Gertrude Southworth (1862 - 1946)
Wreck of the R.D. Inman
In 1909 the two-masted, steam propelled ship R.D. Inman had just come through the Golden Gate and was headed for Portland, Oregon in darkness and rain squalls when the captain and crew spotted a vessel on fire and turned inland to give assistance. By the time they realized it was a big bonfire on the Bolinas beach, it was too late. The Inman was inside Duxbury Reef, it struck once, bounced off then struck again and lodged on the rocks.
The R.D. Inman, 186 feet long, had been built two years before in Marshfield, Oregon. The ship would never sail again. The owners collected the $100,000 insurance and salvaged machinery and deck fittings and locals set up a salvage operation in a temporary structure on the beach to take away what they could before it was abandoned to the sea. Many Bolinas folks went out to visit the wreck, including Gertrude Southworth.
Duxbury Reef, off Bolinas headland, is the largest shale reef in North America and has caused the demise of many ships. The remains of the R.D. Inman was still on the inside of the reef when the four-masted ship, Polaris, wrecked on the ocean side of the reef in 1914.