Ann Parry Arrives on the West Coast December 31, 1849

History has its way of getting lost and then found again. Part of the Save Our History project (Whatcom Territorial Courthouse Project 2006-2007) was to find out more about the bricks in the old brick building downtown Bellingham.  This led to the discovery of a long misspelled name of the bark that brought the bricks.  The “Ann Perry” was actually the ANN PARRY, a famous whaler and merchant ship out of Portsmouth, New Hampshire,  a shipbuilding center since Colonial Days.  After a long life across the seas to Liverpool, Zanzibar and Lahaina, Maui, she was sold in 1848 to investors in Salem MA and outfitted for the California Gold Rush.

A 150th Year Celebration

This December 31th will mark the 160th anniversary of her arrival in San Francisco.  After a voyage of  over 100+ (62 days from Valpariso to San Francisco alone), she anchored in San Francisco Bay, the last ship to arrive in the year 1849.  She  became a storeship for a few years under a new owner who was also from Salem.  A recent archival find shows her at last entering the coastal trade in December of 1857.  Her assignment was Bellingham Bay, possibly for the Bellignham Bay Coal Mine.


In 2008 , for the 150th anniversary of the Whatcom Territorial Courthouse, maritime artist Steve Mayo, painted a beautiful rendition of the ANN PARRY unloading the bricks. The original painting and prints are for sale. (See Whatcom Territorial Project tab for details). Buying a print will be a great way to celebrate the end of this year and projecting hope for 2010 as she did when she first arrived in San Francisco.  She is now a part of our local history.  Follow as it continues to unfold.


2 thoughts on “Ann Parry Arrives on the West Coast December 31, 1849

  1. I tried to reach your email address but it is not acceptable ( Perhaps this will work. I have a couple of high school programs from Bellingham High School for 1909. If interested in them please advise.


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