Gertrude Southworth (1862 - 1946)
Duxbury Reef and the Wreck of the Polaris
Duxbury Reef is the largest shale reef in North America. It extends out from the point of Bolinas, tempering the waves coming into Bolinas Bay. The reef takes its name from a Gold Rush ship, the Duxbury from Massachusetts, that struck the reef but managed to make it into San Francisco Bay. Many other ships were not so fortunate and came to their end on the rugged reef.
In 1914 this four-masted schooner, the Polaris, was headed north when a terrible storm drove it onto the reef. The captain’s desk from the Polaris is now in the collection of the Bolinas Museum. A dark stain on the drawers commemorates the moment the ship hit the reef causing the captain’s ink bottle to spill.