosened the bindings at every opportunity so that her son wouldn't be noticeably deformed. As a youngster, Josie went to school with the Wilson children in a small wood frame building near Olsen's store and the old Bay Center jail. School didn't appeal to the boy and he dreamed of being a boat builder. Rebuffed at first by those he asked for help, Josie would row a canoe across the Palix River and hang around anyone working on a boat. Later, when asked about his skills, Josie would laugh and say 'I teamed [sic] how to work with wood when my mother would send me to my room. I would take a piece of wood and a knife I hid in my room and whittle and carve toy boats.' Josie started boat building with his father, teaming how to construct and repair all types of vessels for use on the bay. There was a ready market and father and son sold their boats as fast as they could build them, always improving their skills.

"Josie opened his own shop in Bay Center after gas engines began to be used. His first job was a boat for A. J. Horne. He had learned to be thorough; he drew the plans, made the model, and figured the materials down to the last inch of lumber and the exact number of nails and screws. In 1942, past the age of seventy, Josie moved to the Skokomish reservation near Hood Canal, where he established another boat shop. He returned to Bay Center, in 1945, to construct the NANCY JEAN for the Holmes brothers' Pacific Oyster Company. It was here that he was stricken while he worked on the oyster dredge. He was taken to the Cushman Hospital in Tacoma, where, on Sunday, July 22, 1945, he died after undergoing an operation. Although Dan Louderback's prolific output of watercraft cannot be matched on Willapa Bay, Josie George's legacy is that of a Chinook boy who lived at a time of great change. He grew up in two worlds; one the traditional Indian way of life, and the other the life of a highly skilled boat builder for mostly Caucasian fishermen. His journey had begun by whittling toy canoes and constructing canoes and early sailboats, continued with the building of steam and gasoline powered vessels, and finally ended with the diesel engine era. Josie's work represented a superb craftsmanship and included the CONDOR II and many other vessels, such as double-ender crabber / salmon trotters of beautiful dimensions. Some were still in operation during the last two decades of the century. Dorwin Fosse, retired South Bend boat builder, acknowledged that his father and mentor, John Fosse, learned his skills from Josie George. There were many others."

John (@Jkohnen)
History repeats itself, and that's one of the things that's wrong with history. (Clarence Darrow)


Nice work, John! She's almost too pretty to get fish guts on, eh? And,
thanks for putting our little "side trip" together--best day of the
weekend, in many ways! While you are gamming away at PT, Jamie and I will
be back in the wilds of North Idaho, this coming w/e. We only have about
three more trips scheduled for this summer--except for today and tomorrow,
and maybe the day after that... Dan