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Catalog Number WF 1868
Caption "Western Larch III" in Guemes Channel
Description This is a view of the U. S. Army barge WESTERN LARCH III in Guemes Channel following its launching. A partial view of the dock with Guemes Island in the rear is also seen. A Tugboat and a small rowboat are visible at the bow of the vessel.The 6-24-1944 ANACORTES AMERICAN reported the launch of this ocean-going barge and stated it was the "Largest vessel of its type in U. S." This was the third WESTERN LARCH built by Anacortes Shipways. WESTERN LARCH and WESTERN LARCH II were both completed in 1943. Also see WF 1866-1869.

The 9-17-1942 paper reported that Portland interests had leased the site for Anacortes Shipways from Carl E. Edlund for a period of five years and would "fulfill $3,228,000 contract of building six 274-foot barges of wooden construction. The new venture is Anacortes Shipways, Inc. Nearly 500 men will be employed there." The first keel was laid in November 1942. The 3-11-1943 paper reported that Anacortes Shipways had won an army contract for wooden freight boats for Army Transport Service. This boat-building site had a connection to early Anacortes boat-building history. The 6-24-1943 paper reported that Anacortes Shipways was built on the "exact site used for approximately the same purpose as far back as 1899. During that year Charles H. Trafton was operating a yard here for the building of scows ... In those days power tools were unknown to the small yards and all construction was handled through the use of the adz, broad axe, ship's auger, cross-cut saw and such other hand tools as could be procured. Also, instead of the 700-man crew which the 1943 organization employs, Charles Trafton probably had not more than an even dozen on his payroll." The 1-16-1944 paper reported that Anacortes Shipways launch of its third vessel, and the first freight passenger vessel:F. & P. No. 249. The 3-23-1944 paper reported on the launch of another ship, "the second freight and passenger vessel built for U. S. Army at Anacortes Shipways." A community celebration, sponsored by the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce, marked the launching, and the "success of a twenty month campaign to mobilize an almost forgotten craft in support of the war effort." The art of wooden shipbuilding had died out after WWI supplanted by steel ships, and Anacortes Chamber of Commerce had assisted in the effort to "located the veterans of the wooden-ship day on the Sound, whose know-how, would be vital to the new enterprise" of building wooden ships in Anacortes for WWII. The newspaper noted that the average age of workers was 50 years old.
Date 1944, June
Photographer from the BRADY, Ferd collection
Collection Wallie Funk Collection
Subjects Place -Anacortes, WA
Industry - Boat Building
Maritime - Boat
Credit line Donated by Wallie Funk, Wallie Funk Collection
Place Anacortes, WA
Search Terms Anacortes Shipways
Boat yard
ways
Anacortes Lumber & Box Co.
wooden boat
Army Transport Service
Anacortes Chamber of Commerce
WESTERN LARCH III
barge
Object Name Negative