Thursday, July 14, 2011

CryptoWA #24 - The Lighthouse Lady

Washington Waterways are strewn with many shipwrecks. Few are as large or as dramatic as that of the S.S. Governor, a passenger ship that sank off Point Wilson near Port Townsend in 1921.

The Governor was on its way to Seattle after a stop in Victoria B.C. Shortly after midnight it failed to yield the right of way to the freighter West Hartland, outbound from Port Townsend. The Governor's starboard side was rammed by the freighter. The quick thinking captain of the West Hartland set his speed to full, allowing passengers from the Governor to climb to the prow of his ship.

The Washburn family wasn't so fortunate. The collision with the West Hartland sliced their cabin in half, injuring the father and trapping his two daughters. Once his wife Lucy saw her husband safely aboard the West Hartland, she broke away from crew members who were restraining her and dashed back to the Governor for her daughters. The 400 foot vessel sank in 20 minutes.

Since the wreck, an apparition of a figure wearing a white nightgown has been reported at times near the Point Wilson lighthouse. Some say it's Lucy Washburn, still searching for her daughters.