After 110 years, the rusted remains of an English four-masted steel barque sailing ship that ran aground during a storm in 1906 is now a popular tourist attraction in Fort Stevens State Park, Oregon.
The Peter Iredale is one of the most accessible shipwrecks in what is called the Graveyard of the Pacific, with the tides determining how much of it can be seen. We had only seen one other shipwreck on shore, the RMS Mülheim, off of the coast of Cornwall, England near Land’s End, so the rusted bow and ribs of the Peter Iredale was fascinating to see.
On September 26, 1906, the Peter Iredale left Salinas, Mexico with a crew of 27 (including 2 stowaways). It was bound for Portland, where it was to pick up a cargo of wheat before sailing to the United Kingdom. The trip up the coast was uneventful until October 25th. Captain Lawrence took bearings from the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse for the mouth of the Columbia River, but a heavy northwest squall drove the ship ashore. It hit the beach so hard that three of her masts broke from the impact. With none of the crew seriously injured, the captain ordered that the ship be abandoned.
And there, on the shores of Clatstop Spit, she has stayed for over a century.
Peter Iredale Ship Wreck Overview
- Coordinates: 46.1784, -123.9810
- Fees: FREE
- Difficulty: Easy
- Usage: Heavy
- Check for tide times. Low tide is the best time to get up close to the wreck.
- Pets allowed: Yes