But what really kept the tale going was the wax
February 2, 2020 10:08 AM   Subscribe

The Ghost Hunter, by Leah Sottile. In The Avatist issue 99, January 2020. The story goes like this: Sometime around the year 1694, a ship wrecked near the foot of a mountain in Oregon. The area’s indigenous people named the peak Neahkahnie (knee-ah-kah-knee), “the place of the god”—a wide, tall mountain that appears to rise out of the Pacific Ocean like a giant climbing out of a bathtub. Its shoulders are cloaked in a dense forest of spruce and cedar, where elk find refuge in mists and leave hoofprints in the mud. For more than three centuries, the Nehalem-Tillamook people have told the tale of a ship that crashed there, a devastating collision of man and nature.

A long, long piece about the Beeswax Wreck off the Oregon Coast.

The Beeswax Wreck Project.

News story from July 2018 about the wreck and its archaeology (will spoil main link, partly)
posted by mwhybark (12 comments total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
What an enchanting tale. Someone found the real treasure (and no, not the friends we met along the way, although La Follette would probably count for the author of this piece).
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:36 AM on February 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

The tidbit about the wreck being (probably) extra hidden due to the just-afterwards Cascadia earthquake is quite the twist. The tsunami put rubble/artifacts far higher than would otherwise have been possible, but what did it do to the remnant hull?
posted by janell at 11:51 AM on February 2, 2020 [5 favorites]

posted by notsnot at 12:04 PM on February 2, 2020 [9 favorites]

This was wonderful. Have shared several times over. Thank you!
posted by doornoise at 12:56 PM on February 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

She’s a great storyteller. Has a great sense of nuance and ties details together so well. I listened to her podcast over a couple of days spent driving back and forth between home and PDX a few months ago and love to hear her voice.

Great read! Thanks for posting.
posted by cybrcamper at 3:06 PM on February 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

My great x2 grandparents homesteaded in the coastal mountains of Tillamook Co., and we have an annual reunion on the family land that attracts ~100 of us back every year. Somehow in all of the summers I've spent in that area I'd never heard the full details of this. I'd heard of some sort of treasure at the mountain, but didn't know the story of the shipwreck. Thank you so much for sharing this.
posted by calamari kid at 3:34 PM on February 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

That was amazing. I really want to read the rest of that epic poem!
posted by ottereroticist at 4:23 PM on February 2, 2020 [3 favorites]

That was a very engaging read. Thanks for posting.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 8:02 PM on February 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

Mid-coastal folks, be sure to hit the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum, and the Maritime Museum in Garibaldi. I first heard of the Beeswax Wreck in casual conversation from someone in the Three Capes region just south of Tillamook, and have since become fascinated with the legacy of shipwrecks from Tillamook to Astoria.

Why do you think they call it Cannon Beach “Cannon Beach,” in an unrelated incidence? The deep past is all around us.
posted by mwhybark at 11:52 PM on February 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

Struck with curiosity this morning sparked by my success at locating and beginning a read of the nineteen-nineties Elglish translation of Aniara, also concerning a shipwreck of sorts, I thought to seek out the referenced poem in this piece.

Sottile mentions that she was sent the work as an attachment via email earlier this year, in early January, 2020. I was therefore unsurprised to find it likely remaining unpublished at the moment. I strongly suspect that with Sottile’s lovely work available as an introduction in conjunction with LaFollette’s obvious and immense contribution to the archaeology of the coast, the work will see publication. However, I have not begun to investigate in any meaningful way.

I wanted to add the name of the work and its’ author in-thread, as well.

The poem is called The Wreck of the Santo Cristo, and the author is Cameron LaFollette.
posted by mwhybark at 7:03 AM on February 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

er, English, that is. yr hbl svt rgts &c. &c.
posted by mwhybark at 12:44 PM on February 12, 2020

I don't think it's covered in the article, but it's worth noting that the trade route from Manila to Acapulco goes much farther north than you might think. You have to sail above the Pacific high and then come down the coast of North America. Since reliable methods for establishing longitude weren't yet available, it's a lot easier to wreck into Oregon than I thought when I first read the article. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manila_galleon
posted by Horselover Fat at 3:55 PM on February 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

« Older Formerly enslaved queer freedom fighter William...   |   ‘Cheer’ Uses Concussions To Make The Case For... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments