The Wreck of the Mary D. Hume – Gold Beach, Oregon - Atlas Obscura

The Wreck of the Mary D. Hume

Gold Beach, Oregon

This historic steamboat is scuttled just a few hundred feet from where it was built over a hundred years ago. 


With 97 years of active service, The Mary D. Hume still holds the record for longest serving vessel of the Pacific Coast, and her retirement continues to this day as she slowly rots away near an Oregon beach.

Built in 1881 by Mr. R. D. Hume of Astoria, Oregon, the vessel Hume was named after his wife. The Mary Duncan Hume spent her first ten years hauling goods from Oregon to San Fransisco. Purchased in 1889 by Pacific Whaling Co., the vessel spent the ten years following her sale as an Arctic whaling vessel and obtained a record catch of Baleen in a single 29 month voyage. Another of her whaling voyages made history when the Mary D. Hume spent six years at sea. Both instances setting records for the ship’s impressive performance. 

In 1899, the Mary D. started in towing service on the Nushagak River in Alaska, and was then sold to The American Tug Boat company. In 1914 she briefly served in the Alaska Halibut industry before returning to work as a tug boat for another 60 years.

Finally in 1978 the Mary D. Hume was retired to Gold Beach where she now sits, slowly sinking into the mud, only a few hundred feet from where she was originally constructed. In 1979 the ship was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Know Before You Go

From Gold Beach, Oregon head North on Highway 101. Turn left onto Harbor Way. You will see the wreck in the water very close to the road.

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