Saturday, March 27, 2010

Indiana Zack and Samuel Jones


Well, we asked Grandpa about the mysterious finds in the slough. It turns out that back in the twenties (maybe earlier) there was a large sawmill not far down the slough from where we live. This saw mill was the largest in the area and served all of the south peninsula as Seldovia was the prime port of the area at the time. The thing that we thought was a vehicle, was actually a type of fly wheel engine that must have been used to run equipment in the mill. The mill stood vacant and unused and was left to fall apart. Then when people started to purchase pieces of the property and build homes along the slough (in the 50's or 60's) they pushed things that were left up against the sides of the banks and covered them with fill to protect against erosion and high tides.

The Anna M. and Her Black Stallion

Grandpa also told us that when he first came to Seldovia in the early sixties, he bought some land along the slough. He also bought an old broken down barge named the Anna M. to live in. He stuffed the holes in her bottom with some old mattresses and waited until the Fall high tides to float her up the slough so he could moor her there and live in her.

Many, many years later, a man showed up at his door asking questions about the Anna M. It turns out that the Anna M. was used to carry horses down to a cattle ranch in the Aleutian Islands before World War II. He was writing a story about one of her trips that didn't end so well. According to what Grandpa says, on one particular trip, after running into foul weather and being delayed, the captain ran out of feed for the horses and didn't have any more money to feed them. He ran the barge aground (it was a self motored landing barge) and let the horses go. This was somewhere across Cook Inlet where there are lots and lots of Grizzly Bears. When the barge company and owners came back to get the horses in the spring, only one was left, a black stallion, who had learned to fend off the grizzlies and somehow, against all odds survived the winter.

Grandpa said that when he sold the property, the new owners had the Anna M. covered with fill so they could build a home on the property. We took a walk on up the slough to see if we could find some signs of her. This is what we found, but we'll have to look more when the snow is melted.

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