Bell Sheep Refused to Make Trip -- First Flag
Was Distress Signal.|
|A story which will appeal to the superstitious has come to
light in connection with the 'Clallam' wreck. Steamers on this line often carry cattle and sheep
from up-Sound points to Port Townsend, and a mascot sheep, known as the bell sheep, made regular
trips on the 'Clallam', and had been in service for several years. When the 'Clallam' left Seattle
on her last trip the sheep could not be coaxed or forced aboard, and was left behind. The sheep
had never been known to refuse before to go aboard.
A signal of distress was the first flag ever hoisted over the 'Clallam'. It was as pretty and smooth a launching as was ever seen. There were two incidents connected with it, however, which caused mutterings among the ever superstitious mariners. To such yesterday was their opportunity, and they repeated: "I told you so."
The first flag that was ever raised over the 'Clallam' was raised on the evening of April 15th, 1903, just prior to her launching. By an accident the man who raised the flag hauled it up upside down - a signal of distress, and to the mariner a momentous omen. The flag was quickly righted. The mariners felt the hoodoo none the less there. The second incident was when she was christened.
The honor of christening the vessel the vessel was delegated by the people of Clallam county to Miss Hazel Behan, of Tatoosh Island. So quickly did the vessel slide from the ways when the last block was knocked from beneath her, that Miss Behan was unable to break the bottle of champagne across the bow. Both these incidents were remarked at the time, and again were called to mind after the disaster.