La Beverie and Spirit

La Beverie and Spirit, Coal Harbour, August 20, 1956

La Beverie and Spirit are tied up at the Vancouver Tug and Barge wharf at the foot of Denman Street. Both were pleasure boats owned by Harold Jones, owner of Vancouver Tug and Barge.

La Beverie was originally built by Ballard Marine Railway Co. in Seattle, Washington as the US Navy mine sweeper YMS 328 in 1943. The Douglas fir hull is built on white oak frames. The minesweeper was stationed in the Aleutian Islands during World War Two, and decommissioned in 1946.

Harold Jones had a successful tug company, with a large fleet of barges carrying wood chips. In January, 1948 he purchased the vessel and converted it to a luxury yacht. The battleship grey paint was replaced with white, and luxurious accommodations in place of the spartan naval spaces.

Jones also enjoyed racing. In the 1930s he purchased Spirit II from Seattle and raced her until 1945. The vessel in this  picture, Spirit, has an interesting history. The original Spirit was a 42′ sloop also built in 1906, also Seattle, but brought to the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club in 1913. When it burned in 1931, Jones bought the lead keel, which also entitled him to the name which was registered with Lloyds. He planned to build a new Spirit modelled after the Vanderbilt’s Ranger, which had won the America’s Cup Race in 1937.  The war intervened, and by 1945 he wasn’t as keen on racing. Ed Monk redesigned the original flush decks with a sleek cabin more suited to cruising. (Source: Royal Vancouver Yacht Club History Committee)

Harold Jones died just four months after this picture was taken. His son-in-law Norman McCarvill raced the Spirit until he sold it to American buyers in 1966. The La Beverie also returned to the US after Jones’ death, being renamed Wild Goose II by her new owner Max Wyman, a Seattle lumber tycoon. In 1962 he sold it to actor John Wayne, who dropped the II. Today the Wild Goose operates dinner cruises out of Newport Beach, California, and the vessel is on the US National Register of Historic Places, due to its connection with Wayne.

The Photographer: The original Kodachrome slide was taken by Theodore H. Kross, a Chicago attorney with Chicago Title and Trust. He travelled widely, and when this was taken in August 1956 was about to leave on a cruise on the Inside Passage aboard the Union Steamship’s Coquitlam. He died in Elmhurst Illinois in 2011, at the age of 95.

For more about La Beverie / Wild Goose see this link.

Below: Coal Harbour during the 1960s, with a Vancouver Tug Co. barge in dock.

Article written by admin