A guide to the James L. Douthit photographs and oral histories, circa 1965-1975, 1989

Processed by: Processed by Amy Croft and M. Crawford..
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Building E, Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123
Phone: 415-561-7030
Fax: 415-556-3540
SAFR_Historic_Documents@nps.gov
URL: http://www.nps.gov/safr
2012

A Guide to the James L. Douthit photographs and oral histories

P91-058

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, National Park Service
2012, National Park Service

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

Collection Contents

Box 1, folders 1-11

Series 1.  Monterey clippers, boat builders and fisherman, circa 1965-1975

Extent: 3 volumes (231 items: 33 typed pages and 198 gelatin silver black-and-white photographic prints, sizes ranging from 3.5 x 10.5 in. to 8 x 10 in.)

Scope and Content Note

Includes photographs of various views of Monterey clipper fishing boats, fishermen and the fishing trade, and boat shops. Also includes transcripts of interviews with Monterey clipper boat builders and fishermen.
Processing Notes:
Photographs and transcripts were received in three binders, which were numbered by the staff as Volumes 1-3. All three of the binders contained black-and-white photographs in non-archival plastic sleeves and albums with self-stick pages. For preservation purposes, the materials were removed from the binders and rehoused. They have been kept in their original groupings (volumes 1-3) and left in their original order within each volume.
Some of the plastic sleeves and pages in the binders had red numbers (made with a label machine) attached to them. These numbers were assigned by Douthit and it is unknown what the numbers refer to. Not all of the photographs were assigned numbers. Since the sleeves were removed during rehousing, this information has been transferred to the back of the photographs. Where numbers were assigned by Douthit, they were noted on the back. All photographs have been numbered sequentially within each binder (volumes 1-3) in order to ensure that original order is maintained.

Arrangement

Arranged into two subseries: Subseries 1.1: Photograph albums of Monterey clipper fishing boats, boat builders, and fisherman and Subseries 1.2: Oral Histories and photographs of the interviewees
Box 1, folders 1-9

Subseries 1.1.  Photograph albums of Monterey clipper fishing boats, boat builders, and fisherman, circa 1965-1975

Extent: 2 volumes (185 gelatin silver black-and-white photographic prints, sizes ranging from 3.5 x 10.5 in. to 8 x 10 in.)

Scope and Content Note

2 volumes of photographs of fishing boats and boat builders, some of which contain duplicate images. In both volumes, nearly half of the photographs are stamped with "Marine Photos; by 'Skipper Jake' Jacob Krurath."
Both binders that originally housed the photographs had labels inside the front cover: James L. Douthit; 304 A St. Apt 3; S San Fran CA 94080-4438; (415) 952-4745.

Arrangement

Photographs were left in Douthit's original order within each volume.
 

File Unit 1.  Volume 1, circa 1965-1975

Extent: 1 volume (3 folders).

Scope and Content Note

Photographs include numerous Monterey clippers on blocks at boat shops, at anchor and dock, and underway. Some photographs show numerous vessels in unidentified marinas. Several photographs depict on-deck scenes of fishing or fishing equipment. The majority of photographs are of vessels, some with operators on board. There are also photographs of Svendsen's Boat Works, of Alameda, California; Genoa Boat Works, of San Francisco, California; and Monterey Boat Works, of Monterey, California. One photograph of a boat trolling for salmon is identified as being located off of Point Reyes, California. Most other locations are unknown. Identified vessels are ANNE, BABY SAL (Sal Balesteri's boat), BETSY, CATHERINE, DAGON, DONNA MARIA (Ron Melendy's boat), FOX, GINA MARIA, HELEN RUTH, IRENE, JACKIE BOY, JOHANNA, JOHN J., LITTLE ROSE, MARIA SABINA, MARIANA ANN, MIKE, NATALIE ("Doc" Cravello's boat, built by Genoa Boat Shop in 1941 or 1942), and SEA HORNET.
Box 1, folder 1

Item No. 001.  Genoa Boat Works building exterior, circa 1965-1975

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: Black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 in.

Scope and Content Note

Photograph of the outside of Genoa Boat Works, San Francisco, California, where Monterey clippers were built. What appears to be the stem of a hull is in the foreground.
Box 1, folder 1

Item No. 025.  Little Rose (Monterey clipper) up on blocks, circa 1965-1975

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: Black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 in.

Scope and Content Note

Port view of the vessel out of the water. The vessel is in a boat lot, perhaps at a marina or boat shop, with other boats around it.
Box 1, folder 1

Item No. 033.  Baby Sal (Monterey clipper) in line with other Monterey clippers, circa 1965-1975

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: Black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 in.

Scope and Content Note

BABY SAL was the boat of Sal Balesteri, fisherman. The vessel is one among seven other vessels lined-up in an unidentified marina.
 

File Unit 2.  Volume 2, circa 1965-1975

Extent: 1 volume (6 folders).

Scope and Content Note

Many of the photographs show people fishing on Monterey clippers. Includes portraits of fishermen, views of preparing lines, hauling in fish, and weighing fish on the dock. Two photographs of Phillip Famalett and his Monterey clipper, GLORIA M. Also includes group photographs of the Yukon Gang, a group of fishermen that worked together from the 1950s-1970s: Joe Cravello (Pabst), Dan Cravello (Governor), Mario Balesteri (President), Duke, Tom Cramina, and Sal Balesteri. Photographs also include Monterey fishing boats at anchor, at dock and underway. Some photographs show numerous vessels in unidentified marinas. A few photographs show coastal landscape and one photograph shows Castagnola's in San Francisco. Most of the other locations are unidentified. Identified vessels include ARIES, BABY SAL (Sal Balesteri's boat), CHUM KETA, DAGON, CINDY, FLORENCE (Pete Beltrano's boat), GLORIA M. (Phillip Famalett's boat), GUISEPPE, JESSIE M., JOSIE M., LADY AUDREY, MARILEE, MARIA SABRINA, MOONLAKE, RASHER, ROYANEH, SHARON II, SKIP-A-LOO, VIRGINIA (Mike Mitchell's boat).
Box 1, folder 4

Item No. 014.  Unidentified fisherman working off his Monterey clipper, circa 1965-1975

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: Black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 in.

Scope and Content Note

Starboard view of the vessel in the fog, with the fisherman standing and appears to be working the lines.
Box 1, folder 4

Item No. 017.  Unidentified fisherman preparing lines on deck of a Monterey Clipper, circa 1965-1975

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: Black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 in.

Scope and Content Note

Lures and spinners being prepared for casting, at the bow of the boat.
Box 1, folder 6

Item No. 056.  Josie M (Monterey clipper) along side an unidentified Monterey clipper, circa 1965-1975

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: Black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 in.

Scope and Content Note

The two fishing boats are seen side-by-side in an unidentified marina. The JOSIE M is on the left. The unidentified boat has a man visible on board and what appears to be a young adult along side the unidentified boat in a small craft.
Box 1, folder 7

Item No. 074.  Unidentified fisherman baiting lines, circa 1965-1975

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: Black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 in.

Scope and Content Note

The man is baiting two large sets of line with bait fish on the deck of a Monterey clipper.
Box 1, folder 7

Item No. 079.  Fisherman holding up two of the day's catch, circa 1965-1975

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: Black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 in.

Scope and Content Note

Unidentified man holding a fish in each hand as he stands on an unidentified fishing dock. The Monterey Clipper, SKIP-A-LOU, is seen in the background.
Box 1, folder 7

Item No. 088.  Five Monterey Clippers at dock outside of the A. Romeo Fish Co., circa 1965-1975

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: Black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 in.

Scope and Content Note

There is a man standing on the deck of one of the unidentified ships. The ARIES and MARIA SABINA have names in view.
Box 1, folders 10-11

Subseries 1.2.  Oral Histories and photographs of the interviewees, 1973

Extent: 1 volume (46 items: 33 typed pages and 13 gelatin silver black-and-white photographic prints, 8 x 10 in.)

Scope and Content Note

10 interviews of Monterey clipper boat builders and fishermen, some are identified as members of the Yukon Gang. Includes 13 photographs of the interviewees. Transcripts of interviews with: Barber of the vessel FAITH (first name not given; possibly Wally Barber?), Joe Beviacqua (who was once chief shipwright for the GGNRA National Maritime Museum), Mike Coleman, Dan Cravello, Dominic Ghio and Tony Ghio (3 copies), Joe Jerome of the vessel LUCKY LADY, Joe Maggi of the vessel ANNA M., Frank Maniscalpo, Vaughn Melendy (also a member of the Yukon Gang), David Morrison (2 copies), Carl Rafello, Ed Wetton (2 copies). Includes photographs of Pete Beltrano, Joe Beviacqua, Joe Jerome, one unidentified man, and the vessel CORNUCOPIA. It appears that Pete Beltrano was not interviewed, but his photograph was in the volume with the other oral histories, so it was left in place.
It is unknown where the original interview audio tapes or reels are; the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park only holds these transcripts.

Arrangement

Interviews and photographs arranged alphabetically by last name of interviewee, in two separate folders.
 

File Unit 1.  Volume 3, 1973

Extent: 1 volume (2 folders).
Box 1, folder 11

Item No. 001.  Portrait of Joe Beviacqua, 1973

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: Black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 in.

Scope and Content Note

Beviacqua is wearing a hard hat and appears to have naval plans in front of him. Beviacqua was a shipwright foreman at the former San Francisco Maritime State Historical Park.
Box 1, folder 11

Item No. 002.  Portrait of an unidentified Monterey Clipper fisherman, 1973

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: Black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 in.

Scope and Content Note

The man is wearing an Alaska Independent Fishermen's Marketing Association (AIFMA) hat, and he is sitting on what appears to be a dock.
Box 1, folder 11

Item No. 003.  Portrait of Joe Jerome, Monterey Clipper fisherman, 1973

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: Black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 in.

Scope and Content Note

Jerome was the owner of the LUCKY LADY.
Box 1, folder 11

Item No. 007.  Portrait of Pete Beltrano, operating his Monterey Clipper, Florence, 1973

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: Black-and-white photographic print, 8 x 10 in.

Scope and Content Note

Beltrano, a San Francisco Bay fisherman, is seen in the cabin, operating his boat.
Box 1, folder 12

Series 2.  Northern California and Oregon vessels, lighthouses and cities, 1989

Extent: 8 photographs (8 gelatin silver black-and-white photographic prints, 8 x 10 in.)

Scope and Content Note

Contains views of Fort Ross, California; Umpqua River lighthouse in Oregon; Battle Rock at Port Orford, Oregon; COLUMBIA (built 1950; lightship: museum ship) at Astoria, Oregon; Point Arena, California; MARY D. HUME (built 1881; steamer) at Gold Beach, Oregon; Point Cabrillo lighthouse, California; and Coquille River lighthouse at Bandon, Oregon.
These photographs were taken when Douthit was traveling through California and Oregon in 1989, conducting oral histories about steam schooners. The oral histories that he conducted on this trip are held in the San Francisco Maritime Museum Oral History collection (SAFR 21848). The list of oral histories that he conducted can be found in the "Related Materials" section of the front matter in this finding aid.

Arrangement

Arranged in numerical order, using the photographer's numbers.