The reference librarians at The Seattle Public Library are pretty darn amazing. They don’t know everything, instead they know where to find everything. As part of an irregular series of posts we salute the talented and dedicated reference staff at your local library. Names and other identifying information have been removed from the questions we showcase. Got a stumper? Click on Ask a Librarian. It’s what we do.
“…looking for newspaper articles on a ship named the Western Trader, which in the 1960s, sailed with a group of families to settle in the Galapagos Islands.”
“There are many articles on the Western Trader and the Galapagos Island settlers indexed in our Northwest Index. There are articles about the organization and preparations of the group, who expected to colonize San Cristobal Island, (the first article in the Seattle Times was dated Aug. 13, 1959) and the many delays the group experienced in Seattle, Los Angeles and in Ecuador before they finally reached Wreck Bay on August 19, 1960. After many setbacks, the experiment failed and the settlers headed back to the States. The ship broke down and was abandoned in Salina Cruze, Mexico. The ship was sailed from Salina Cruze to San Diego, where it was sold in a Federal Court auction, July 6, 1961 for $5,100….
We found only one photograph of the ship as it sailed out of Lake Union in Seattle and under the Aurora Bridge March 25, 1960. I am attaching a copy of the article with photo from the Seattle Times, “Saga of the Western Trader: Voyage to World’s End”, by Stan Bettis, Seattle Times, April 25, 1971, Magazine Section, page 8. “