What better time than opening day of boating season to look back at a local legend? The Schmitz family yacht named Sans Souci II was 50′ long and weighed in at 8 tons. Built in 1907, she would’ve been 107 years old today! The following photo appears to be during an opening day parade between 1907 to 1917.
After a decade of pleasure use, she was drafted into service by the navy and renamed the USS Sans Souci II.
Sans Souci H, a wooden boat built during 1907 by Frank Tregoning’s yard at Seattle, Wash., was enrolled in the Naval Coast Defense Reserve on 15 June 1917 following United States entry into World War I; delivered to the Navy on 9 July 1917 by her owner, D. G. Schmitz of Seattle; and commissioned on 1 August 1917, Chief Boatswain’s Mate R. W. Capps, USNRF, in command.
Assigned to local duty within the 13th Naval District, Sans Souci II operated on patrol duty from Seattle until September 1917. She also served, briefly, as a tender to Philadelphia (Cruiser No. 4), the receiving ship at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash., during late 1917. Sans Souci II resumed patrol duty in Puget Sound, frequently operating with, or alternating with, SC-300, until 23 December 1918. She then remained inactive until decommissioned on 7 February 1919 and was struck from the Navy list the same day. Ordered returned to her owner on 26 March 1919, Sans Souci II remained on yacht registers into the early 1930’s.
This rare photo, courtesy of the fine folks at The Log House Museum/SWSHS, show her freshly decommissioned and still in uniform…
Circa 1919, anchored in front of the Schmitz family estate (mansion in background) which is now known as Mee-Kwa-Mooks Park on Beach Drive SW
Soon after decommissioning, this WWI veteran resumed her duty as a pleasure yacht. Here she is in of my favorite photos entertaining some beach Drive residents in their groovy roaring 20’s swimwear…
Photo courtesy of Log House Museum/SWSHS book “West Seattle”
If some evening you’re awakened by a deep rumbling off the shores of Beach Drive, just might be the ghost of the Sans Souci II making way towards Alki Point!
Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog