“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Klamath in Del Norte County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Captain Courageous

1963 - 1983

Captain Courageous Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, December 30, 2015
1. Captain Courageous Marker
The heroic voyage of this crossbreed steer; floating downriver from Klamath Glen and up the coast into Crescent City Harbor, was an inspiration to the flood victims of Klamath. He embodied their courage, stamina, and indomitable spirit. A living memorial to the disastrous flood of 1964, he passed peacefully on to greener pastures in 1983.

Erected May 10, 1997 by
E. Clampus Vitus Eureka Chapter 101
in Memory of Andy McBeth
the "Captain's" final caretaker

Erected 1997 by E Clampus Vitus Eureka Chapter 101.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsDisasters. In addition, it is included in the Believe It or Not, and the E Clampus Vitus series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is December 23, 1964.
Location. 41° 31.604′ N, 124° 2.171′ W. Marker is in Klamath, California, in Del Norte County. Marker is on Klamath Boulevard, 0.2 miles south of Ehlers Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Klamath CA 95548, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 12
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miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The End of the Trail (approx. 4.8 miles away); The Redwood Highway (approx. 10˝ miles away); The Forest for the Trees (approx. 10.7 miles away); The CCC at Prairie Creek (approx. 11.3 miles away); Madison Grant Forest and Elk Refuge (approx. 11.6 miles away).
Regarding Captain Courageous.
The Klamath Chamber of Commerce told the story of Captain Courageous:
"...From the mouth of the Klamath to Crescent City Harbor is just about 16 miles in a straight line. Bahamas rode there on the open ocean on a constantly disintegrating raft of logs and brush, through huge storm waves. Imagine if you will what the 800 pound bull must have gone through trying to stay aboard his accidental raft of slippery tossing logs and brush.

He was discovered the next day 200 feet offshore in the 10 acre mass of floating, churned debris that plugged Crescent Harbor. A watcher from Citizens dock noticed him toss his head as that was all that was sticking out of the mess.

After many hours of labor, helping the exhausted bull from log to log, Bahamas was finally brought to shore. The bull fought for life right until he came ashore, where he collapsed. He spent the next few days balancing on the narrow sill between life and death, nursed by his rescuers.
disaster."...Bahamas was renamed
Captain Courageous - Marker Inset image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, December 30, 2015
2. Captain Courageous - Marker Inset
"Captain Courageous" in honor of his inspiring fight for life. A novel was written about him titled "Beloved was Bahamas". Captain Courageous lived out his life comfortably in his own grassy paddock in Klamath, his feat commemorated by a large sign on the fence. He was visited by many people over the years who regarded him as a living touchstone of courage and will. Captain Courageous, the symbol of the fight for survival, lived a long and peaceful life. He died in the spring of 1983 and was buried in his green pasture.
Also see . . .  When the Waters Rose. The North Coast Journal's in-depth article (12/04/2014) on the flood of 1964. Includes the story of Captain Courageous. “ ‘The Dec. 19-23 storm was of unprecedented intensity in the region,’ states a California Department of Water Resources report, noting that Ettersburg on the Mattole River registered a staggering 50 inches of rain during the period, including 15 inches on Dec. 22 alone.” (Submitted on January 1, 2016.) 
"Captain Courageous" image. Click for full size.
via North Coast Journal, unknown
3. "Captain Courageous"
Captain Courageous Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, December 30, 2015
4. Captain Courageous Marker - Wide View
The marker is mounted to a low rock, and sits next to a Tsunami warning sign and a statue of a golden bear that was salvaged from the Klamath River bridge that was destroyed in the flood of 1964 - all three reminders of how powerful water can be at times.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 10, 2022. It was originally submitted on January 1, 2016, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California. This page has been viewed 1,285 times since then and 89 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week December 23, 2018. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 1, 2016, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California.   3. submitted on January 10, 2022, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.   4. submitted on January 1, 2016, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California.

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Jun. 2, 2023