From Way Back – by Ty Mellott

I n regards to the photos shown in the May ’22 issue, it appears I may have stumped many of you. Here is a little hint; during the time this was taken, there were several vessels operating in the Delta where one might have paid a fare to reach their destination.

I am positive that Robert Hackl has solved the mystery of the photo placed in the March ’22 issue however.

Robert informed us after confirming with his brother that the photo is believed to have been taken at an island near King Island. With his parents actually in the photo (indicated by the arrows) Robert is certain the scene was captured on San Leandro Boat Club’s maiden voyage to the little island of which they quickly referred to as Little King Island. The purpose of the trip was to assess the location in the hope of leasing the berm for their club. It was indeed leased on a 99-year lease and the club enjoyed many years on their island oasis in the heart of the Delta. Robert included a few photos of which I hope might jog the memories of others. Remember, history is not forgotten until those that know the past quit passing it along.

It is known that the March issue photo was supplied to me by our very own Bill Wells, but it is unknown as to whether the second boat from the bottom is Bill’s boat Ranger. Now, of course it was not his boat at the time the photo was taken as he did not purchase the boat until 1993. At the time the boat was named Kay-lene, and was owned by Rotus Harvey (standing on the deck in a white shirt and cap) and his wife Maude who is sitting on the front of the cabin. They owned the boat up until the Mr. Harvey’s passing in 1973. An unknown owner had her until 1991 when Norman Peterson took ownership and then sold her to Bill in 1993. It was during his inspections of the boat prior to purchase that this photo was located in a drawer on the boat. The boat is a 1937 3-foot Stephens Deckhouse Cruiser and had several names prior to the name Bill bestowed upon her, Ranger. The name was given in part to Bill having served upon USS Ranger CV61, and his affection to America’s Cup lore where the J-Class racing yacht Ranger successfully defended the 1937 America’s Cup.

The location could be anywhere in the Delta. But those clothes can only be from the 1950’s. Any ideas as to who and where?
Members of the San Leandro Boat Club proudly displaying their sign on the docks they built.
A collection of island improvements provided by Robert.
A collection of care free days on the SLBC island oasis.
Bill Wells cruising down river aboard Ranger, his 36-foot Stephens.

Email me, using tymellott@yachtsman if you would like to share what you know or have your own photos that you would like to see featured.