John A. Doerner is an artist and nautical expert who meticulously researches late nineteenth century steamers and wind-driven ships of the Pacific Coast. “These ships are part of our history. They had names. They were real.”
At the age of twenty-five, John Doerner’s passion for art began with the creation of a sculpted model of the Joseph Russ, a ship commissioned and named by his great-great grandfather. Since then hundreds of paintings and sculptures have found port among collectors and admirers around the world.
John resides in Ferndale, California and his friends call him Andy.
Text and information regarding each ship provided by Ken Rhoades and Andy Doerner, 2008.
John A. Doerner – City of Topeka. Jack London once served aboard the City of Topeka as an able bodied seaman on a voyage to Alaska. This ship of 1057 tons was built at Chester Pennsylvania in 1884 and served along the Pacific Northwest until scrapped in 1933.
John A. Doerner – Cleone. Built 1887 in San Francisco, California. This 197 ton Schooner was converted to a steamer at Alameda, California in 1901 at which time her hull was increased to 228 tons. In 1931 she was stranded on Blunts Reef.
John A. Doerner – Corona. This 394 ton schooner was built at Port Blakey, Washington in 1883 and was last known to be still afloat in 1920 after being sold to Peru in 1909. This depiction of the Corona is a sight rarely observed by anyone other than experienced seamen when the bowsprit plows into green water while cresting a giant sea leaving a spray in both port and starboard directions nearly as high as the ship itself.
John A. Doerner – Emma Claudina. Around 1895 the Emma Claudina arrived on the ‘coastwise’ scene capturing much of the Central American trade routes.
John A. Doerner – Ethel Zane. This 498 ton ship, 165 feet length, 36 feet wide, with a 12 foot depth of hold, was built in Eureka, California in 189. She saw service all the way into World War One until sinking during a typhoon in the South Pacific. Her crew of nine was rescued by the Arapahoe.
John A. Doerner – Irene. The 772 ton, 186 foot length, 40 foot beam, and 14 foot depth of hold Irene was built at Fairhaven on Humboldt Bay in 1900. Irene was destroyed when burnt on a Hollywood movie set in 1929.
John A. Doerner – Joseph Russ. Commissioned by John Doerner’s great great Grandfather, the Joseph Russ was built in Eureka, California in 1881 at 247 tons, 124 feet, 30 foot beam and 9.6 foot depth of hold. The Joseph Russ ran aground at Chirikok Island, Alaska in 1912.
John A. Doerner – Navarro. This 232 ton steamer was built at San Francisco in 1887. Her disposition, like many of the thousands of ships of the era, is unknown.
John A. Doerner – San Buenaventura. Built at Fairhaven on Humbolt Bay in 1876, this 180 ton ship crashed on the rocks off the coast of Gold Beach, Oregon on January 14th, 1910. She was a small, but sleek and fast ship at 107 feet long, 30 feet wide, with an eight and a half foot depth of hold.
John A. Doerner – A Ship with No Name. This ship represents a typical hybrid powered schooner built during the transition from wind power to steam. Even after the pure steamship arrived in the late 19th century, windjammers continued to be built and put in service well into the 20th century.
John A. Doerner – Tiverton. This 557 ton steamer was built in 1906 at Hoquiam, Washington and was stranded in Humboldt Bay in 1933.
John A. Doerner – Wapama. Built at St. Helens, Oregon in 1915, this 951 ton ship is one of a few survivors of the thousands of vessels of her era and is currently in dry dock on a barge anchored in Sausalito Bay.
John A. Doerner – William Carson. The Pride of Fairhaven where she was built, the 890 ton Barkentine had a length of 195 feet, 40 foot Beam, and 16 foot depth of hold. The ship perished on her maiden voyage in a collision with a steamer in the Hawaiian Islands.
The 441 foot S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien was one of more than three thousand Liberty Ships of World War II and is still in service today. On the Internet you will find historic information on the ship’s past and present.
John A. Doerner – Sea Foam. Built at Aberdeen, Washington in 1904 by John Lindstrom, the Sea Foam wrecked at Point Arena on February 23, 1931.