Mary D. Hume
The Mary D. Hume is probably the third most famous shipwreck in Oregon. She was built in Oregon, had several different careers that lasted just under a full century, and now rests within a few hundred feet of where she was built.
“R. D. Hume was a pioneering businessman at Wedderburn and Gold Beach, then known as Ellensburg. By 1881, he had established a fish cannery and built Mary D. Hume, to support the cannery operation. Mary D. Hume passed through several owners and a number of changes and reconstructions, and served as late as the 1970s, the oldest serving commercial vessel on the West Coast.
The first eight years of the Hume’s career were spent hauling cargo between San Francisco and Gold Beach. In 1889 the Hume was bought by the Pacific Steam Whaling Company, to be used to haul baleen from Arctic waters. She was re-rigged as a brigantine. Her first expedition spanned 1890-1892, catching 37 whales for a cargo worth $400,000. The second voyage lasted from 1893 tp 1899, with relief crews sent to Herschel, Alaska. In 1900 the Hume became an Alaskan cannery tender for the Northwest Fisheries Company, receiving a new steam engine between 1900 and 1904. After sinking in ice in the Nushagak River she was repaired in Seattle. In either 1906 or 1908 she began work for the American Tug Boat Company of Everett, Washington towing logs and barges on Puget Sound. Her superstructure was altered at this time. A third new engine was installed in 1939, salvaged from the Columbia River lightship. In 1954 a 600 hp diesel engine was installed and the superstructure was altered to its present configuration. In 1973 the Hume was bought by the Crowley Maritime Corporation and was used as a tugboat. She was retired in 1977, and reconditioned by Crowley in 1978 prior to her return to Gold Beach.
An effort was organized to preserve Mary D. Hume as a museum ship, but a mechanical failure caused her to slide into the mud at Gold Beach and an unrelated lawsuit over ownership of the vessel dissipated the funds of the Curry County Historical Society which had planned to restore the vessel. Even so, the Mary D. Hume is on the National Register of Historic Places, and her wreck can still be seen in Gold Beach.
The Hume was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 1, 1979, when she was afloat and berthed on the Rogue River. Repairs started in 1985, but an accident led to her sinking. Efforts were made to survey and raise her, but there were no funds to make the effort. In 1992 the Hume’s status on the National Register was reviewed. The review concluded that her hulk still held significance and she was retained on the National Register.”