ABOUT CAPTAIN VICTOR DEGERSTEDT
According to Lynn Degerstedt, nephew to Capt. Victor Degerstedt, Victor left home at Skelleftea, Sweden, at the age of 16, and went to sea. The family was not to hear from him for two years.
By the time he returned to his family Victor had traveled three times around the world. In all he was to travel around the world eight times and could relate wonderful stories of adventure on the high seas.
Victor decided to come to America and arriving in Portland, Oregon, put his skills to work on the river. He married Mary Frank and they had a daughter, Frances. Their home was on North Borthwick in the Albina district.
Victor started the Clatskanie Transportation Company and commissioned the sternwheeler “Beaver” in 1906. Later he added to his holdings with the “Wakena” a gasoline powered barge which he designed as a shallow draft boat that could service the waters of the tributaries and sloughs of the Columbia.
In the middle 1920’s river transportation became a sad third in competition with the railroads and the newly built Columbia River highway. Under the pressure of declining business and the oncoming financial depression Victor sold the company and bought a park on the Clackamas river near the small community of Barton.
Picture from the collection of W. Kunz reproduced by permission.
(original picture digitally edited to isolate Capt. Degerstedt.)