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As It Was: All Aboard Lost When Barge Sinks Off Cape Blanco in 1892

In December 1892, Capt. Nicholas Lorentzen, his daughter, Lena, and father-in-law were among the passengers aboard the barge Majestic, on a return trip from Vancouver, British Columbia.
It was the week before Christmas. Travelers and crew had completed their shopping and were anxious to return home for the holidays. The vessel made a stop in Puget Sound, taking on a load of coal and lumber, perhaps overloading.  When the Majestic reached Cape Blanco, Ore., it ran into an exceptionally bad storm and sank.  All aboard were lost.

Lorentzen’s widow, Anna, and her remaining children moved to be near friends in Langlois [langless], where she purchased a lot and built the Laurel Inn on the east side of U.S. Route 101.

Many years later, a plank bearing the name “Majestic” washed ashore and was given to Mrs. Lorentzen.  It was not a happy reminder for her, so she put it in the woodshed, and no one knows what became of it after that.

In 1910, Mrs. Lorentzen sold the hotel to a family who operated it as Mary Sorenson’s Rooming House, which still stands today.

Source: Boice-Strain, Patti. “Floras Creek Precinct and the Boice Family of Curry County.” Gold Beach, Oregon, Curry County Historical Society Press /Hal & Patti Strain, 2003, pp. 83-8; Dodge, Orvil. Pioneer History of Coos and Curry Counties. Second ed., Bandon, Ore., Coos-Curry Pioneer and Historical Association, 1969, p. 263.

Laurel earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Humboldt State. Her research efforts as a volunteer for the Curry Historical Society produced numerous newsletter articles and exhibits and earned her a reputation as a seasoned local history buff. Laurel is the author of "Renderings from the Gold Beach Pioneer Cemetery", a 50-page booklet containing a walking tour and snippets about the lives and times of folks buried there. She is also a contributing writer to Oregon Coast Magazine.