President Herbert Hoover and the Presidential Yacht 'Sequoia':
----- Original Message -----
From: George Edward Chuddy, Jr.
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2011 4:57 AM
Subject: President Herbert Hoover and Presidential Yacht Sequoia in Florida
We have a question which we hope you can answer or provide direction.
We ask because if the Folklore below can be confirmed and documented this would add
greatly to the Heritage and History of what is now 'Flagler County' in Florida.
We noticed at this URL:
"..........The Corps excavated a new channel during the 1931 to 1933 period, bypassing the East Coast Canal on the west
and thus carving out what is now known as Island Estates---262 acres in area and 2 ½ miles in length. An engineering map of
that project hangs in the Flagler Museum. Folklore
has it that Herbert Hoover aboard the Presidential Yacht Sequoia was thrown off his chair as the boat traversed the 90 degree
turn behind Island Estates. He was reported to have shouted, "Someone ought to straighten out this damn curve," and that is
why we have Island Estates. The truth of the event is open
to question, but it makes a good story........."
RE: Above, do you have any supporting documentation that President Herbert Hoover
and/or the Presidential Yacht ' Sequoia' was at this area in Florida in 1931 to 1933 or thereabouts? Perhaps something
recorded by the Captain of the 'Sequoia's' Log Book?
Thank you very much.
----- Original Message -----
To: George Edward Chuddy
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2011 3:42 PM
Subject: Hoover, the Sequoia and Florida Inland Waterway
Dear Mr. Chuddy,
I write in reply to your query regarding President Hoover, the Sequoia and the Florida Inland Waterway. I'm afraid
that we do not have any sources that document President's Hoover's statement 'Someone ought to straighten out this damn curve.'
Hoover used fishing as a way to get away from the stresses of his job, so our documentation of his Florida fishing trips
is pretty thin. We do not have the log book of the Sequoia. Hoover did not keep a diary. Neither his
autobiography nor his book on fishing mention this story. From Hoover's daily calendar, we do know that he was fishing
in Florida: January 21-February 1, 1929; February 10-16, 1930; and December 28, 1932-January 2, 1933. The first trip
is described only as 'fishing' in the calendars. The entries for the latter two trips offer only a bit more detail:
'fishing off Long Key' 'caught sailfish' etc.]
The most thorough book on Hoover and fishing is Hal Eliot Wert's Hoover The Fishing President [Stackpole
Press, 2005]. Working from local newspaper clippings, oral histories, and in local libraries and archives, Wert was
able to document just about every boat Hoover fished from [and nearly every fish he caught]. Hoover's 1929 Florida trip
took him to Belle Isle and Long Key, where he fished from the Amitie and the Saunterer. His 1930 trip to Florida returned
him to Long Key, where he fished from the Kilkenny, the Saunterer, the Dixie, and the Goofus Boy. Hoover did fish from
the Sequoia [and the Kilkenny] on his 1932-1933 trip. Given the time-line of the Corps excavating the new channel, it
would seem unlikely that Hoover's trip prompted it.
Wert does mention that the Sequoia ran aground while trying to navigate the East Coast Channel this last week of 1932.
This may have prompted some action by the Corps.
I hope that this is helpful. If you have further questions, I am at your service.
Matthew T. Schaefer, Archivist
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library
210 Parkside Drive