Did you know the that Friends of Falls of Clyde has a story to tell that will educate people on what we have been doing since taking ownership of Falls of Clyde in 2008? Here is our story.
Did you know that Falls of Clyde was saved from being scuttled in Ketchikan, Alaska? William Wendall Mitchell, Jr., whose grandfather was a Scottish sea captain and a shipbuilder in the 1800s in Puget Sound, was a lover of ships. He heard of Falls of Clyde at the end of her career as a bunker vessel for the fishing fleet and that she was to be scuttled. He bought the ship and brought her to Seattle with the hope of restoring her. Unfortunately he was unable to do so, which eventually led to the opportunity of Bob Krauss and John Wright to bring he to Honolulu. A debt is owed to Mr. Mitchell.
Did you know that often words of wisdom you are looking for come from others? Recently this came to us about Falls of Clyde from an article in the Star Advertiser (7/11/15) by Dr. Ira Zunin titled “Crew members develop familial bond with Hokule`a.”
In the article, he said “Seafarers do not think of their vessels simply as floating objects that provide transportation. They give them names as though they are people to reflect the intimate and complex relationship they experience.” For those who have ever been aboard Falls of Clyde and felt her mana, this is easy to understand. Vessels of any age can generate thoughts of what people over the ages have experienced at sea. As an island state, Hawai`i relies heavily on the vessels coming in and out of our harbors and have done so from the time of vessels like Hokule`a through the long era of sailing ships like Falls of Clyde to the modern vessels of today like Matson’s RJ Pfeiffer. Think of all the bonding that has gone over the entire period of maritime history in Hawai`i.
Did you know that research does not always produce accurate information? As reported in the Ship’s Log, a recent visitor was Hamish Russell, the great grandson of one of the owners of the company that built Falls of Clyde. Hamish purchased a copy of Bob Krauss’ book on the history of the ship and discovered an error. The name of his ancestor who was running the shipyard, Russell & Co., at the time Falls was built was Joseph Russell and not John Scott Russell as reported in the book. Hamish related that Russell & Co. was founded in 1874 by Joseph Russell, Anderson Rodger, and William Lithgow. Joseph was the senior partner having invested £5,000. Always nice to find a personal detail like this.
Did you know that the plan Friends of Falls of Clyde has for restoration of Falls of Clyde that we want to initiate is similar to the one Bishop Museum used. As stated in “The Falls of Clyde—Highlight of a Museum,” which Bishop Museum had printed from a Hawaii Business article: “Work has thus concentrated on such basics as cleaning and painting the hull…Once the current work is complete, the reconstruction effort will shift from the basic structure to a project-by-project approach to individual areas of the boat that can be worked on while people are aboard.” We believe that this approach worked once and can be done again.
Did you know that there is a Scottish Country dance written for Falls of Clyde? Mary Brandon, a Scottish Country Dance teacher and founder of the Hawaii Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS), devised the dance, Falls of Clyde, in honor of the ship. The dance is a medley, meaning it has two types of dance form—a reel (fast dance) and a strathspey (slow dance). The dance was written in the early 1980s and has been danced aboard the ship and on the pier on two different occasions. RSCDS Hawaii is looking forward to again dance aboard the ship at some point in the near future.
Did you know that although built as a four-masted vessel in the British medium clipper model, Falls of Clyde was down-rigged twice to a bark for part of her sailing career, which is a three-masted vessel. However, clearly her splendor is as her original rigging, which is where Friends of Falls of Clyde intends to take her with the restoration.
Did you know that during years 1898-1899, Falls of Clyde sailed under three flags? She arrived in San Francisco under the British Union Jack. There she was sold to Captain William Matson and she sailed to Hawaii under the Hawaiian flag. Finally, she was reflagged again and flew the U.S. flag from then on.
Did you know that the Falls of Clyde was the subject of a school film project? Tom Roesser, Jr., when he was a senior at Punahou School, filmed a short documentary on the ship which garnered him a top grade. Tom has posted the film on You Tube and it can be accessed through this website: