Centerville Cross Rescued Today

Centerville Cross

The last photo of the Centerville Cross as taken from the beach just before it was rescued. [Photo by Dorre Kidd Howard]

At the end of 2016, the fate of the historic Centerville Cross rested on crumbling ground–literally. December storms had eroded the cliff where the cross which memorialized the 1860 sinking of the steamer, the Northerner, stood.

The cross which had be rebuilt once after an earthquake in 1992 was in danger of collapsing onto the beach below. No one quite knew how to rescue the monument.

But, today, the Native Sons of the Golden West, a fraternal group dedicated to preserving California history, stepped forward and tugged the giant cross back to safety. (The Lost Coast Outpost has more information and video here.)

To the left you see what is most likely the last photo of the cross taken from the beach before the cross was removed.  Now the cliff stands without it’s simple monument.

Below is the photo taken just a short time after the cross was moved.

cliff above beach

After the Centerville Cross was removed [Photo by Dorre Kidd Howard]



  • Thank you to those that have saved the cross. It’s been a landmark for fishermen and women headed south to the Cape for years. I hope it is reset so that it is visible from the ocean It’s a reminder to remember the people who lost their lives here off the coast.

  • That cross is a reminder of the local genocide of Native Americans and the degradation of the environment brought on by white people immigrating into the area … let the fucking thing get swallowed by the ocean.

  • we can”t “safely” get it back up there?

  • I could not have said that better B. Tell ’em!

  • Saved a day before the anniversary of the tragedy – January 6, 1860.
    38 lost, but something saved.

  • 157 years ago it became a dark and stormy night… At the time California had just become a state, unpopular and divisive Abraham Lincoln was U.S. President, and the ship set sail like it did every day until it struck a rock at Blunt’s Reef. Bodies washed up all the way to the bar opening at Humboldt Bay and Seth Kinman helped rescue the survivors who were taken to Arnold Berding’s store and inn at the town of Centerville. Put yourself at sea in your mind in a couple of days as a gloriously sunny day with everything going right suddenly becomes a storm-wracked nightmare… within sight of the sand. 157 years ago it became a dark and stormy night… read more

    • Thank you for that tidbit of History! I lived in Ferndale for most of my life and I’m not far from the town now(say 6-7 miles) and not seeing that Beautiful White Cross on the hillside when I go to the beach would be difficult to wrap my head & heart!

    • Our ancestor was a member of the crew on the Northerner that night. He drowned after saving many lives and the memorial had a special place in our hearts. Last September we stayed at Ferndale, visited the Museum and visited Centreville beach, climbed the hill to the cross and paid our respects. It was meant to be that we were able to do this before the erosion. Thank you for saving the memorial.

  • Great job Native Sons of the Golden West.
    Those of you who are sourpussies and liberal bitching-shut up losers! Where were you today helping? Sucking on your bongs???

    • No actually we were helping by letting the Native Sons do their thing with their own monument. They didn’t ask for help from the public – so we did the very best thing and stayed out of their way. Please take a quick review of your politeness level. People are more likely to participate in your worldview if you don’t act like a foul-mouthed cactus. But if you absolutely cannot give up your water barrel and external pricks, please visit where your commenting style is common and acceptable.

  • Oh man that made me laugh.

  • native sons ha! a bunch of entitled native american killers, gold rushers, and general planet disrupters…dont put it back up
    thanks b for being honest not many people understand the plight of the native americans let alone the genicide of the indigenous people

  • People died and it’s away of showing people cared!it’s a symbol to some.its honor for the lost souls,and a place family can remember.and fog and ships don’t get along.

  • So glad it’s gone. If we put a memorial up for every life lost tragically the entire planet would be covered in man made garbage, especially America. Its sad when people die, but there’s no reason to litter the land about it, it hasn’t brought anyone back yet. I don’t need to shove a constant reminder of death in people’s faces as they’re enjoying nature just to memoralize any of my loved ones lifes. Good ridance!

  • I sit here and read all these comments from you people and I cry,what’s wrong with you ? So much nagitive ity. The past happened because of people like you.Let it all go don’t bring all the bad shit to the future,We are humans,we are all equal,we all have good & bad and we cant change the past BUT WE CAN BE A BETTER NOW & TOMORROW. So why can’t you guys get over it & move on with love respect for everyone. FOR UR CHILDREN,FOR THEY’RE CHILDREN,FOR ALL KIDS,THEY LEARN FROM YOU THEY ARE THE FUTURE,IT’S UP TO ALL OF US NOW TO MAKE IT A GOOD ONE ,

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