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A guide to the James L. Douthit photographs and oral histories, circa 1965-1975, 1989
P91-058 (SAFR 22588)  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication and Use Rights
  • Processing Note
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Historical or Biographical Note
  • Collection Scope and Content
  • Collection Arrangement
  • Related Materials

  • Title: James L. Douthit photographs and oral histories
    Date: circa 1965-1975, 1989
    Identifier/Call Number: P91-058 (SAFR 22588)
    Creator: Douthit, James L.
    Physical Description: 239 items. Some items available online.
    Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
    Building E, Fort Mason
    San Francisco, CA 94123
    Abstract: The James L. Douthit photographs and oral histories, circa 1965-1975, 1989 (SAFR 22588, P91-058) consist of 239 photographs and oral history interview transcripts about Monterey clippers, boat builders and fisherman of the San Francisco Bay Area in the 20th century. There are a few photographs of Northern California and Oregon vessels, lighthouses and cities in 1989. The collection is processed at the subseries level and is open for use without restriction.
    Physical Location: San Francisco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
    Language(s): In English.

    Access

    This collection is open for use unless otherwise noted.

    Publication and Use Rights

    Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

    Processing Note

    Note on Description: The descriptions in this collection guide were compiled using the best available sources of information. Such sources include the creator's annotations or descriptions, collection accession files, primary and secondary source material and subject matter experts. While every effort was made to provide accurate information, in the event that you find any errors in this guide please contact the reference staff in order for us to evaulate and make corrections to this guide.
    Please cite the title and collection number in any correspondence with our staff.
    There is possibly a Jim Douthit photograph collection in Alaska. In Douthit's obituary in the Oakland Tribune, his son Scott is quoted as saying that the family was packing up his father's extensive collection of photographs of Alaska and sending them to a library in Juneau, Alaska. This fact has not been confirmed as information about a collection of Douthit photographs in Juneau, Alaska, could not be found online.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item description], [Location within collection organization identified by Collection Number/Series Number/File Unit Number/Item Number], P91-058 (SAFR 22588), James L. Douthit photographs and oral histories, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Acquisition Information

    SAFR-00280
    SAFR-01193
    On February 7, 1991, James L. Douthit donated (SAFR-00280) eight black-and-white photographic prints (8 x 10 inches) to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The prints show scenes along the Pacific Coast in Northern California and Oregon in 1989. The prints were numbered by Douthit, who originally offered 19 prints to the San Francisco Maritime. However some were deemed out of scope and only eight prints were retained and accessioned; the rest were returned to Douthit. The following prints were retained (numbers refer to Douthit's numbering scheme): 7/89-1, 7/89-3, 7/89-7, 7/89-12, 7/89-13, 7/89-15, 7/89-17, 7/89-18.
    On October 23, 1997, James L. Douthit donated (SAFR-01193) 191 photographic prints and 13 typed transcripts of oral histories to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The materials were in three binders. The photographs show Monterey fishing boats and boat builders of the Bay Area, and the oral histories were conducted with boat builders in 1973. No audio versions of the oral histories were received in this accession, only transcripts. There are only 10 unique interviews; 3 of the transcripts are duplicate copies.

    Historical or Biographical Note

    James L. Douthit was a photographer and a reporter from the Pacific Northwest and spent many years writing for the Oakland Tribune. He was also a maritime historian and wrote articles on whaling and conducted oral histories of people involved with fishing vessels and steam schooners in California and Oregon.
    James L. Douthit (who often went by the name of Jim Douthit) was born on April 16, 1924, in Portland, Oregon, to James Norman Douthit and Philomena (Kurath) Douthit. He had a younger brother named Franklin J. and a younger sister named Mary H. Jim grew up in Portland and in The Dalles, and attended the University of Oregon and the University of Portland. From 1942-1946, he served in the U.S. Air Corps during World War II, mostly in the Pacific Ocean Theater. He contracted malaria and returned to the United States, where he took courses from the Northwest School of Photography. These classes spurred his lifelong love of photography.
    Douthit then began his journalism career in Fairbanks, Alaska, as a photographer and reporter. It was here that he met a fellow reporter named Florence Strand, and they were married in 1954. They had four children: Scott, Sally, Shelton, and Sean.
    Over the next several years Jim worked as a photographer and a reporter in Long Beach, California; Boise, Idaho; Yakima, Washington; and Portland, Oregon. In 1959 he and his family moved to Berkeley, California, where he became a reporter for the Oakland Tribune and his wife became a reporter for the Berkeley Daily Gazette.
    Douthit was interested in maritime history and in the 1960s he wrote articles on whaling. After he moved to Berkeley, he developed an interest in Bay Area maritime history. According to his son Scott, for many years Jim would travel local waterways on his Chinese junk and the family also lived on the vessel in the summers. In 1973, Douthit conducted interviews of men about Monterey fishing boats. From 1988 to the early 1990s, Jim conducted some more oral histories with people living in California and Oregon who had been involved with steam schooners in the early 20th century.
    Douthit was an activist and volunteered for many years with Second Harvest Food Bank in South San Francisco and for the Sempervirens Fund, which protects and preserves redwood forests, wildlife habitats, watersheds, and other natural features of California's Santa Cruz Mountains.
    In 1988, Douthit retired to care for his ailing wife. Around 1994, Jim moved to South San Francisco to be closer to his family and he died there on August 12, 2004.

    Sources

    • Pfrommer, Katherine. 2004 August 21. "Former Tribune reporter Douthit dies; One-time Berkeley resident devoted life to journalism, research." Oakland Tribune [Oakland, Calif].
    • 1910 United States Federal Census. (Accessed on Ancestry.com on January 23, 2012.)
    • 1930 United States Federal Census. (Accessed on Ancestry.com on January 23, 2012.)

    Collection Scope and Content

    The James L. Douthit photographs and oral histories, circa 1965-1975, 1989 (SAFR 22588, P91-058) consist of 239 photographs and oral history interview transcripts about Monterey clippers, boat builders and fisherman of the San Francisco Bay Area in the 20th century. There are a few photographs of Northern California and Oregon vessels, lighthouses and cities in 1989. The collection is processed at the subseries level and is open for use without restriction.
    Contains photographs of Monterey clipper fishing boats, fishermen and the fishing trade, and boat shops, taken circa 1965-1975. The majority of the photographs are of vessels, some with operators on board. Some photographs depict on-deck scenes of fishing or fishing equipment: portraits of fishermen, views of preparing lines, hauling in fish, and weighing fish on the dock. The collection also includes transcripts of interviews with Monterey clipper boat builders and fishermen, and photographs of some of the interviewees. There are 8 photographs of Northern California and Oregon vessels, lighthouses and cities taken in 1989.

    Collection Arrangement

    Arranged into two series: 1. Monterey clippers, boat builders and fisherman, circa 1965-1975; 2. Northern California and Oregon vessels, lighthouses and cities, 1989.

    Related Materials

    James L. Douthit also donated 31 oral histories to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in the 1990s. The oral histories were taken in the summer of 1989 in various cities in northern California (including Crescent City, Elk, Eureka, Fort Bragg, Greenwood, Smith River) and Oregon (including Bandon, Brookings, Coos Bay, Columbia City, North Bend).

    James L. Douthit Oral History Interviews in the San Francisco Maritime Museum Oral History collection (SAFR 21848)

    • OHCC256 Captain Louis Thompson interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Wapama.
    • OHCC257 Norman DeVal interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Elk-Greenwood, California.
    • OHCC258 Mel Matson interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Elk-Greenwood, California.
    • OHCC259 Walter Lindstrom interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Fairhaven, California.
    • OHCC260 Bill Zerlang interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989.
    • OHCC261 Harold Del Ponte interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Del Ponte is from Requa, California.
    • OHCC262 John McMillian interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. McMillian is from Klamath, California.
    • OHCC263 Bob Tickner interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Tickner is from Harbor, Oregon.
    • OHCC264 Howard Alexander interviewed by Jim Douthit, June 1, 1989. 2nd Cook ANNE HANIFY, 1942. Army Trans. Corp, Alaska.
    • OHCC265 Julia Richardson interviewed by Jim Douthit, June 1, 1989. Stewarts Point, CA, family schooners; Piano on the wire.
    • OHCC266 Jim Douthit interview/notes to self, Summer 1989. Side A: Bandon, OR. ("Notes" written on label). Side B: Bob Tickner, Harbor, Oregon ("not on tape" is written on the case in pencil and pointing to side B)
    • OHCC267 Bob Bolen and Ron Bolen interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Smith River; Crescent City, California.
    • OHCC268 Dow Beckham interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Coos Bay, Oregon "(Bandon)" typed on label.
    • OHCC269 Dave Sverko interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989.
    • OHCC270 Vern Hanscam interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Brookings, Oregon.
    • OHCC271 Sam Sola interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Albion, California.
    • OHCC272 Captain John Edlund interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. North Bend, Oregon.
    • OHCC273 Fritz Yost interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Eureka, California; Fields Landing, California.
    • OHCC274 Melvin Krei interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Eureka, California.
    • OHCC275 Swan Sjoberg interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Ft. Bragg, California.
    • OHCC276 John Cernac interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Ft. Bragg, California.
    • OHCC277 Louis Andreani interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Ft. Bragg, California.
    • OHCC278 Neelo ('Nick') Makela interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Noyo, California.
    • OHCC279 Louie Kapiskie (Old Louie)interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989.
    • OHCC280 Joe Scaramella interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Point Arena, California.
    • OHCC281 Captain Kenneth McAlpin interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. "Astoria Bar Pilot" on label.
    • OHCC282 Edward Lyle Morris interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. "Passenger" on label.
    • OHCC283 Harvard Anderson interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Columbia City, Oregon.
    • OHCC284 Wally Barber interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Ex Oregonian.
    • OHCC285 William M. ('Red') Caldwell interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Side A: SS Stanwood. Side B: Open.
    • OHCC286 Paul Tulley interviewed by Jim Douthit, Summer 1989. Ft. Bragg, California. "Harry Dring's young crew" on label.
    • This material is located at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Fishing boats--California--San Francisco Bay Area
    Fishing boats--United States--Design and construction
    Fishing--California, Northern
    Monterey clippers
    Yukon Gang
    Lighthouses--Oregon
    Lighthouses--California
    Douthit, James L. (1924-2004)
    Beltrano, Peter (1909-1997)
    Beviacqua, Joseph Charles (1910-2002)
    Coleman, Mike
    Cravello, Dan
    Ghio, Dominic (1918-2000)
    Ghio, Tony
    Jerome, Joe
    Maggi, Joe
    Maniscalpo, Frank
    Melendy, Vaughn
    Morrison, David
    Rafello, Carl "Gucchi"
    Wetton, Edward (1891-1987)
    Svendsen's Boat Works (Alameda, Calif.)
    Genoa Boat Works (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Monterey Boat Works (Monterey, Calif.)
    Baby Sal (monterey clipper)
    Cornucopia (monterey clipper)
    Donna Maria (monterey clipper)
    Florence (monterey clipper)
    Gloria M. (monterey clipper)
    Little Rose (monterey clipper)
    Maria Sabina (monterey clipper)
    Natalie (built 1941 or 1942; monterey clipper)
    Virginia (monterey clipper)
    Black-and-white prints
    oral histories (document genres)
    transcripts