Historic Cannons From USS Shark

On Friday, June 15, 2018, at 1:00 p.m., the Oregon Historical Marker Program will dedicate a new historical marker in Arch Cape. The marker tells the story of the USS Shark, which wrecked at the mouth of the Columbia River on September 10, 1846. Three of the ship’s carronades (short, smoothbore cast-iron naval cannons) were found at various locations near what is today known as the community of Arch Cape. A replica of one of those cannons is on display in the same roadside pullout as the historical marker.

The former routed wood marker had been standing for decades and was in dire need of replacement. The new, modern marker tells a more in-depth story through photographs and expanded text. The Arch Cape Falcon Cove Beach Community Club sponsored the marker’s development, helped gather source material and photographs for the design, and secured a grant from Clatsop County to fund the project.

“The historical wayside in Arch Cape has always been important to local residents,” said John Piatt, past president of the community club.  “The new marker tells how a piece of the shipwrecked schooner, the Shark, with three small cannons ended up on the beach in Arch Cape and how they were eventually found. It also explains that Arch Cape was once named Cannon Beach, changed its name, and later the community of Ecola to the north renamed their town Cannon Beach.” 

The dedication event is free and the public is invited. The marker wayside is on Hwy 101 on the northern border of Arch Cape. Attendees are encouraged to carpool and park at the Arch Cape Fire Station next door, just south of the wayside.

Source: Oregon Travel Experience

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