This piece of a schooner rib was removed with a handsaw in the 1950s in Siletz Bay here in Taft. At the time, the remains of the schooner wreck that gave Schooner Creek its name was still visible at low tide.
It is unknown exactly which schooner is resting near the mouth of Schooner Creek, but many point to the Blanco, a 125-foot, 284-ton, two mast schooner that ran aground in 1864. The story goes that the abandoned schooner made its way over the narrow bar at the mouth of the Siletz Bay and came to rest near the present-day Schooner Creek. In 1864, Siletz Indian Reservation Agent Ben Simpson observed the wreck and stated, “A large brig named Blanco, from San Francisco, was wrecked a few days since at the mouth of the Siletz river.” In 2004, physicist Bradley Matson conducted a study using ground penetrating radar which concluded that something is indeed buried beneath the surface that is the right size, shape, position, and orientation compared to photos and accounts.
The schooner ribs are visible in this ca. 1970s photo:
Below are several articles and a letter to the editor of the Oregonian that speak of the schooner of Schooner Creek:
Although we do not know for certain which schooner gave Schooner Creek its name, we are happy to have a peice of it preserved at the museum before it was completely buried by sand. This artifact has a rich history and a story that begs to be told.