The amazing story of how a beached Columbia River lightship was brought back to life through an arduous journey overland.

Many thanks to the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco, and Frank Lehn, Long Beach Peninsula historian and moderator of the “Facebook Friends of the Long Beach Peninsula” Facebook page, two great local resources for area history. It was through them that I found this story and photo.

The background of the photo here is as amazing as the story of the lightship itself: 

This photo appears courtesy of the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum and Frank Lehn. It was taken by Ilwaco photographer, J.F Ford, who also had a studio in Portland. The photo is from a book donated to the museum recently by someone who found it in an antique shop in Massachusetts.

The book is an album of photographs published by Mr. Ford, showing the ship being moved across the isthmus and into Baker Bay. It was a souvenir book printed in a limited quantity, and likely used by the company as a way to advertise the type of job they were capable of.

Included with the book was an article that appeared at the time in an issue of Scientific American explaining in considerable detail how this feat was accomplished. – info courtesy historian Frank Lehn.