|Catalog Number||WF 4554.002|
|Caption||Harry Rickaby 1928|
|Description||Harry Rickaby, boat builder, operator of the Guemes ferry ELK, and manager of Rickaby/City Float. He was born c.1868 [based on 1900 U.S. Federal census] in England. Rickaby came to Fidalgo Island in 1882, where he initially lived on his uncle's [W. H. Burdon] farm on March's Point. [Rickaby was cousin to Thomas Lancelot "Lance" Burdon and Soules, etc.] By 1893 he was building boats on the waterfront at the foot of Q Avenue, at a makeshift conglomeration of floats that would become known as the City Float. In the August 3, 1893, issue of the ANACORTES AMERICAN is: "Mr. Rickaby of this city, before coming to America, was for six months employed on the war ship VICTORIA, lost recently in the Mediterranean. Mr. Rickaby and Lindsay have a number of good sail and row boats at the foot of Q Avenue where they are prepared to furnish camping parties with any kind of an outfit." February 18, 1897 ANACORTES AMERICAN reports: "Mr. Harry Rickaby is just putting the finishing touches to a very handsome rowboat. The ribs and like timbers are of oak, and the plankings cedar. The fastenings are copper." August 12, 1897: "Mr. Rickaby finished and shipped a boat for the Clondike [sic] last Saturday, built for Mr. Wm. Curoe of this city and will be used by parties sent to the fold fields. It was built in sections and will be put together after passing the (Chilkoot) summit and is very light, weighing only 210 pounds and has a carrying capacity of 3000 pounds in addition to two men. The dimensions are 22' overall, 6' beam, 2' deep, and a 3' bottom." From 1898 on, Rickaby built many small skiffs and scows for canning companies in Anacortes and Bellingham. August 24, 1899 ANACORTES AMERICAN newspaper: "Harry Rickaby returned this morning from a trip to the Bellingham Bay towns and reports business is very lively there, especially at the canneries. He has built more than thirty boats for the canneries there this season." In 1912 Rickaby started ferry service to Guemes Island aboard the ELK: July 31, 1913 paper reported "Harry Rickaby has started the construction of a new boathouse for use in his launch business and as headquarters for the Guemes Island ferry." In 1913 Rickaby joined forces with Frank Taylor to bottle mineral water on Cypress Island and sell it in Anacortes. [see oral history interview 2001.003 with Don Taylor.] March 18, 1915 issue reported launch of Rickaby's new Guemes Ferry, ELK II. The ferry was based at the Rickaby Float at the foot of Q Avenue. Finally, on January 31, 1929 the ANACORTES AMERICAN reports Rickaby's care of the City Float on Guemes Channel [Ferd Brady photos of Rickaby at WF 4553-4554] Also see WF 5435-WF5438. September 17, 1945, AMERICAN announced Rickaby's death after a long illness. He left behind a widow, Henrietta. October 20, 1898 issue reported Rickaby's marriage to widow Henrietta Gerrault Frechette, becoming a stepfather to her 5-year-old son, Homer. She had come to Anacortes from Canada in 1891 when her husband Octave Frechette opened Frechette and Girault Groceries and Liquor Dealers on P Avenue (later Commercial Avenue); Frechette died the following year. [see photo of her and her mother, WF 0773]. The Anacortes Museum holds one of Rickaby's skiffs in its collection. See sample of Rickaby's signature on rear of WF 0400.|
|Collection||Wallie Funk Collection|
Maritime - Boat
|Credit line||Donated by Wallie Funk, Wallie Funk Collection|
RICKABY, Harry, Capt.
Frechette and Girault Groceries and Liquor