Gertrude Southworth (1862 - 1946)
The Owl Leaving Bolinas on the 4th of July
The Owl was the last of the schooners that commuted between Bolinas and San Francisco for more then 80 years. Like the other schooners, she was never licensed to carry passengers, but often did. This photo was taken of the Owl as she set off for San Francisco carrying holiday revelers after a 4th of July celebration. Many city families who had weekend homes in Bolinas regularly rode the Owl. Some families would stay for the summer while the husband commuted back and forth from the city.
The Owl is somewhat legendary for those that know about her. She was built in Oregon for Dr. Richard Gibson who grew up in Bolinas in the Gibson house, built by his father in 1870 along with the mercantile store. Dr. Dick, as the locals fondly called him, spent much of his career as a doctor for the Dollar shipping line. He was known to be such an expert pilot that captains often turned over their ships to him when entering a port. In 1911 Gibson brought the Owl to Bolinas with much local fanfare. Within a few years he sold the Owl to Louis Petar and his brother Joseph Petar who ran the general market. Captain Louis Petar and Chief engineer Arthur Bourne, both sons of Bolinas pioneer families, ran the schooner until roads and trucks took too much of their business and the Owl was sold in 1933.